What connected intelligence can do in your home

Beatriz Sanz Baños    7 March, 2018

Lightbulbs that turn on and off remotely; washing machines that begin program 4 at 11:30; microwave ovens that heat up the food in the container five minutes before you get home so that your dinner is nice and hot just as you cross the threshold: these are just some of the applications that connected intelligence can do in our homes today.

And all of this is thanks to the fact that IoT is connecting more and more devices in our houses. The development of IoT all over the world has been exponential; according to estimates by Gartner, in 2017 we will reach 8.38 billion connected IoT units all over the world, and this year the figure will reach 11.196 billion. Furthermore, according to Machina Research, by 2025, there will be 27 billion connected objects. Companies are vying to move forward and ensure that, thanks to all of these connected devices, our life at home will be simpler and more comfortable.

Plus, this figure comes from new Internet of Things applications which seek to help us in our day-to-day lives.

Voice assistants: the new kings of the living room

The IoT inside the home has witnessed the arrival of the greatest advance in the past few years: the development of voice assistants. The new smart homes now have a clear nerve centre: these new devices, which harness artificial intelligence to allow us to manage our smart homes more efficiently and simply.

According to a report by Edison Research, 39 million Americans now have a voice assistant at home. But that’s not all: the adoption of smart speakers is already surpassing that of smartphones in the United States. It is even estimated that four years from now, more than 55% of American homes will have one. And logically, this is spreading to the rest of the world as well.

Major companies have worked on the development of these devices and applications, such as Amazon and Google, which already have on the market products like Alexa and Google Assistant. These two assistants allow users to shop online and interact in a much simpler, quicker way with the different connected devices in their homes. Thanks to the use of artificial intelligence, these developments have become very popular among users, so much so that according to a Google survey, 41% of users of smart speakers claim that they feel like they are talking to another person.

In the same vein, another new launch is Aura by Telefónica. Thanks to cognitive intelligence, it understands users better and interacts with other connected elements at home in a more natural way through the Movistar Home device. In this way, Aura helps you, for example, answer questions on the products and services you are using; manage and block access to devices on the Wi-fi router; request information on the content of a specific video and program a device to record it; or receive alerts when your data consumption is higher than usual, among other features.

Chatbots, another great ally for a comfortable connected home

But in addition to voice assistants, the experience that connected intelligence at home and the devices that have arisen from it bring to our homes doesn’t stop there. Another point worth bearing in mind are smart Chatbots. As Richard Tolcher, CTO of Action AI, says, these chatbots and the IoT fit together in a completely natural way. Therefore, we can see that the interactions with voice assistants allow them to accept increasingly complex requests, and yet they do so through interactions that are increasingly simple for users.

For example, Richard Tolcher explains that you could tell your voice assistant, “I work from home on Monday, so leave the heating on,” without a second thought; or even, “Could you tell me whether the red trousers I tried on earlier were manufactured following ethical standards? If they are, could you have them shipped to me at home?” This kind of interaction will be increasingly common as smart chatbots will also become our allies and operate based on information provided by the IoT.

Therefore, it’s not only that connected intelligence in our house can do more and more things, but that it can also do tasks that are increasingly complex without the interaction with users being anything out of the ordinary, instead simply through the most everyday conversations.

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