“Inventors” or “innovators” that create connections between objects in the home and with household dwellers, want to transform domestic activities by adding automation and intelligence. You may ask why?
Imagine a scene: a child leaves playschool in her mother’s arms, a front door, a set of door keys, a heavy paper bag full of shopping, resulting from having forgotten your shopping bag at home, again!
It’s a typical scene of day-to-day life that illustrates how the simple act of heading home, turns into a mass of activities, micro- and non. And being people, on top of that you have emotions.
Imagine the kids returning home for Sunday lunch with the family or dropping in to see their parents after work to see how a recovering parent is.
“Connected homes”, intelligent homes, that do everything autonomously, are a technological frontier that everyone would like to become part of. They would like to welcome in that futuristic and ideal world where the entrance hall lights turn on, the oven turns on at dinnertime, the lights in the corridor come on and the water boils for a relaxing tea. No aperitive today! Where they can catch up with their parents on a video call on their smartphone, without the parents having to get up to pick up the receiver.
This world is not futuristic or ideal. It’s already here, simply waiting for the multitudes that go by different names “users, consumers, wage earners, communities, backers”, that is, us, choose to find out, buy, and place these intelligent devices in their homes as we have done for vacuum cleaners, washing machines and the Thermomix.
Why should a lighting system be intelligent and what does it mean?
It means that the lights turn on when we are at home, they turn off if we go out, home lighting adjusts to the natural light available, and so do our electricity bills in terms of saving energy.
They change color to our taste, mood, needs: lights turn blue for studying or working, softer to bring on sleep.
They flicker blue so that we don’t forget our umbrella when the it’s clouding over, and red when the doorbell rings.
If other sensors are integrated, lighting systems can measure air quality throughout the home.
In short: they help us to lead a more rewarding life.
How do we make this revolution happen?
The availability of Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs, dates to the Seventies but the white LEDs that are replacing our traditional bulbs in our lamps are a recent invention. One day soon we may be saying goodbye to tungsten filament bulbs, but not just yet.
When that day comes, 75% of the inefficient lighting systems used and converted to LED will offer up to 80% energy savings and Deloitte’s The Edge in Amsterdam, the city of Rotterdam and the playgrounds in Uppsala will no longer be isolated models.
It is undeniable, however, that the semiconductors that transmit photons as data have started an unstoppable revolution that will make light a truly digital service that will add visual communication to audio in the home.
Crowdfunding campaigns have brought to the market innovation and ideas tucked away in laboratories and that today are products that are “sold” before they have even been produced. There are have been several that transform a simple home into an intelligent and connected home, a Smart Home, a market that studies and builds on the “old” concept of demotics.
The Internet of Things has played a defining role, with its “bridges” that connect objects networks (such as wi-fi, available in every home) to enable them to “talk” with each other and with our smartphone.
And Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) will play an increasing role: the latest software offers an unbelievable quantity of combinations, choices, functions, largely left unexplored but within “touching” distance. Imagine you’re on vacation while your intelligent lights in your home turn on and off to simulate your presence in your unguarded home. The lighting simulation that would otherwise have been random, with software driven by A.I. now reflects the habits and activities (breakfast, bedtime, etc.) that would really be taking place if you were there.
Now you know the why.