The Smart Home AI Guide: Homes of the Future
“Hey Siri, is my garage door open?”
Voice-activated personal assistants that use artificial intelligence (AI), like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant, are just the tip of the smart home AI iceberg. Smart home technology is found in security systems, household appliances from washing machines to microwave ovens, lighting systems, home entertainment and more. Thanks to AI, the data collected from these seemingly disparate devices can be used to learn and predict human behavior and habits. Home appliances and systems can then interact with each other, giving a connected home a kind of “awareness” about its owners and using that knowledge to automate daily activities for homeowner convenience.1
Recent smart home trends include innovations in home security (facial recognition, biometric door locks, surveillance systems and smartphone notifications), robotic vacuums, climate controls and electric vehicle (EV) charging.1
This smart home AI device revolution suggests a growing need for data science professionals—and industry projections bear that out. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information research scientist careers will grow by 21% by 2031.3
Keep reading to learn about AI-powered household devices, future trends in smart home design and ways to position yourself at the forefront of this emerging field.
What is a Smart Home?
The Smart Home, also known as home automation, is a specific area of the internet of things (IoT), which refers to the ability of devices to connect to the internet and collect and share data. There are now billions of such devices worldwide that can communicate and carry out their business without having to involve a human being. They are part of a large IoT network with an enormous amount of data and an expanding ecosystem. Today’s smart home may have an automated security system, light bulbs that turn on and off at certain times or on-demand from a remote location, or a smart thermostat for more efficient indoor climate control. 4,5
How Popular is Home Automation?
According to the Smart Home Forecast by Insider Intelligence, 41.9% of American households used a smart home AI device in 2021, and the report projects this number will grow to 48.4% by 2025. The number of smart home households nearly doubled from 2018 to 2022, from 23.1% to 44.4%. This means almost half of U.S. households are using smart devices in their homes. 2
How AI is Used in Home Automation
How is smart home AI used? This technology, which is still in its infancy, is already being used in many ways to make homes safer and more secure, in addition to automating daily household activities to make life easier for its busy occupants.6
AI-enabled home security devices now go beyond video doorbells and web cameras. This still-developing technology now includes threat analysis and facial recognition. The system can recognize faces and objects and will send notifications to your phone, telling you who is at your front door. Advanced AI can recognize the faces of friends, family members and pets. AI has also been used in smart locks that are activated from mobile devices.6
AI-Enabled Smoke Alarms
These smart smoke alarms communicate through mobile applications and will send phone notifications about smoke and carbon monoxide levels, battery life, and location details if fire or smoke is detected.6
Automated Household Chores and Leisure Activities
From robotic vacuums and smart speakers to automated washers and dryers, these AI home devices can clean the house, adjust the temperature according to the preferences of who is in the home, play music, turn lights on and off, and much more. This is done by video and voice recognition.6 A popular use for smart devices is for home entertainment, such as smart speakers and AI-enabled TVs.4,7
AI-powered ovens and stoves can monitor food temperatures and adjust them as needed. They can let the owner know when food has finished cooking and can start preheating remotely.6 Certain smart refrigerators keep track of the food and will send a notification when you’re running low on something or an item is no longer safe to eat. Some even display recipes on the door, according to what’s inside.4,7 Other AI cooking devices include coffee makers and robotic food arms that can help people with disabilities.7
Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings
Smart thermostats, lighting systems, appliances and sprinklers with AI can be set to use electricity and water more efficiently to help with conservation efforts and to save homeowners money. For example, you can schedule a washing machine and dryer to run at a time when electricity is at its cheapest. AI thermostat systems help homeowners to analyze their energy consumption.4,7
Personal Assistants and Home Robots
In addition to being personal encyclopedias, digital assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant act as central controls for various smart devices in the home, responding to voice commands. With AI, the assistant learns from its mistakes and evolves over time. Data is stored and analyzed for future improvements.6 AI robots are designed to patrol the home while entertaining kids. They use AI technology to recognize people and objects and to carry out tasks, from monitoring room temperature and taking photos to playing music and reading books.7
The Future of Smart Home and AI Design
What is the future of smart home technology? Once a luxury for higher-end residences, home automation is now being embraced by more consumers, both in the purchase of new homes and in buying smart devices for older homes.
Two future trends for smart homes are integration and the rise of health-related smart devices. Instead of having individual smart outlets and lightbulbs, a trend in smart home/AI design is to have an entire integrated lighting system. Or you may have a smart fridge that can detect when you’ve run out of eggs, and it’s connected to your Siri device, which automatically adds it to your shopping list.8 It may not be far in the future that your garage knows when you arrive home, signals your heating system to turn up and the lights to go on, and then orders your dinner from a food delivery service.4
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, health-related smart devices have become very popular. Many smart thermostats now include humidity sensors. Smart air conditioners and air purifiers are getting more sophisticated due to an increasing demand to monitor air quality. Certain smart doorbells even incorporate temperature sensors to screen guests for signs of infection.8
Smart Home and AI Development—Challenges and Opportunities
The two main challenges for the smart home of the future (and more energy-efficient, resilient smart cities) are the issues of security and privacy. The explosion in IoT devices has led to some serious security risks, with hackers able to get access to webcams, routers and other devices. Researchers have found that there are vulnerabilities in everything from ovens and refrigerators to children’s smartwatches.5
Privacy is a concern, as well. Currently, all that data about your personal habits and preferences is owned by the companies that collect it, and it’s very likely that these companies are selling your information.5
These are big challenges that need the brightest minds in data science to find solutions. More than ever, the world needs the best data science professionals who can solve these problems and drive this life-changing innovation forward.
Be a Tech Leader with In-Demand Data Science Skills
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- Retrieved on September 13, 2022, from futurebridge.com/blog/smart-homes-impact-of-artificial-intelligence-in-connected-home/
- Retrieved on September 13, 2022, from insiderintelligence.com/content/smart-home-forecast-2021
- Retrieved on September 13, 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm
- Retrieved on September 13, 2022, from livy-protect.com/en/iot-vs-smart-home/
- Retrieved on September 13, 2022, from zdnet.com/article/what-is-the-internet-of-things-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-iot-right-now/
- Retrieved on September 13, 2022, from canterbury.ai/using-ai-for-smart-homes/
- Retrieved on September 13, 2022, from aimagazine.com/top10/10-ways-ai-can-used-homes
- Retrieved on September 13, 2022, from forbes.com/home-improvement/internet/smart-home-tech-trends/