Riding the next wave of responsive homes

Mondays serve as the perfect illustration of how much we want to stay at our homes. This desire is also a result of our natural fondness for our abodes. The coziness of our blankets and mattresses, the comfort of the couch, the feeling of wandering freely in our boxers and pajamas, the peaceful atmosphere, and ease to do whatever we want to — everything makes us realise how amazing the weekend has been, and in the due process, make us hate Mondays more than ever.

But what if this comfort can further be improved and made even grander, so that we can unwind more effortlessly from the hassles of office during weekdays? Well, it is already a work in progress. Connected devices: so that you don’t do the work you don’t have to!

To begin with, when we return after a long day at office, the sheer exertion of the day simply makes us throw our bags the moment we enter our homes and lie flat wherever we feel free.

This is precisely the moment when we do not want to do anything, even if it means switching the AC, fan, or TV on if we somehow missed doing so earlier. We, more often than not, simply stare at the switch, make unsuccessful attempts to discover the remote nearby, and roll back once again. But, much to our delight, times they are a-changing.

Today, technology has well and truly transformed everything that we do at the most fundamental level. We shop digitally using our smartphones, have replaced sticky notes with the digital version of them, buy stocks at the share market without involving an insisting broker, watch movies over the Internet while we are on the go, and even set up our calendars online so that we can access them anytime, anywhere.

These flexibilities have largely been transferred to us because of the ever-increasing digitisation and the penetration of the Internet. However, such flexibilities are being taken to another level with the advent of connected devices. But before we delve deeper, let us find out what these connected devices are.

Connected devices, or IoT (Internet of Things) devices, are the next generation of electrical appliances, electronic equipment, and gadgets that also have network connectivity apart from their day-to-day function.

This network connectivity enables them to become accessible remotely and eliminates the need for physical presence of the user to operate them. For instance, a connected AC can be turned on when you’re just about to arrive at home, so that when you do, you can enjoy an ambient room temperature. But if you perceive this as convenient, this is still just the tip of the iceberg.

With the advent of connected home appliances, multiple tech giants, including Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have developed their own IoT-based virtual home assistants. The ability of these virtual home assistants to integrate with other IoT appliances has enabled users to voice control their IoT-based devices.

So, when you’re lying flat after your long day at office, so tired that you do not even wish to take your phone out of your pocket to switch on the AC via its smartphone-based application, all you have to do is say it out loud. The AC, if integrated with the virtual home assistant, will switch itself on without you even moving.

The connected home devices have permeated and enhanced every level of convenience for present-day, ultramodern users. Whether you have to check your refrigerator content when you’re at the grocery shop, know the lineup of an upcoming match via a virtual home assistant as you prepare snacks, have to clean up a house using a robo-vacuum cleaner and robotic mops before guests arrive, or change the room lighting, there’s a connected device and a smartphone application for everything.

A connected future

Evidently, transitioning lifestyles and family setups are increasing the need for artificial intelligence (AI)-powered, connected devices. The only barriers to connected device uptake are lack of awareness and high costs. However, technologies are becoming increasingly affordable and easily available, and a much higher uptake can be predicted in the years to come.

Connected devices are no more the future of India, they are present here and now, offering a better quality of life to its users.

(The writer is COO, Puresight Systems)

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Riding the next wave of responsive homes

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