Smart Home Technology: Making Life Easier With Automation
Fri, December 3, 2021

Smart Home Technology: Making Life Easier With Automation

More than 200 million homes across the world had at least one smart home device in 2018. / Photo by: hallojulie via Shutterstock

 

Smart technology is making home life more efficient and convenient than ever before. It can help homeowners save money on power bills, make sure that their room is just the right temperature when it’s time for bed, or remember when to take out the trash. It’s not surprising that the market is booming. 

Strategy Analytics, a global leader in supporting companies across their planning lifecycle through a range of customized market research solutions, released a report showing that the consumer spending on smart home related hardware, services, and installation fees is projected to reach $157 billion by 2023 from $103 billion in 2019 – a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11 percent. 

More than 200 million homes across the world had at least one smart home device in 2018. As the market reaches 30 percent of all broadband households, there will be an additional 100 million smart homes by 2023 worldwide. Jack Narcotta, the Senior Industry Analyst of Smart Home Strategies, reported that unit sales of smart home devices are growing at more than 20 percent annually between 2018 and 2023.

“Adoption of smart home solutions is continuing to grow driven by increased awareness of the capabilities and benefits of the solutions. Prices for both services, e.g. monitored security and devices have declined to make smart home products and services more affordable for a wider range of consumers,” Bill Ablondi, Director of Smart Home Strategies, said. 

A recent report by IDC, the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets, stated that Apple will gain traction in the smart home market in the next several years. Aside from enticing more consumers, the giant tech company will also be attracting third parties to build compatible devices. 

Ramon T. Llamas, research director for IDC’s Consumer IoT Program, stated that one must-watch trend is how smart assistants will come integrated into households. According to him, these devices will essentially become the cornerstone of the smart home experience.

Integrating Artificial Intelligence 

Home automation is not a new idea, but throughout the years, it has become a popular tool; creating powerful solutions to everyday tasks. One of the technologies that have been swiftly dominating the home automation market is artificial intelligence. AI addresses common daily tasks by integrating smart solutions. At the same time, it makes our life easier and better. 

According to HomeSelfe, an organization that has evolved into a ground-breaking system that supports real estate professionals with their marketing goals through intelligent engagement tools, it all started when Siri was introduced back in 2011. Suddenly, many iPhone owners had a voice-controlled AI system in their pockets. The debut of Siri was followed by Alexa and Amazon Echo the following year. Smart speakers have quickly become something that most households want. These devices can accomplish a lot of tasks just by voice command.

One of the greatest advantages of smart homes powered by AI is that homeowners can manage all of their home devices from one place. They can keep all of their devices connected through one interface. Smart home technology can also alert the user of any suspicious activity through camera systems. Security systems can be activated or deactivated with a simple voice command. 

The Role of Machine Learning

Smart homes are made up of intelligent processing and automation of previously complex manual configuration, all thanks to machine learning. Machine learning can significantly predict a user’s behavior based on historical data and develop so-called situational awareness. This means that the technology can understand a user’s intentions at a given moment and change parameters accordingly.

One of the most effective applications of machine learning is facial recognition. According to IoT Evolution World, an online site that shows how IoT is transforming everything into an Industry 4.0 System of Systems, an AI-based security system can successfully identify the faces of a home’s residents through machine learning. Its neural networks can identify facial landmarks of an individual, including eyes, cheekbones, nose, and chin. 

Aside from that, machine learning allows biometric door locks to take photos of a user’s fingertips via optical scanners and store them for matching or use two-factor authentication. Fortunately, biometric door locks such as Kevo, Samsung, Kwikset, and August can be seamlessly integrated into Amazon, Google, or Samsung Smart Home ecosystems. 

 

Machine learning allows biometric door locks to take photos of a user’s fingertips via optical scanners. / Photo by: denis kalinichenko via Shutterstock

 

Security and Privacy Concerns

Smart home technology can access all connected devices in households, which means that a user’s information is also accessible to tech companies. Jeff Chester, executive director for the Center for Digital Democracy, said, “It’s decentralized surveillance. We’re living in a world where we’re tethered to some online service stealthily gathering our information.” 

A recent study conducted by researchers from Northeastern University and Imperial College London discovered that 72 of the 81 IoT devices they analyzed shared data with third parties completely unrelated to the original manufacturer. According to CPO Magazine, an online site that provides news, insights, and resources for data protection, privacy, and cybersecurity leaders, some of the information includes location data, usage data, device specifications and configurations, and IP addresses. 

Nonetheless, more and more homeowners are still adapting smart home technology in their homes. This shows how most of us are eager to integrate automation into our houses. Still, users need to be reminded to be cautious of the details they provide to smart home devices for their privacy and security.