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  • Thierry Spanjaard

Home, smart home!

The CES that happened last week in Las Vegas was more than ever the empire of the Internet of Things. After years having been the dream of industry technologists, the IoT concept starts to reach consumer markets, thanks to a combination of well-known names such as Samsung, Google, LG, Apple, Panasonic, Microsoft, Huawei, Amazon, Philips and Haier, and many creative startups.

At the crossroads of connected health and smart home market segments, the senior economy market is of interest thanks to our human values and an anticipation of a huge development. For instance, Domalys specializes in a smart lamp that is designed to help the elderly, by detecting the user’s movements and acting as an emergency alarm whenever necessary.

Smart sleep is also of interest to many; for instance, Terraillon proposes a lamp that changes colors and play music depending on the sleep phase of the user. Getting even closer to our bodies, Dreamlight proposes a sleeping mask that generates sleep-inducing and wake-inducing lights and sounds said to provide us with comfort and sleep quality. Even better, the Nightingale, by Cambridge Sound Management, emits a white noise able to counteract snores!

Home alarms are becoming always more intelligent and sophisticated, with devices that will act as alarms when an intrusion is detected while turning away when privacy is needed by the homeowner. Angee, for instance, introduces a camera system that’s always learning about our security needs and adapting as time goes.

At the same time, smart locks, which were on of the first applications considered for smart homes, are getting always more elaborate with companies like Schlage proposing connected locks that totally adapt to users’ habits. Thermostats, which are also a historical smart home application with as Nest was founded in 2010, are getting always more adaptive to user needs.

IoT will only develop with its relationship with artificial intelligence. In the smart home environment, the virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana are bound to be the most convenient interface for a user to interact with smart home related devices. Samsung already announced its Bixby, its virtual assistant, will be specially dedicated to interacting with objects. Apple HomePod will come later, probably reaping benefits from the accumulated experience. All of these devices are open to third parties to develop more interaction with a wide diversity of objects including cars, refrigerators, robots and smartwatches.

According to all IoT industry analysts, a bright future is ahead of us. Shall we be able to make it a secure future as well?

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