Gianluca's house, six and forty: the alarm is ringing earlier than usual. It is not broken: he read my agenda in the cloud and saw that I have an appointment that I hold dear.
By monitoring sleep activity he saw that I was ready to wake up and gave me a few more minutes. The shower in the smart home turns on by itself and goes to 38 °, my favorite temperature. The electric car is ready and charged thanks to solar panels and mini wind turbines on the roof.
I will spare you my working day: I just say that on returning I find a package that I did not expect, delivered by a drone. I open it and find a cough syrup. The sensors in the bathroom are seen to have encountered a problem on the way and have ordered medicine for me.
Here is my perhaps slightly optimistic version of what a smart home will look like in 10 years. Swedish research firm Berg Insight says 63 million US homes will be "smart" by 2022, including web-connected light bulbs and video cameras aimed at our pets. There are many, if you consider that in the USA in 2018 there were 130 million houses.
In 10 years, experts say, turning on the lights with voice commands and immersing yourself in the Internet of Things will be part of everyday life. Thanks to the progress ofAI, a smart home will learn our habits and sometimes anticipate our needs.
Developments in robotics will give us machines that can give us a big hand in cleaning, cooking and doing other things. New sensors they will keep track of our health. The data, especially the data we will produce, will be crucial to transform homes from simple gadget containers to truly intelligent places.
It will not cost very little
The process will obviously have a price: according to ABI Research estimates, spending on the internet of things will rise to 120 billion euros worldwide by 2021, growing again in the following years.
Alongside smart TVs, manufacturers are investing in research and development of new home security and monitoring systems.
By 2023, the security component will account for 22.6% of the smart home market. Slightly disconnected, audio and lighting systems respectively at 15.4% and 11.8%.
Why will security be paramount?
Let's pretend the reason isn't obvious and let's face it: any device in our home connected to the network can become an open door for hackers. When it comes to devices that REALLY have the power to open our front door, the speech becomes quite literal, but they can also spy on us through our cameras, or know our sensitive data.
About this: it is clear that the major marketing consultants for the manufacturers of these devices will be us. Our usage habits will have no secrets for them, and the offer home automation will be increasingly adapted to our experiences.
In short, an army of new technologies will take us far beyond the current interaction we have with our homes. Today we make use of AI by asking our voice assistants what the weather is like, or what people are saying. Within 10 years, these devices will become the real brain of the house. They will be able, if we wish, to act as butlers by adjusting lights, appliances, audio in a predictive way, anticipating our choices.
Robots will also play a key role: I already talked about Ori who developed IKEA with furnishings that can transform environments. Within 10 years there will be robots like CARL, a Design3 concept, who will go around the house looking for intruders or to check if the dog is messing around.
The concept of food processor will also change drastically: robotic arms will help us by controlling cooking, slicing vegetables or helping to keep the work bench clean.
What about health?
Diagnostic devices can make us more aware and attentive to our well-being in the smart homes of the future. Cameras and sensors in refrigerators will suggest healthier alternatives to chocolate if we come and eat it all the time. A series of sensors in the toilet will analyze our manure for potential threats: Toto is testing toilets that proceed to analyze urine samples. The homes themselves will improve their diagnostics by identifying any water leaks or pollution of the indoor environment.