As far back as 1932, inventors imagined smart homes – but not in the way they’re now envisaged.
Most ‘automation’ focussed on creating robots to do the tasks humans usually did in the home. Think C-3PO from Star Wars – a metallic butler so to speak.
It’s taken some time for the world to reimagine automation into making appliances smart. Why should you or a robot have to push a button if the button can push itself?
That’s what the future of the smart home will hold. Of course, the homeowner will have ultimate control and final decision-making, but imagine if your fridge could send you a message to remind you to get milk on the way home? If you’re using Samsung connectivity, then your fridge could actually just message Bixby, which in turn will give you a route home that passes by the nearest convenience store so your milk-buying fits seamlessly into your homeward journey.
What if your home was so connected to you that it could track you via your smart phone and know to turn up the heating or cooling when you’re a certain distance away, so that you can return home to a perfectly temperate interior? Technology isn’t just creating smart devices that understand what needs to be done and when, these appliances and devices are connecting to each other and learning users’ unique patterns and needs.
Mike van Lier, director of consumer electronics at Samsung South Africa, says: “Samsung is constantly striving to create innovative solutions that fit seamlessly into our customers lives. We’re moving into a space where your home will be able to learn your particular patterns of behaviour and understands your specific needs. Smart home technology does just that – it takes the hassle out of every day activities allowing you to get on with the things you love doing.”
Imagine your future home. At around nine in the evening, Bixby reminds you to load the laundry in the washing machine which will only start the next morning to not interrupt your favourite series.
Bixby then alerts your Samsung aircon to chill your bedroom to a comfortable 18 degrees so that the temperature is perfect by the time you get into bed at 11pm.
Once done, the house starts dimming or turning off certain lights and switches on the exterior security beams and alarms.
By the time, you’ve settled in for the night, Bixby has already alerted your appliances to get the washing going by 5am, to turn the sprinklers on to water the garden, to wake you up at 6am and to have your percolated coffee ready.
When you step into the shower, the house has begun to wake itself up, unlocking night-time zones and turning on your favourite radio or TV station.
As you’re ready to leave, your home goes into an unoccupied setting and ensures all appliances are in power saving mode and the house is on lock-down.
Then, when leaving work, Bixby can tell your oven to turn itself on in readiness for dinner and you can check that your favourite series is indeed recording.
Even if your fridge has given you a grocery list to pick up on the way home, Bixby will know how long it will take you to get there because its connected to information about traffic and your route.
Just before you arrive, your home will have done a security sweep to ensure there is no danger lurking and will begin the unlock phase – just in time to welcome you home.
You won’t need a set of keys or a garage remote, because your home knows who you are and will only open up for you.
“I’m often asked if we are ready for such convenience?” van Lier says. “And my answer is always the same: yes, we are – with today’s frenetic lifestyles, having your home entirely connected to the way you live will free up so much time that is normally spent on mundane activities.
“Any Samsung product you buy now has integrated connectivity, from your television and washing machine to your fridge – the Internet of Things is not just a future vision, it’s a reality.”