You’ve heard of smart TVs, smartphones and smart cars, but what’s next? How about a smart home?We’re closer than you think.
The dialogue between humans and machines is becoming sophisticated indeed. They call it the “Internet of Things,” but you might simply call it evolution.
It may not be by means of natural selection, but from a technological perspective, machines are being adapted to the modern environment at an astonishing rate.
Where, not too long ago, rudimentary AI was barely capable of playing Pong, now an AI can compete against the world’s best in chess and even Go.
And as the cloud and faster broadband speeds conspire to provide AI with the power to adapt via machine learning, anything is possible.
The number of connected devices in the home is set to almost triple to 29 in just three years and already many of us already wake in the morning and ask a Siri or a Cortana what the weather is like.
But what happens next, when we get out of bed and begin moving through the home of tomorrow?
Effortless entertainment won’t even be a button click away in the future. For many homes it will be a simple command.
Voice control and face recognition will allow your lounge room to not only behave on request, but pre-empt it based on your habits and history.
More powerful wireless routers have the potential to seriously limit the number of wires in your house, as everything from speakers and projectors, to TVs and virtual reality headsets connect over the network.
Music, movies and even games could all stream to your devices, and we’ll use apps to control things like smart lightbulbs to get the lighting just right.
Connectivity and robotics lead the way in the kitchen of the future. Eventually, it will be commonplace for fridges to feature an LCD screen, reporting back on information and contents, and even allowing you to add items to the shopping list on via your phone.
If current products in development are anything to go by, many ovens, coffee machines and thermal cookers will clean themselves, while other devices like juicers will be able to create meals and drinks from packaged ingredients on demand.
Your stove top will weigh goods and manage the heat to cook them perfectly.
While plates and even cutlery will be able to count your intake and calories to ensure your portion sizes are spot on.
Just about everything will, of course, be voice operable, and connect to apps on your smartphone so you can turn things on and off, set them to clean, or change the temperature from wherever you are in the world, so long as you’re connected.
Imagine a washing machine that knows when you have left a wet load unattended for too long.
One that knows to ping you on your smartphone and remind you to hang them up, or allow you to remotely set them on a new cycle.
A washing machine that can rebalance itself, and intelligently adjust the water level, temperature and detergent based on the load.
What if you could turn your iron on before you even got home, to save vital minutes when you’re late for a big event? What if that iron could even tell you that it was upright and in a safe position?
Omo is even working on a smart peg, which can tell the temperature, light and humidity of your backyard to not only notify you during optimal drying conditions, but also if it’s about to rain. How handy!
Outside on the lawn, robotic lawn mowers will have mapped out your yard and be ready to get to work either at set times, or because you’ve accessed it via a connected app and turned it on.
Sensors in your garden beds and pot plants will provide information about moisture, fertilizer levels and temperature.
You can then log in to your sprinkler system and turn it on (if it hasn’t already worked out it needs to do that for itself).
Wireless security cameras will allow you to keep an eye on everything no matter where you are, and smart garden lights can not only be operated remotely, but you’ll be able to define each bulb’s colour and brightness.
Fiddling around in a back room trying to get the music and lighting just right will be a thing of the past, as your smart lighting and connected sound system can be controlled from your phone.
Your streaming service will allow you to change tunes on demand and as the mood takes you to anything your guests can think of.
Smart bowls and pots are able to tell when entrees are starting to turn, or meat is getting cold.
A smart wine decanter will ensure no flavour is lost from your guest’s drinks.
You might even treat yourself to a robotic cocktail mixer, which can hit you up with a range of pre-programmed drinks.
Meanwhile an endless catalogue of board and card games will be available via the connected, embedded OLED screen in your smart table’s glass top.
There are tens of thousands of engineers, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts busy working on new and exciting smart technology for our future homes.
Front doors you can open from anywhere, smart glass that can change their tint based on direct sunlight, and toys that can learn your child’s name, likes and dislikes, for example.
Thanks to fast broadband and connectivity, it’s not all a case of if, but when.
Check out how the internet of things is set to explode, almost tripling the number of devices in the average Aussie household by 2020.