August 3, 2017

When Will The House Become Really Smart?

The house should not only be smart, but also unassailable. And soon we will be able to use the most sophisticated technologies from famous movies not to save the world but to control our house and household devices. There are more and more technologies that can make any house not only more intelligent but also cozier and safer. Let’s talk about them a bit more!

Smart Technologies for Every Day

Already today you can purchase many popular devices: from 3D printers to various portable gadgets. But very few people use them every day—they are usually bought as technological toys. A smart home—this is a completely different story. 78% of consumers from around the world are confident that smart home technologies can significantly benefit their lives.

The popularity of such products from Amazon as Echo and Echo Dot, as well as voice assistant Amazon Alexa, demonstrates that such technologies in the future will become even more popular.

According to the international study GfK, most people are interested in features of a smart home such as security and control, energy saving, lighting, entertainment, and communication. Smart home appliances (smart thermostats, lighting control systems, motion sensors, etc.) are already used in 15% of US homes.

Innovations are brought to market by both industry leaders and start-ups. Among the experienced players in the home technology market are Honeywell (smart digital thermostat connected via Wi-Fi), General Electric (home appliances), Philips Lighting (lighting), Schlage (smart locks), and others. These companies have vast experience and are able to transform existing products, creating innovative devices. At the same time, new market leaders direct technological evolution and build powerful ecosystems and platforms. Examples of such companies are Amazon (Alexa Smart Home system), Apple (HomeKit), Google (Google Home and Nest), Samsung (SmartThings) and Microsoft (Personal Assistant Cortana).

Voice Control

GlobalLogic’s experience in smart home automation proves that while mobile applications are an excellent tool for managing a smart home, it’s still easier and more natural for a user to give commands via voice. Talking with a device that has artificial intelligence, capable of understanding a person and performing his commands, makes an extraordinary impression. And, as Gartner research shows, by 2018, 30% of our interaction with technology will occur as conversations with smart devices.

Leaders in the field of technological products and services should already be investing in improving voice interfaces, which so far have limited capabilities. The future is bright for the personal home assistant, and speech will become a universal interface for managing household chores. A wonderful example is the voice assistant Alexa from Amazon, which implements voice control of smart home appliances.

An unusual “butler” was developed for his own home by Mark Zuckerberg. The Jarvis system manages lighting and temperature, composes playlists, fries toast, and even shoots clean t-shirts from air guns built into the cabinets. The name of the device is borrowed from a computer with artificial intelligence, which was used by Tony Stark in the film Iron Man. Its name, J.A.R.V.I.S., stands for Just A Rather Very Intelligent System (“Just a pretty smart system”).

The Challenge for the Future

Artificial intelligence is the key element of human interaction with the machine. However, even simple functions, such as switching lights on and off, are not an easy task. Imagine how differently the commands can be formulated: “Turn off the light in the back bedroom” or “Extinguish the lamp in the children’s room.”

It is impossible to provide correct responses to the user without teaching home assistants various linguistic nuances. Here, voice biometrics and the adoption of intelligent solutions can come to the rescue. In the phrase “Play my favorite song”, the home assistant should be able to recognize the voice of a person and choose music according to his preferences. If you combine the services of buying products, Amazon Echo, and smart plate, the complexity of the interactions will increase even more: “I want to order the ingredients for pasta for four. I already have butter and garlic. Delivery is needed today before six in the evening. Boil water five minutes before delivery. ”

To realize the potential of intelligent home systems, market leaders must cooperate and form partnerships. This will ensure the appearance of new devices and services, connected with each other, which will make the user’s life even easier. After all, security and reliability are the main parameters that must remain at the heart of the evolution of this technology.

For example, given that a voice command can activate security functions, it is necessary to ensure accurate recognition of the live voice of a particular person and the ability to distinguish it from an audio recording, so that the attackers cannot be allowed in.

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