“Alexa — put the kettle on.”
We’re all so familiar with smart home tech that it’s getting easy to take our gadgets for granted. But just how much AI (Artificial Intelligence) is present in our smart homes? Is it a fad, or does AI improve our lives for the better?
In today’s blog the Smart Living team reveal the clever AI at work in your most-used smart home tech — and make some predictions of their own! From saving energy and reducing bills to tighter security for you and your loved ones, artificial intelligence is the way of the future.
The great news is that AI-driven technology is becoming more affordable for the average homeowner. Smart light bulbs, speakers, and home assistants literally bring our homes to life and it’s even easier than ever to live a life of convenience thanks to AI.
Let’s take a look!
It’s staggering to think that more than half of UK homes contain voice assistants, like Siri or Alexa. AI is part of the fabric of daily life. Especially with voice assistants using ‘natural language processing’ to understand a variety of human voices. (How does your accent fair?)
Home assistants are the hub of every smart home, letting you seamlessly control all connected appliances and devices by voice command. From opening the blinds in the morning to adjusting your heating, AI-powered home assistants can do it all.
Maybe you’re already at the stage where the robots are controlling you? Handing over your schedule to Siri means you never forget important appointments or come home to an empty fridge.
And while your virtual home assistant can’t tuck you in at night (yet) they can help you wind down for a good night’s sleep by playing gentle music and closing the smart blinds.
The more information AI gathers about your home and habits the easier life becomes. Your connected devices form a technological ecosystem within your home and AI is the ‘god in the machine’ that brings it all to life.
Take smart thermostats, for example. After collecting data over a period of weeks smart thermostats can start predicting an optimal temperature for your home. Calculating energy consumption in advance prevents the heating being on when it’s not needed and keeps you comfortable without needing to lift a finger.
Smart home owners have known about the benefits of intelligent lights for years. However, AI makes automated lighting even more of a bright idea.
From controlling your lights remotely to eliminating excess electricity usage with smart motion sensors, AI’s self-learning capabilities teach your lights to move in tune with the daily and seasonal cycles of your home.
AI can also help prevent bulb burnout and decrease carbon emissions by predicting how much energy your lights need. Smart!
Here’s another great use for AI-powered smart lights: home security.
Smart lights outwit burglars via motion detection, camera, and voice recognition. On holiday? AI will use ‘vacation mode’ randomly so burglars can’t spot a pattern. They’ll assume you’re home and won’t take the risk of breaking in.
Read our home security tips for more ways to outsmart the crooks.
You’ve probably heard of ‘biometrics’. It’s a way to identify individuals using fingerprints or face recognition.
AI has become so commonplace that most smartphones use biometrics in place of passwords. It’s more secure, and a hundred times more convenient than remembering tricky passwords.
But did you know biometrics are a huge part of smart security? Gate entry systems can be unlocked with residents’ fingerprints or face and alert homeowners to unsuccessful attempts to open the door.
Furthermore, AI security cameras catch criminals in the act by automatically recording when suspicious movement is detected. It’s peace of mind knowing someone is keeping an eye on things — even if it is virtually.
With AI it’s possible to take a Goldilocks approach to HVAC systems. Never be too hot or too cold again — AI algorithms ensure the temperature of your home is just right. Based on your behaviour, AI predicts the optimal amount of heating, air conditioning, and ventilation required throughout your property.
Smart sensors also help your heating system know how many people are in a room to fine-tune or switch off the heating supply.
Reducing energy consumption and making life easier? Let’s just cede control to the robots!
Using less energy means a smaller energy bill. AI-powered homes are designed to use energy wisely — a smart innovation that could save UK homeowners a collective £2.5 billion by 2023. With the cost of living soaring, smart heating is one area where AI can significantly improve our lives.
You probably don’t think about the pipes hidden behind your walls or underneath the floor until there’s a leak. Then it’s hours of trying to pinpoint where the water’s coming from.
Luckily, AI tech is adept at detecting leaky pipes. Whether it’s water or gas, smart detection will sniff out where the problem is. Moreover, you’ll be notified of the presence of a leak before it gets out of hand. Prevention is often the best cure.
For extra peace of mind, AI technology can also automatically shut off water, gas, and electricity supplies until expert help arrives.
So, what does the future hold for AI smart homes?
If there is one thing we’ve learned from decades in the technology business it’s that technology gets smarter and better through the generations. Smart tech is already intrinsic to our lives, from virtual home assistants to the smartphone you hold in your hand.
Looking to the future, our team try to predict where AI is heading:
Sounds silly? Developers are already pioneering robots that make life easier by performing daily chores like cleaning, cooking, and gardening. Think about how revolutionary such innovations could be to elderly or disabled people. Let’s face it, 1 in 10 Brits want a robot vacuum cleaner so it’s only a matter of time before the market listens to their demands.
Now, if only our bin could tell us what’s recyclable and what isn’t.
What if AI could help prevent trips to the hospital? From fridges that scan your shopping and suggest healthier alternatives to reminders to take medication, AI could help us live longer. It’s not so far-fetched — one company has launched an AI ‘magic mirror’ that helps diagnose skin complaints.
AI can’t improve lives if people are too suspicious to use it.
As much as we love smart tech it’s impossible to ignore the ethical implications to AI taking control of our homes. What happens to all the data our gadgets are collecting? How safe is our sensitive information really?
We predict that artificial intelligence itself will be used to address vulnerabilities within AI-powered systems. Our homes are safe havens and the technology industry has a duty to protect people’s private data.
Want to learn more about making life easier with technology?
Our blog is full of ideas on how smart technology can make your life easier. If you really want to fall down the rabbit hole of smart home automation subscribe to our YouTube channel. That way you won’t miss a thing.