You’ve certainly heard the phrase or people talking about it around the water cooler. Colleagues bragging about their Smart Home. So what is a Smart Home anyway? Are houses now intelligent beings? No of course not, well actually, maybe they are. Let’s dive into it…
A Smart Home is really a bunch of individual gadgets and appliances connected to the internet and also to each other. Usually these are connected via a common hub as well, such as a wall panel and/or your smart phone or tablet. For example you might have a security system installed that has a main control panel. This is the case in my house. We went with Vivint, which at its core is a security system but also so much more. Through my Vivint panel and associated app I am able to connect my thermostat, intercom, lighting system, Google Home, and Amazon Dot (i.e. Alexa).
So now I can sit back while watching a movie and say “Hey Alexa, use Vivint to arm my system for the evening”, and viola my alarm is activated. I can also ask my Google Mini to play my Spotify playlist without lifting a finger. This really comes in handy while cooking, especially if my hands are really messy. If you have smart enabled light bulbs installed, you can also ask your smart home to dim or adjust your lights, whether via an app or voice controls.
Pretty cool stuff, right? So what’s next you ask? Well, recently I heard at a AI conference about how refrigerators will start to be able to read the bar codes of the items inside and understand their weight when full and when getting close to empty. If almost empty the refrigerator could actually order you more (Amazon anyone). If you really want to play this scenario out, imagine this… you place some eggs in your fridge and you’re down to 3 eggs. The fridge thinks it’s time to order more but then realizes your going on vacation in a couple days (because it’s synced to your calendar), so it waits until two days before you get back, places the order with Amazon for two day shipping, and the eggs arrive the day you get back. And now Amazon will even enter your house and place inside your fridge for you (with permission of course).
The future of Smart Homes and AI is only in its infancy but already pretty darn cool.