Why Home Assistants are the future of smart homes

In the latest ARTIK Cloud webinar, we welcome Mesut Eraslan, Senior Director of Design and Engineering at Flex Innovation Labs. Mesut’s topic is Smart Home 2.0, and specifically the potentials of Home Assistants on the connected smart home. Watch the video below and check out the slides here.

As Mesut mentions, many reports predict strong growth in the smart home market in the next 5–10 years. One report puts home automation household penetration at nearly 30% by 2021.

In reality, there are hurdles to achieving this growth. The largest barrier to smart home adoption, according to Mesut, is technology fragmentation in the ecosystem. Customers must be able to easily install, connect, and make their devices work together.

A Home Assistant, in the form of a mobile tabletop device, can address this problem by acting as the brain of the smart home. Thanks to advances in machine vision, speech, cloud computing and AI, connectivity, and affordable sensors and smaller processors, the Home Assistant in Smart Home 2.0 will be able to see, hear, communicate, and navigate the home.

Whereas voice control via smart speaker is largely focused on information retrieval and audio playback, Home Assistants will directly address consumer needs, overseeing home security and patient monitoring, utilties management, and shopping and entertainment. In the American market, an interest in security accounts for 41% of smart home purchases, followed by energy management and indoor convenience.

Use cases of Home Assistants

A Home Assistant serves as a smart home hub, controlling and monitoring home devices and also onboarding them by recognizing a new product, downloading relevant skills from the device manufacturer, setting up the connection, and even geotagging the device to track where it is installed.

Home security and monitoring are a major use case of HAs, which can detect intruders, fire and gas, and adverse weather conditions. An HA is battery-powered and mobile, able to provide live video feed around the house. It can also track the status of home patients: monitoring their status and medications, contacting emergency services as needed, and ultimately reducing costs.

Home Assistants can optimize the automation of lights, temperature, hot water, and other resources based on who is present in the room. This will cut costs and resource usage, and open the possibility of data collection for home insurance, utilities, and communications companies, as well as maintain lifelines to police and fire departments.

The impact of HAs will be strong across the board. For OEMs, they are a blue ocean consumer market that comprises new hardware, software, service business, data sales, and increased ecosystem loyalty. For manufacturers and semiconductor companies, HAs mean increases in hardware and processing. Online retailers, communication, healthcare, insurance, and utilities companies will see new revenue streams opened by data-driven business models.

Watch the webinar to learn more on these topics and get some tips on building a successful Home Assistant.