The Smart Choice
Imagine a home where everything is interconnected and loaded with possibilities to make your life much easier, convenient and comfortable than it is now. Like an alarm clock that wakes you up earlier if your phone foresees traffic through maps as soon as you wake up, the geyser is switched on and s coffee machine brews a fresh cup for you, while you get ready while the system reads your schedule and books a cab for your conveyance. And yes, your home TV screen reads out the important news stories while you enjoy your breakfast. Well, while this may sound like a world of make believe, be assured it is not. The future of homes is all set to change thanks to new age technologies. As technology pervades all aspects of our lives, can our homes be left far behind? Well certainly not. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making all this and more possible.
A smart home is no more about only controlling your home though a mobile app. It is a combination of products, solutions and technologies using AI that is redefining the way we use and interact with our homes making them more intelligent and cognitive. You can now interact with the home by giving voice commands to perform tasks. AI enabled homes will identify its occupants through facial or voice recognition and perform tasks customized to the individual preferences. It will learn behavioral and usage patterns to perform tasks automatically or give suggestions for improvement. “For example, the house can learn the occupancy of various sections in the house at various time of the day and auto adjust lights and ACs. Based on the usage and occupancy pattern it can auto-lock the doors & windows and also predict any security breach expected. It can pre-empt any maintenance required for any equipment’s in house like light bulbs, AC, Geyser etc. It will monitor and predict conditions based on the health parameters of its occupants and also automatically trigger actions like opening the curtains for fresh air, switching on the lights, sending alerts to the relatives and also calling the ambulance. In such cases it is going to play even a Life Saving role. Also for elderly occupants, AI enabled homes will prove to be boon as they no more will have to depend on any manual help or gadgets for using the house,” says Sachin Motwani, MD, OSUM SMART, a company that is into smart electrical solutions. New age homes use AI use technologies like Natural Language Processing, Speech Recognition, Biometrics (Facial, Fingerprint, Retina), Virtual Agents, Bots, Machine Learning , Robotics and Data Analytics to make them intelligent. Let us take a look at how this can be put to use in a home.
While a lot of people are aware of Google Home, a brand of smart speakers and Alexa, an intelligent personal assistant developed by Amazon, these are more apt for markets abroad. Smartron, a Hyderabad based technology company is working on building a complete ecosystem (products, solutions and services) based on Smartron’s TronX™, their AI powered Internet of Things (IoT) platform which is built for the Indian consumer and addresses the requirements for the Indian market. This allows people to take full control of their home devices- whether it is safety and security through cameras or smart locks or it is efficiency of running the appliances through energy and water monitoring modules or personal entertainment solutions through voice activated home appliances through a central hub. The company is working on smart locks that can be configured to open the door to specific individuals and weight sensors for LPG cylinders that help you find how much gas is remaining in the cylinder to light bulbs that turn on and off automatically based on the level of brightness. Says a spokesperson from the company, “tronX™ which was unveiled recently is our AI powered IoT platform delivering highly intelligent and personalized experiences and services through range of smart devices, systems, vehicles and sensors targeting various verticals from personal to health to home to infrastructure to education to agriculture to energy.” Under tronX™ Home, Smartron is looking at bringing a number of smart home products and systems to the market in the next 3-6 months.
Being in Control
In fact using AI you can actually control your home from anywhere around the globe through your mobile phone at affordable price points. “With TechCravy home automation solution you can keep a check at what’s happening in or around your house from anywhere around the world. Also you can always schedule things just the way you want to so you don’t need to indulge in basic household chores like: turning ON and OFF, Controlling the main gate of your house, Opening or closing the curtains, Automatic turn On and Off the lights of the Staircase/Washroom/Room when you move in or out, Schedule any of your appliances as per your daily requirement. TechCravy app will do everything for you in just a single touch command. So this is how Home Automation solution is making your home. A Smart Home,” says Rajat, Founder, Techcravy. The best part is that you can get your home automated with the existing wiring installed. As no add-on wiring is required it is not at all expensive to have a luxury like this at your home at a very affordable price. Home-automation solutions can be retrofitted with the existing devices in your home and can be integrated through Wi-Fi. Turning electronic devices on and off, controlling speed of your devices (like fan), scheduling of devices to start working, mood lighting, CCTV Access through mobile phone, motorized curtains, motion sensors, automatic gates, gas sniffers and smart-alerts are some ways in which this works.
Safe & Secure
Likewise, NestAway has introduced Smart-lock, a secure and futuristic solution which is an electronic lock that serves as an alternative connected security system, replacing the traditional lock and key. With this IoT enabled Smart-lock, tenants can lock or unlock their homes remotely using their mobile phones. “Smart-lock application in any mobile can be unlocked via Bluetooth and as well as without an internet connection. Alternatively, the lock can also be unlocked with a combination code. The code can be generated via OTP from the registered mobile number. The lock is secured with 256-bit encryption for fool-proof security. In the future, NestAway plans to introduce NFC (Near Field Communication) enabled locking systems. The Smart-lock feature on NestAway App is available on both Android and iOS,” explains Deepak Dhar, Co-Founder, NestAway Technologies Pvt. Ltd. NFC is a basically a connection between two devices that are close by one that transmits and one that receives information.
Products & Solutions
OSUM has built the world’s first Smart Switch that works on hybrid wired & wireless technology. “Our system today supports Voice integration which allows a user to give voice commands to virtual assistants like Alexa or Siri for controlling their houses. We also have tested energy monitoring that allows to measure energy utilization of each electrical point in the house and also predict usage bills in advance. It also allows to predict any misuse or faults in the electrical system well in advance. Soon our systems will also recognize an individual and customize the house as per their preference and perform mundane tasks automatically for saving their time,” explains Motwani. Sanjeev Jain, 48 Gurgaon based business man avers, “OSUM’s SMART Switch solution has significantly enhanced my home experience by making it intelligent and intuitive. I no more have to worry about forgetting to switch off my lights or AC, nor do I need to be concerned about security when not at home. Coming back home is a pleasant experience as the AC is already set to my preference and the house is cool when I reach. I don’t even need to use an App as I can control all of these with voice commands or schedule them to operate at pre-defined time intervals.” AI will be the integral part of Smart Homes and will play a significant role in the evolution of these solutions. While the AI technology is at its nascent stage, significant use cases for AI have emerged in the Smart Home vertical. Smart homes of the future will have a life of their own enabled through AI that will overall enhance the quality of living of its occupants. Now that is a smart choice to make isn’t it?
This story appeared in December 2017 issue of Smartlife Magazine here: