Smart homes are coming, and they're going to make your life waaaay easier.
The latest home devices can be managed by a system more intelligent than your own brain. They use artificial intelligence, so we don’t have to worry about programming or adjusting the systems in our homes. And the technology is surprisingly affordable: look at Amazon Echo.
These systems use sensors to understand their environment and respond intelligently. The sensors can monitor the temperature, humidity, level of natural light, and more. And if you add computer vision technology into the mix, you can do even more.
Below you’ll find some not-so-crazy ideas of how your smart home will benefit from technology like ours.
1. Get an alert when someone is on your propertyWith classification algorithms, you’d know if there’s a car or bike in your driveway or a person or animal in your yard. If we take this a step further, the tech could tell you whether a car is your wife’s or if the animal is your pet.
2. See who’s at the door
With facial recognition software, you’d be able to see whether the person ringing your doorbell is an adult or a child, whether there’s more than one person, and whether or not you know them. You could also know which company a delivery person is from, using the badge on their shirt or hat.
3. Keep an eye on the kids
Many of us are at work when our children get home from school. We could use computer vision to make sure they’re home on time, and keep track of which children are outside. You could also see if they're doing homework or watching TV.
4. Adjust the thermostat
Some of us run hot and some are always cold, but you could use computer vision to keep everyone comfortable. Say your husband likes the house at 70° but you like it at 75°. If you’re alone in a room the temperature would set itself to 75°, but if the two of you are there, it would automatically adjust to 72.5°.
5. Check on contractors
If you have people working at your house and you want to know what they’ve done, you’re not going to watch 8 hours of video. It’s time consuming and invasive. But what if you got an automated summary that shows you the work done by your gardener in the front yard versus the back yard? At just a glance at the end of the day you know what each worker did at your place.
6. Prevent accidents
A system that recognizes children and triggers specific actions depending on where they are could be very helpful. Picture this: you’re cooking, your phone is ringing, and your 2-year-old is in the living room. You step out of the kitchen for just a second, but that’s the moment your child chooses to see what’s on the stove. A CV-based system could turn off the heat and prevent any incident. Same goes for swimming pools and stairs!
7. Call for help
Sick, elderly, and differently-abled people could also benefit from this technology. Imagine if a home could alert the child of a grandmother who fell to the floor, or one that could alert a doctor when someone struggling from depression goes out less and less.
We’ll address this head on: computer vision in the home does bring up questions about privacy. But keep in mind, everything is customizable. A proper system could, for example, activate a facial recognition feature during specific hours and disable it for specific people.
Sight is one of the most powerful senses. Giving it to computers could help our homes save energy, help us spend more time on things that matter, and even help save lives.