Do your smart home devices really have AI? Think again.

Sure, your Amazon Alexa plays music, orders books, and calls your hair salon on command, but is she—and your other smart home devices for that matter—really smart? According to The Next Web, the more appropriate question might be, do your smart home devices really have AI?

Do your smart home devices really have AI? Think again.
Artificial Intelligence in Smart Homes / Hitesh Choudhary via Unsplash

So you’ve got a few Amazon Alexas, a smart TV, and smart home surveillance cameras. Devices like these allow our devices to connect and let us control our homes even when we aren’t physically in them. Twenty years ago, we wouldn’t have been able to keep an eye on the cat—or grandma—through cameras while we were away on vacation. And here we are. But do these devices really make your home smart? According to The Next Web, a more relevant question might be, do your smart home devices really have AI?

What the term “smart home” really means

According to this blog post, we call Alexa, smart TVs, and our security cameras “smart” devices because they communicate with each other, and we can control them remotely. For appliances in the IoT (internet of things) sector, the concept of connectivity has equaled progress in the last decades. This became more widespread with the invention of wireless systems like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Now, most people live in homes that are incredibly different and more advanced than they were just a few decades ago. Our phones connect to our speakers, TVs, laptops, security cameras, and more. And all of these devices share information.

Artificial Intelligence in Smart Homes / Franki Chamaki via Unsplash

A home that anticipates your needs

However, even with these “smart” appliances and devices, our homes are still managed and controlled by us. We still tell our washing machine what to wash, when to wash it, and what program to use. So, in essence, they are not really “smart.” They do not learn from our behaviors and change their operation based on what they see. A truly smart home, according to The Next Web, will be one that notes your daily habits and completes actions that anticipate those habits. It sounds like something from science fiction, but it’s the future of the modern home.

What could a truly smart home look like?

In a truly smart home, the devices will learn from the habits of the inhabitants. So when you are getting closer to home, your house could track that prepare for your arrival. What could it do? Unlock doors, turn on the thermostat, and switch on the lights. Depending on who you are, your home will learn which part of the house you frequent most often once you arrive and can adjust the lighting in that area before you set foot in the door. In the morning, your house can note what time you wake up and retract the shades in the kitchen window so that you can drink your morning coffee as the sun rises. It sounds futuristic. But perhaps it’s a future that is not that far away.

Alfred AI Robot - Artificial Intelligence in Smart Home

Alfred AI Robot in the Kitchen

How would it work?

The Next Web notes that, for a future like the one above, technology enablers like geo-location, video analytics, and voice assistants would have to be used in combination with AI machine learning technology. For instance, geo-location would have to be enabled for your home to track your location. And biometric sensors would have to be able to track who you are so that your home could set the temperature and lighting just for you.

The benefits of an AI-powered home

While household appliances with AI will definitely make your home more comfortable, it will also greatly increase security. Because cameras with facial recognition will be able to identify suspicious activity and unknown visitors, the house will be able to keep itself locked to an intruder. For elderly residents, a smart home could notify relatives or health care professionals if it detects a fall. It’s these capabilities, and more, that a true smart home should be.

Netgear Meural - Artificial Intelligence in Smart Homes

Netgear Meural in a Smart Home Setup

Which AI home appliances are on the horizon?

So, what sort of AI home appliances will we see in the coming years? According to eInfochips, we could see AI smart washing machines that help regulate detergent depending on the load. These machines could also learn that you go to the gym every Wednesday and select the appropriate setting for you. A smart fridge could make shopping lists, select recipes, and preheat your oven depending on what recipe you’ve selected.

Which home appliances already have AI?

So, do your smart home devices really have AI? Probably not. But let’s say you’re all in on making your home smarter with AI technology. Are there any modern household appliances that already have some AI capabilities? Yes, there are. We’ve written a blog post on AI home gadgets that will make your life easier and the best kitchen gadgets with AI technology you can buy today. So you’ll be ready for the AI smart home when it arrives.

Meet Lauren Wadowsky

Lauren has been writing and editing since 2008. She loves working with text and helping writers find their voice. When she's not typing away at her computer, she cooks and travels with her husband and two daughters.
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