Utilizing artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things in your smart home
No doubt, you’ve heard the term “smart” used in connection with different devices, including smartphones, smart watches — and now, smart homes. A smart home is a home integrated with several different features that create a web of connections to make living easier, and safer for the inhabitants. Just as a smart watch would tell you the time, monitor your heart rate and connect to your phone to give you messages, a smart home uses devices to provide you with voice-activated home assistants, remote security control and other features.
According to Oberlo, the number of people using smart home devices in 2022 was around 57.4 million. With millions of people interacting with artificial intelligence, as well as the Internet of Things, almost every day, it’s important to understand what they do. While AI and the IoT may still seem like incredibly advanced tech, they are closer to home (literally) than you may think.
What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
According to Amazon, the Internet of Things refers to “the collective network of connected devices and the technology that facilitates communication between devices and the cloud, as well as between the devices themselves.” This means there are two parts to the Internet of Things — the intangible, and the tangible.
For example, devices like smart outlets can track electricity usage, and allow you to cut power to specific outlets remotely, or even allow you to automate this function. This can help you reduce your energy use in your home.
IoT devices will often have other features to create the desired connectivity and outcomes for devices. These other features could include telematics, which is used in the industrial and commercial industry to improve efficiency for route planning and fleet management. IoT applications could also have integrations with VR. By cross-applying these features to a home network, smart device companies can hope to increase device connectivity and communication across long distances.
How can AI interact with the IoT?
Artificial intelligence, or AI, is another feature that may be integrated into IoT devices, in order to improve the connectivity and efficiency of your smart home. There are many ways AI can be integrated into a variety of IoT-connected smart home devices.
AI can be built into home security systems to manage safety. For example, an AI-enabled smart camera may be able to track movement, and identify the type of movement occurring in front of it. This can give you more information about your property, without having to manually review every second of capture footage.
AI can help to identify and respond to security threats, such as the theft of private data. AI-enabled programs, like virtual private networks (VPNs), allow for stronger network security, even outside of the device owner’s network. Connecting to public, unsecured Wi-Fi without a VPN may put your personal data at risk of being intercepted by hackers.
As mentioned, the IoT can work with AI technology to reduce energy use. Smart appliances, smart outlets, and other IoT devices with sensors that receive usage data can all independently sense and either lower or increase energy usage based on your daily patterns. Furthermore, IoT devices allow you to remotely control things like your thermostat, security systems, and even lights, all from your phone. This can ensure that you never forget to turn a light off, or leave the thermostat on high while out of the house.
Better inter-device functionality
AI and IoT devices can help to improve integrations and interactions between smart devices and mobile devices. Because most AI and IoT operate via the internet, they can communicate with other internet-enabled devices, like phones or watches that are a part of your smart home system. This means you can conveniently access all of your smart home devices right in your hand, without having to manually go to each device in order to receive data or administer commands.
Additionally, devices like smart routers can even use AI to determine how best to prioritize devices on a Wi-Fi connection for faster internet speeds, in order to optimize your home internet. This can help improve the internet coverage for your home devices overall.
Things to keep in mind when integrating AI and IoT devices in a smart home
If you’re thinking about integrating AI and IoT devices into your home, there are several factors that you should consider. The devices alone don’t constitute a “smart home.” These factors include:
Making sure devices are compatible: Not all devices will be universally compatible. It’s important to look at compatibility, particularly with IoT devices that rely on compatibility to remain functioning at their highest point. You can find out more about device compatibility online, or from device retailers.
Choosing items practically: The goal of smart homes, and AI and IoT devices within your smart home is to improve efficiency, not complicate it. Think critically about things you use every day, and how these devices can make this easier. For example, if you are not a gardener, then a smart hydroponic system may not be worth the setup, even if your home and devices are capable of supporting such a system.
Maintenance and maintenance frequencies: As mentioned above, it’s important to think critically about the devices you choose. All devices require maintenance, software upgrades, and in some instances perhaps even hardware updates. When thinking about what you want for your smart home, take a look at what the maintenance schedule may look like, both short and long term, and ensure that this is something you’re willing to commit to.
Overall cost: Finally, think about the overall cost of these integrations. Not just the device cost, but associated costs. This could include one-time costs, such as upgrading your home Wi-Fi, as well as monthly costs for subscriptions, such as a VPN in order to keep the device secure. Some insurance companies may offer incentives for installing smart security devices, which spell savings for the overall cost. Make a list of all the costs, and savings, that you might be eligible for in order to receive a final budget for your smart home devices.
While setup may seem initially complex, setting up AI and IoT devices in your smart home can vastly improve your quality of life. As technology continues to advance, people who have compatible smart homes will get to reap all the rewards of this cutting-edge technology.
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