If it was not for electricity, I would be much calmer – says preoccupied Leokadia Pawlak in a famous post-war movie ‘Sami Swoi’. The technological development has always been affecting our houses and apartments, but nowadays the dynamics of those changes seem to be particularly strong. Even stronger than when the ‘electricity’ was the revolutionary thing.
Automation allowing effective management of the property appliances is becoming more and more popular. What does it actually mean? The systems, that very often are implemented already during the phase of building a property, have three main tasks: they make our lives easier and more pleasant and they help us save money.
In practice, very soon you can expect your coffee maker to make your cappuccino on its own – and serve it to you whenever you programmed it for. The light in your bathroom will be turned on as soon as you enter it. The music from your speakers will suit the room you are in and the time of the day (think smooth jazz in your bedroom and something energetic in the kitchen, while you are making your breakfast). Once you leave the house, all the equipment will turn itself off and the window shutters will automatically go down. Obviously, this can all be managed with an app on your phone.
Automation might seem pricey, but in fact it is our chance for more money-wise and eco-friendly life. A well-designed system will adjust the light to the user’s activities, will lower the temperature down for when there is nobody in the house and will never forget to switch the TV off when you go to sleep. Therefore I believe that automation of our flats can only develop further, as everyone can benefit from it – starting from those who have already retired and are looking to save some money on their bills, to trendy townsmen appreciating the impact of lower energy use on the environment.
What’s interesting is the marriage between automation and AI – the streaming platforms already use machine learning to get to know our musical or movie preferences to prepare their recommendations. Why would not our houses meet our needs and expectations according to the time of day, the day of the week or the season?
The true revolution, already ongoing in the Western countries and now arriving to Poland, is the introduction of voice assistants in the apartments. The only reason there are less popular here than in the US are due to the fact that most of them have not been translated to Polish yet (at least the ones offered by Apple and Google). When it comes to the giant from Mountain View, this situation should be rectified shortly.
Do you remember Star Trek? Soon we will welcome it in our houses…in the Polish language version! Thanks to the automated voice assistants our flats will be able to communicate with us, as all of the above mentioned functions will be easily accessed once you start speaking. Your assistant will tell you your electricity readings, what’s on TV and whether it will be raining this afternoon. The assistant with voice recognition will also adjust the settings and options to a particular individual, meaning that a stranger in the house will not be able to turn the lights on and it will become so much easier to ban your kids from watching TV. Mind the fact that voice assistance can be upgraded by adding a camera.
Thanks to the recording function the system provides extra safety. Soon, by analysing what is ‘typical’ and what is not, the AI will learn to distinguish you guests and family members from the strangers – which in turn will allow for automatic reactions, being it activating the alarm or calling security.
Was the reaction of Ms Pawlak from the beginning of this text non-standard? I don’t think so, as a lot of people – especially the elders – fear of change. Therefore also nowadays there are individuals skeptical about the technological development – however I’d rather focus on celebrating and appreciating the incredible times we live in – and that also means enjoying the biggest revolution in the households since the electricity. Automation and AI development will change our lives forever.