The future is here. Smart homes were in the realm of conversations till a few years back; today Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at the centre of these conversations, taking prompts, giving ideas, running errands and entertaining families. Even as virtual assistants are the latest arrivals on the smart home landscape, the convergence of automation, technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) are redefining the very concept of a smart home. Where hi-tech homes, loaded with technology and gadgets, were the preserve of a select few till recently, today’s hyper-connected Indians are embracing cutting-edge technologies that are changing their lives and transforming their lifestyles.
Console-controlled switches, remotely operated gadgets, mood-setting features, smart phone enabled video surveillance, gas leak sensors, sensor-fitted water closets—these are just some of the features associated with today’s smart homes. From activating lights only when required to scheduling of appliances such as air-conditioners, sprinklers, etc., sensor-enabled technologies are not only operating without human interface, but are also energy-efficient. Home owners can access wireless door locks, customised settings for lights, blinds, air-conditioning and touch-screen panels that can be controlled through Internet Protocol (IP).
Advent of AI
Moving further up from automation, technology today performs tasks which require higher forms of intelligence. With digitising of data assets becoming less cost intensive with the help of AI technologies, more features and capabilities are being embedded into everyday utilities—be it in the living room, the kitchen or even the bathroom. From automated WCs with temperature-controlled seats and auto-flush faucets, to smart AI-driven, LED-enabled chromotheraphy showers and vanity mirror television, a lot of technology is seen in the smart bathroom.
Era of IoT
IoT is a giant network of connected factors, including people. With sensor technology getting economical, we will soon find a much larger use of sensors across our residential spaces. From small requirements like identifying the need for changing a fused bulb to larger issues like managing car park spaces, IoT is ready to take off in a big way. Sensor-driven lights, sensor-regulated taps to flushing systems are already commonplace and sensors will make their way into newer areas on the back of new technologies. Think smart cisterns that save up to 50% water, with features like heated seating, jet cleaning, massages and smart weighing scales that transmit your data like weight and BMI to warn you about your rising blood pressure!
With technology taking giant strides and wielding a big influence on the choices we make in all spheres of our being, it’s just a matter of time before smart living becomes a way of life for us. Welcome to the era of truly smart homes.
Manish Bhatia, as president-Building Products Division, HSIL Ltd & CEO, Evok Retail, works with cutting-edge home automation technologies