Your Home is Watching You – 2023 Smart Homes and AI with Tony Pratte

Artificial intelligence has become the buzzword of the century, permeating news headlines, chat platforms, and even our everyday browsing experiences. Its presence in our lives is undeniable, revolutionizing the world of computing and enhancing human existence in ways we could have only dreamed of!

Amidst this AI revolution, another concept has been capturing our collective imagination for years- Smart Homes.

I’m Marla, the Green Home Coach! Today, I am excited to delve into the realm of smart and connected homes with a true expert in the field! I have Tony Pratt from the Sound Room joining me in the studio to explain how to tie smart home technology together with AI.

Tony’s insights will undoubtedly leave you captivated as we embark on an enlightening journey into the world of artificial intelligence and smart homes!

Artificial intelligence and connected homes

There are two parts to getting to grips with artificial intelligence and connected homes. The first is getting to understand all the different smart home devices. The second is learning how to tie them all together. (Companies like the Sound Room have the experience to know which features you can use to integrate and interact with your devices.)

Still a work in progress

Currently, the integration of artificial intelligence into smart home devices is still a work in progress. While AI has not fully permeated the realm of smart homes yet, it is undoubtedly the direction in which the technology is heading. Soon, AI algorithms will be capable of learning your preferences, such as the desired temperature for your thermostat, by analyzing data from various sources. This includes comparing it with external factors like outdoor temperature, humidity, and wind conditions. Through this correlation of information, AI will enable smart homes to provide a more personalized and optimized living experience.

Privacy and Data Collection

There are concerns surrounding data collection and privacy in smart home systems. Tony explains that while some systems collect data, it is kept within the house and not accessible externally. He points out the trade-off between inexpensive devices like Google and Alexa, which mine user data to offer cheaper products, versus systems that prioritize privacy and charge higher prices.

Artificial Intelligence and Home Automation

AI is transforming home automation by enabling more advanced data processing and analysis. AI allows systems to understand users’ habits and preferences, leading to more personalized and efficient control of devices. Tony highlights the importance of planning and having multiple trigger points in an AI-powered smart home.

Challenges in Implementing Smart Home Systems

There are several challenges in implementing smart home systems, particularly the shortage of computer chips and reduced quality control due to external factors like COVID-19. That has resulted in higher device failure rates, which can impact the user experience.

Home Automation Start Points and Wifi Networks

Tony suggests two starting points for home automation: environmental control (lights, locks, thermostats) and entertainment (audio-video systems). He explains that while entertainment systems are more appealing, environmental control is easier to implement initially. He stresses the significance of having a robust wifi network in smart homes, as that forms the backbone for connecting various devices and ensures smooth functioning, especially as AI becomes more integral to home automation.

Lock and Leave

By connecting additional devices to their smart home network, homeowners can ensure that all their devices interact seamlessly and respond to voice commands through platforms like Alexa or Google. That integration allows for convenient control over different aspects of the home, such as triggering routines like “good morning” or “good night,” as well as indicating when the homeowner is leaving or arriving.

Future Trends in Smart Home Technology

Future trends in smart home technology include low-voltage backlighting, integrated LED cans, and the need for compatibility between different smart devices.

The Internet of Things

With the Internet of Things (IoT) and the connected city, everything relies on sensors. However, there is a significant challenge in the form of a shortage of computer chips, which are essential for these interconnected systems. The supply of computer chips has become extremely limited, and even the available ones suffer from a lack of quality control, particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remote diagnostics

Remote diagnostics for HVAC systems will enable technicians to diagnose and even fix issues remotely. That will reduce the need for physical visits, speed up repairs, and enhance the overall user experience.

Exciting opportunities and challenges

The ongoing technological advancements bring exciting opportunities while also posing challenges that must be addressed for a seamless and secure smart home experience.

The Power of Monitoring Internet Performance

New systems allow users to log in and monitor their internet performance. That real-time insight into a service provider or equipment issues is a game-changer for both consumers and service providers. While cable companies have offered similar monitoring capabilities for some time, recent advancements offer greater convenience and efficiency.

Technology as a Solution to Labor Shortages

With the labor shortages in the trade industry, there is a need for both skilled workers and advanced technology to meet the growing demands of the modern world. Tony points out that technology can be a powerful tool to augment that workforce.

Remote Troubleshooting with AI and Smart Home Technology

Tony had an experience where he used remote access and AI to troubleshoot a client’s wifi system. He points out that technology can save us a lot of time and resources by diagnosing issues remotely and allowing technicians to be more efficient and effective.

AI and Smart Home Technology Optimization

Tony explains that to achieve true optimization, all devices must be interconnected and capable of learning from user habits. While that vision is still a work in progress, it promises greater automation and convenience in our daily lives.

Smart Appliances Require a Robust WiFi Network

A robust wifi network is crucial for the functionality of smart homes, especially as they advance to the AI level. In the future, smart homes will not only consist of individual devices like door locks, garage door openers, and light switches but will also include essential appliances like refrigerators and other power-dependent equipment. As the scope of smart home technology expands, the reliance on a strong and stable wifi network becomes even more critical to ensure seamless connectivity and communication between various smart devices and appliances.

The Role of AI in Automation and Beyond

The role of AI is increasing in various fields, such as writing emails and creating content. We can anticipate continued growth and the integration of AI into our daily lives.

The Future of AI and Smart Home Integration

When considering the future of AI and smart home integration, Tony suggests seeking advice from system integrators or automation specialists to navigate this evolving landscape.

The Exciting Potential of AI and Smart Home Technology

Tony and I are excited about the potential of AI and smart home technology to improve our lives. We plan to explore this topic further in upcoming episodes and encourage listeners to stay updated on the latest developments in this exciting field!

Have a great green day!

Links and resources:

Green Home Coach Workshop – How to Sell the Value of Green Homes and Features

What AI And IoT Can Do For Smart Homes

Why Are AI-Enabled Smart Home Products the Next Big Thing?

The Sound Room – where Tony works

Smart Home, Connected Home with Tony Pratte 

Gift of a No-Touch Home with Tony Pratte

No Touch Home Control with Tony Pratte

The Future of Green Design and Home Technology