2018 sees most of us living in a smart home of one description or another. Controlling our heating remotely and accessing on-demand content through our smart TV is pretty run-of-the-mill these days.
But lately there’s an increasing buzz around “intelligent” homes and the prospect of AI permeating our domestic lives. So, we’re getting behind the terminology to uncover the difference between the “smart” and the “intelligent” home, and how it could potentially impact on our daily lives.
A smart home uses internet connected devices to control and monitor appliances and systems like security, heating and lighting. Smart home technology, often referred to as home automation, can help to make our homes more secure, comfortable and energy efficient.
Typically, events in a smart home are either timed or triggered. Your heating, for example, can be timed to come on at exactly the right moment to get your home to the correct temperature for your return from work. Your lighting, on the other hand, may be triggered to switch on by your approach (and that of your smart phone), towards your home.
With the push of a button or a voice command, an increasing number of household gadgets can be controlled through the Internet of Things. From smart vacuum cleaners to lawn mowers and beyond. A smart door-bell gives you peace of mind via video and sound information even if your visitor doesn’t press the button. If you’ve got £1,000 to spend, there’s even a smart bed that allows you to review your “sleep metrics” with a view to helping you get a better night’s sleep.
There’s no doubt, then, that smart homes can help to make our lives both easier and safer. Intelligent homes, however, go further, by employing the computing power necessary to make incredibly complex decisions based on the data they gather.
Intelligent homes, powered by systems like Wondrwall, are so aware of their occupants’ daily routines and preferences that they can use machine learning and predictive technology to make intelligent decisions for them.
For example, the intelligent home observes which rooms you spend most time in and how you use the heating and lighting. It will only heat the rooms you use in order to maximise energy savings.
With smart homes, on the other hand, it’s the home-owner who is still making most of the decisions and they can’t possibly factor-in all the available information. The weather is a good example here; it’s just not feasible that we can make daily adjustments to our heating schedule based on constantly changing weather. The algorithms used in an intelligent home, however, take this in their stride, analysing all the available data in the blink of an eye.
Moreover, when algorithms learn about their homeowners’ lifestyle, they can even make suggestions to reduce their energy consumption; why leave the heating on until you go to bed when you could switch it off earlier and it still be at your ideal temperature?
In other words, intelligent homes imitate the human brain. Giving the home a brain means it has the power to make better informed decisions, leaving you with more time for the things in life that really matter to you.
If you would like to know more, read our article explaining how intelligent homes are the evolution of smart homes.