The two key technologies driving smart home innovation06 November 2018
By now, you think you’ve seen everything: smart speakers, smart refrigerators, biometric door locks, even smart beds. But in reality, another wave of smart home innovation is coming. If the previous one was driven by AI and broadband, what are going to be the drivers of the next wave of innovation?
AI. Exemplified by intelligent assistants like Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri, it’s easy to expect that additional devices would embed intelligence and that intelligent devices would become even smarter. Devices that anticipate your needs. The device that smartly analyzes the environment. Devices that optimize energy consumption. Ordinary devices (wall clocks? bathroom mirrors?) that add useful information. Interconnected devices that learn and adapt to your preferences.
Wireless power. For years, product designers had to choose between battery operation and power cords. Batteries offered freedom of placement but placed severe restrictions on available power. Power cords delivered all the power you want but forced devices to be close to power outlets. But what if technology allowed you to be wire-free, yet offered 100x even 1000x the power budget of batteries? That technology is long-range wireless power.
All of a sudden, the choice between power and freedom because a false choice: you can have both. Devices that were previously battery operated can have much more functionality – such as AI capabilities – without requiring frequent battery replacements. Wired devices are suddenly afforded the freedom of installation and placement. Imagine smart speakers that you could mount or place anywhere. The sky is the limit when power cords are not tethering you to earth.
This new wave of smart home devices will be exciting. AI and wireless power are the key enablers of this new wave.