“Hey Google, set an alarm for…”
There are chances that you might have heard these commands, even used them at least once over the past few years. They are two of the most commonly used commands for Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant, the most acclaimed artificially intelligent assistants available in the market, respectively. Though these services can be accessed on our smartphones, providing a multitude of functions, they remain heavily under utilised. This is where Smart Home Technology comes in.
Today, with the advancement in science and technology, many devices which can make your home ‘smarter’ and your life more efficient, are available in the market at reasonable prices. With an Amazon Echo Speaker, available at the same cost as any other Bluetooth speaker, all you need to do is name the song, no confusion or lengthy connection process, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
To get an accurate idea of the magnanimity of this technology, imagine living in a house where you can control every appliance with a simple touch on your smartphone. Right from lights and fans to air conditioners and refrigerators, you can control everything without moving even an inch from your couch.
It not only provides consumers with an opportunity to perform menial tasks more efficiently but also provides people with business opportunities. A lot of people have realized that they can make money out of this, a reason why tons of such devices are available right now. If one considers fully automating their home, it would cost them a lot of money, time, and effort in the procurement and installation of said devices. This problem gave rise to an opportunity – Smart Home Automation Services. Companies like hIOTron and Smartify have entered the market and started offering a variety of packages to consumers, mainly concerning the area they want to automate and the type of automation and security they require, among others. If you head over to the websites of these companies, you’ll find a wide range of options meant to suit the needs of different groups of customers. For example, at Smartify, packages start from Basic at ₹ 49,999 and range up to Advanced, Premium, and Enterprise, in ascending order.
Like everything that exists in this world, even humans, this technology is far from being perfect. It comes with its own set of flaws, the most prominent of which is security. Till the time you’re working with one or two devices, you might not face any security issues. But what happens when you continue connecting a bunch of other devices, until everything in your home, from fans to TV sets, is automated and connected to the internet? Every device inside your home will start acting as an entry point for malware. Imagine these as doors to your house. The odds of intrusion would be less if your house has only one door, rather than giving access to your home as if it is a public place.
Engineers are already aware of such issues and are coming up with ways to tackle them. The solutions already exist if you’re willing to spend a little money and improve your system’s security and integrity. But, at the end of the day, money is not something that grows on trees. Hopefully, more advancements in technology will result in a cost effective way for the functioning of these systems, and at some point in future, the majority of households would be ‘fully automated’.