Today’s Smart Home is ‘Semi-Smart’ at best

The first post in a multi-segment series aims to outline one of the views on Connected & Smart Homes and the journey towards achieving the ultimate homeThe Autonomous Home!

Journey towards a Truly Smart Home

Connected Corners

Starts with the Connected Home…

Connected Home could perhaps be viewed as a starting point in the long journey to achieve a ‘truly smart home’

– The connected home stage could be viewed as a ‘base stage’ where a set of individual appliances / gadgets (typically from multiple manufacturers) are connected to the internet via various WAN protocols (directly through fixed / cellular or tethered via a connected smartphone)

– Some of these individually connected devices may also have the ability to inter-connect amongst themselves (typically from the same manufacturer) using proprietary or generic short-range (D-2-D) connectivity protocols or even the provider’s cloud platform

Within this ‘base stage‘ connected devices at the very least –

Fulfill a subset or isolated task within the broader home functions (e.g. Lighting, HVAC control, Media control, et al.)

Provide a degree of data & insights associated with the device’s specific activities

Provide limited semi-automation of their specific task; using companion Apps / Service (think: living room lights turning on at pre-programmed time to a preset brightness level)

Most of current out-of-the-box (consumer) connected devices falling within this category still largely rely on human input / intervention / pre-programming to execute their tasks (think: user-invoked App / Voice / Touch based control)

Progressing on to Smart Home stage…

Technically speaking, today’s smart home is arguably only ‘semi-smart’

This semi-smart home status is typically achieved when a cohort of connected devices & their associated tasks (from single / multiple manufacturers) are aggregated to perform a complex categorical function (Home Security, Home Lighting, Media, et al.)

– Various providers have begun to make their devices & service smarter i.e. applying a level of artificial intelligence (AI) to impart higher degree of task automation

– The higher degree of automation is largely achieved due to improved interoperability amongst the cohort of connected devices; mostly through a device-2hub model (think: HomeKit / Alexa hub aggregating & automating home security, lightning, etc.)

– But with the addition of machine learning & “all-inclusive” interoperability today’s so-called smart home is well on it’s way to becoming truly smart… ‘Predictive & Reactive smart’

Evolving into the ultimate Home… Autonomous Home!

Artificial Intelligence (AI), voice & facial recognition, behavioral sciences and machine learning are soon going to allow Smart Homes to learn & evolve with it’s users / residents in a manner not seen before

– In the autonomous home stage; all of the user’s smart devices & services work in unison to create a situationally-aware & hyper-personalized home that has the ability to not only predict but also react to the user’s needs autonomously and in real-time!

– Autonomous homes would have the capability to interconnect all data-points from all smart devices (beyond the user’s domicile boundaries and into their extended lifestyle – Work, Car, Home, Personal, etc.)

– Autonomous homes would be able to consolidate, examine & analyze every bit of the user’s extended data points in real time to be able to predict, prepare & react (by means of actions) to the individual user’s needs (perhaps even emotions)

Meet Walter

Connected Corners
Meet Walter – Concept of what an ideal Autonomous Home could look like in the future

Opportunities & Challenges

The autonomous home paradigm presents virtually limitless possibilities & opportunities to it’s value-chain players…

Opportunities Autonomous Home

Mountains of data & insights generated from countless such autonomous homes would benefit the wider Smart City initiatives (infrastructure planning, utility provisioning, emergency response, etc.)

…but there are challenges that need to be addressed for a fully Autonomous Home solution to succeed of which; privacy & security, scalability and interoperability are three key ones

Connected Corners

Dedicated 3rd party entities (established / independent) could likely address many of the challenges by creating platforms where any provider (manufacturer, service provider, etc.) who are open to ‘linking-up‘ their connected products & solutions onto a single unified platform

Forthcoming segments will dive deeper into the monetization matrix, product ranging principles, pricing models and the roles key value-chain players play in deploying a complex IoT solution such as the Autonomous Home

Stay tuned!