Smart Homes.. Homes of the future?

smart-homes

Image Source: xposingfalsehoods

When I imagine where technology is taking us in the future, I envision the Terminator movies remixed with Futurama and perhaps even a little bit of Back to the Future II.  I personally would not mind some of the technologies used in these films, minus the homicidal computer robots in The Terminator. Though I do wonder what will the future hold regarding technological advancements?

The term “internet of things” was created in 1999, it is in regards to objects which are now having network connections integrated.  Objects are gaining a network address, sensory capacity, independently initiate action and computation, they immediately transgress the borders assigned to them (Mitew 2013). We are now seeing our everyday analogue objects, becoming digital. Currently the new addition to the home is smart televisions and fridges containing a limited computer technology. Though this is set to advance under the Internet of things and this concept notes that eventually most household objects will have their own network connections and be networked together. This means that your entire household system can run as a whole.

However, this is not a new concept and we are already starting to see such developments as Smart homes. I was previously unaware of how common Smart Homes were, but even Australia has a development company which specialists in building and implementing Smart Home infrastructure. Firstly what is a Smart Home? Smart Home Solutions Australia notes;

“ might think of the Jetsons, but in reality it’s about using technology in ways that fits with and enhances your lifestyle through added comfort, convenience and security.” (Smart Home Solutions 2013)

Their Homes automation systems integrate multiple systems :                                                              smart-house_2-4f8c476-intro

Image Source: arstechnica

  • Audio/Video
  • Energy and Water Management
  • Home Security and Access Control
  • Home Lighting Control
  • Home Networking and
  • Home Communications (Smart Home Solutions, 2013)

 

Diane Cook of Washington State University is researching Smart Home technology that will observe the occupant’s and make decisions on the behalf of the occupant’s wellbeing. This will make it more convenient for those in the household and also has the potential to significantly help those that are disabled or the elderly that are incapable of undertaking certain tasks or decisions, possibly in regards to heating (Holloway 2012). Cook’s ideal is that computer software will “act as an intelligent agent and perceive the state of the physical environment and residents using sensors that then take actions to achieve specified goals.” (Holloway 2012).  These goals are simply to maximize comfort, minimize consumption of resources and maintain health and safety (Holloway 2012).

I find smart homes interesting and can envision this will be the new home of the future that our children are likely to grow up in. Would you like to live in one of these homes?

Also this is sadly my last blog for my Global Network subject at University, thank you for following my post’s throughout these last few months. I hope to connect with you all again in the near future.

 

-Amy

Reference:

Mitew, T 2013, ‘The internet of things: from networked objects to ubiquitous computing’, Prezi, DIGC202, University of Wollongong, 22nd October 2013, <http://prezi.com/1lgxfron1kj0/digc202-the-internet-of-things/>

Holloway, J 2012, ‘Watchers, carers, and administrators: the smart homes of tomorrow’, arstechnica, 17th April, viewed 23rd October 2013, <http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/04/smart-homes-ambient-intelligence-and-the-watcher-in-your-pocket/>

Smart Home Solutions, 2013, Home Automation and Home Control, Smart Homes, viewed 23rd October, <http://www.smarthomes.com.au/whatwedo_systems_accesscontrol.php>

 

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9 thoughts on “Smart Homes.. Homes of the future?

  1. Really interesting post! While I think these technological advancements are exciting, I am also a little scared of them at the same time. In your post you talk about how homes in the future may be able to “observe the occupants and make decisions on their behalf for the occupants well being”, this sounds pretty crazy to me. I don’t know how comfortable I would feel about my house watching me all the time haha, although it would be kind of helpful when trying to find your keys or lost socks haha. I guess like with the introduction of most new technologies there is always going to be some apprehension and fear but in time we learn to adapt and they just become the norm.

  2. Until this post, i was unware of the smart houses. i didnt realised they were that advanced. Although it enhanced our comfort and it is convenience, i feel that some of it can be a bit excessive. But this is my personal opinion. I love the internet and probably use it way too much but i also like the ability that i can just turn off my laptop or put my phone down. i think it key to have a break from the internet every now and again. Do we really need our appliances thinking for them self? Is it really that hard for us to do it ourself?

  3. Yes, futuristic life without homicidal robots is always preferential I feel! Diane Cook’s research looks very interesting and looks as though it will make our lives a great deal more convenient, although whilst reading your blog, the word surveillance kept popping into my mind. If we have this technology sensing our movements to help us out around the house, what is to stop someone hacking into this technology to say, know when to break a window at the other end of the house so that you won’t hear? There is great potential here, I personally would love nothing more than to live in one of these homes. But I still get the ‘Big Brother’ vibe at this stage. Even if we begin preliminary upgrades to our homes (especially in Australia) in terms of the energy/water management, we can still make an active difference using this ‘blogject’ technology, without delving into the grey area of in-home surveillance.

  4. I don’t think its anything we should worry about. As you put it, it will enhance our lifestyle and that if your house were to be watching you all the time at least it’s technology and not a person. Though if it were able to share the information it could gather then that’s where I’d have to put my foot down and say nope.

  5. I think being a cyber-realist when thinking about these innovations into our lives is a good way to be. I think there are many aspects of a “smart home” that will make our lives easier and give us more hours in a seemingly already over loaded day. What I have learnt recently, is that there are many people out there that are happy to attribute all the success in our lives to technology like this. Yes, there are things that couldn’t be achieved without it, but it is arguably ignorant to disregard the human element to these situations. Without these technologies, humans would still function and get things done. We should look to new ways to make our lives easier, but never forget for a second what humans are capable of when they simply have the motivation to get something done.

  6. I find the idea of a smart home terrifying. But what’s more terrifying is that our children won’t find it terrifying. I’m a fan of apocalypse theories. Whether it be a zombie attack, piranhas in the taps, asteroids or aliens, I’m not really picky. In movies, humans always manage to fight our way back out of whatever predicament we’ve landed ourselves in. However, I’m steadily losing faith that we will be able to do the same if an event ever were to occur on earth.
    If that argument seems a little too far-fetched for you, being lost in the wilderness is slightly more plausible. How many of us, really, would be able to start a fire without a match? Would we know what was safe to eat? How to purify drinking water? Even how to treat minor illnesses or injuries? The vast majority would not, and that number is steadily growing as the grip of technology on our lives is steadily tightening. Consider the items available online which can be installed in your home: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robin-raskin/the-emotionally-intellige_1_b_4080796.html
    Technology is de-humanising us. We are forgetting how to make decisions and judgements for ourselves. How soon will it be that technology decides that our grandfathers or mothers are no longer functioning adequately, are a burden, and decide to euthanase them? An extreme example perhaps, but given our ‘developments’ to date, entirely possible.

  7. I agree completely that a world without homicidal robots would always be a benefit for the human race. I was however unaware about the concept of the smart house until I read your post, very interesting. I do believe that whilst some technologies do benefit and enrich our human lives greatly, there are still some pieces of technology that I can see as being unwarranted within our world. I worry that future generations wont know what it was like not to have an activity that constantly links back to online use or not know a world that doesn’t have every teenager on the planet attached to smart devise that acts as a 5th limb.
    http://www.brobible.com/life/article/4-ways-technology-ruining-our-future

  8. The argument that objects ‘immediately transgress that boards assigned to them’ when they connect online or to your phone application is interesting. I would argue that, by enabled the technology allowing a fridge to write a shopping list and send it to us by an application on our smartphone, this technology we created in an effort for convenience and therefore surely in doing so we are assigning the object new boarders. We create the technology, use the technology and then turn on the technology when it stores information or proves a personal security risk. I am wary of the implications of the internet of things however I am a realist in that the boarders a fridge or any other object once had were void as soon as we started to implement technology that transgressed the duty of simply keeping our veges crisp.

  9. This post has opened my eyes in terms of the idea of ‘smart houses’. I hadn’t really just how advanced they were up until this point. It’s really interesting to think about how we don’t fully and wholly acknowledge some of these changes, rather just accepting them as they happen and not really given too in depth of a thought about how quickly they are changing.

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