As home technology continues to evolve, the full home automation is becoming less of a trend and more of a mainstay in home design. Automated home entertainment systems, security systems, curtains and lighting have been popular for some time, but recently, we have noticed a trend in advanced home technology offerings from tweeting refrigerators to digital tables and countertops. Large companies have caught on and the growth in automation service offerings is becoming more and more accessible for homeowners at every income level, as opposed to just wealthy homeowners.
These heavily automated homes are being referred to as “smart homes” for a variety of reasons. First, remote access via smartphone or other wireless mobile device is becoming standard. Companies like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast are now partnering with technology service and home and building product brands to make this feature affordable and accessible to a larger audience.
Smart homes also focus heavily on energy and health. Recently, Honda revealed a test smart home system in Japan that controls energy usage. Solar cell panels and rechargeable batteries power the house, while a management device monitors the total power supply. According to Science Magazine and Washington State University professor Diane Cook, smart homes will go a step even further and monitor inhabitants’ well being as well.
“In the home, the idea is that computer software, playing the role of an intelligent agent, perceives the state of the physical environment, reasons about this state using artificial intelligence, and then takes actions to achieve specified goals, such as maximizing comfort of the residents and maintaining health and safety,” Cook wrote in an article recently published in Science.
According to a feature on BBC, Val Curtis of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, conducts research on her family’s health and hygiene with the help of her smart home. She wears a monitoring bracelet that works with other sensors placed on appliances and other objects through the home so she can digitally track hygiene habits. The system monitors when she or her family brushes their teeth and washes their hands, among other activities.
As we continue to become more connected to our homes, what other benefits do you think we’ll find?