It’s 6:00 am and the alarm clock is ringing earlier than usual. No, it’s not a mistake: the clock analysed your schedule and adjusted itself to get you ready for your important presentation at work. Your shower activates automatically to your preferred temperature, and the electric car is good to go, having been charged by your home’s solar panels and wind turbine. Later, when you get home, you find a surprise package has been delivered by drone – it turns out health sensors in your bathroom detected the onset of a cold and ordered medicine automatically thanks to AI and data analytics.

Sci-fi made real

This is a Utopian vision of the smart home a decade from now. We are already seeing homes becoming smart, with internet-connected light bulbs and Wi-Fi cameras on our doorbells. But experts predict that virtually everything will be voice-controlled 10 years from now, in total immersion in the Internet of Things (IoT). AI will enable our homes to learn about our individual habits and schedules to anticipate what we need, and robotics will deliver new assistants for household tasks like cooking and cleaning. Sensors will be able to monitor our wellbeing, and all of it will revolve around data that our smart devices collect and analyse.

Growing in popularity

The market for IoT gear is growing rapidly, and as more smart technology becomes available, people are becoming increasingly excited and willing to part with their hard-earned cash. Of course, as more data about our lives is collected by technology, security becomes ever-more important. Hackers are a significant risk for IoT devices, and work is being done to improve their security so that our personal data is better protected.

Technological marvels

Over the next 10 years, there will be a range of technological developments that make smart homes far superior to what can be achieved today. The primary technology that will enable this is AI, which could serve as the central brain for the entire home. It will track people’s habits, learn what they like and dislike, and act to deliver conveniences and pleasant experiences throughout the day. Robots, too, will be a significant presence, providing adaptable furniture, cleaning and cooking assistance and various other equipment that could revolutionise the way we live.

The smart home of the future is incredibly exciting, as the advances in a wide range of technologies will help reinvent virtually everything in the home to be more tailored to the way we like to live. Ten years is not a long time, and we are already seeing the early stages of the smart home. If you dream of this Utopian style of home, it really is just around the corner.

Photo: House by roarofthefour licensed under Creative Commons 4.0