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Are we ready for our smart home devices to become truly “smart”?

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written by Jackie Palumbo, CNN

For decades, it’s been a staple of pop culture, from Disney’s 1999 movie “Smart House,” in which an artificially intelligent home features an overbearing mother figure, to the retro high-tech home of “The Jetsons.” Is. “The 1960s cartoon depicted domestic life a century later, from a grooming room that combs your hair and brushes your teeth, to the ever-attentive and overworked Rosie, to the robot maid. .

Some of the Jetsons’ household items and furnishings, like the bed that popped the occupant out like a piece of toast, are still a dream. But 60 years later, we’ve got their smartwatches and (comparatively primitive) digital assistants.

In our homes, devices like Google Nest identify friends or strangers at the door, while Philips Hue lights can be programmed to change color based on our circadian clocks. As we plan meals for the week, Samsung’s Family Hub photographs what’s left in the refrigerator and makes suggestions based on our meals. If we hear unusual noises in our homes (like a cat lazily knocking a drinking glass on the floor), Amazon’s Alexa alerts us. In 2020, Samsung also teased an upcoming robot companion called Bally, who can move around like BB-8 from “Star Wars” and help operate our smart home devices.
We may not have a living room. "The Jetsons" Until now, but over the past decade, integrated smart devices have become a staple in our homes.

We may not have the living room of “The Jetsons” yet, but over the past decade, integrated smart devices have become a staple in our homes. Credit: Lianza Abucain/CNN

According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Joseph A. Paradiso, for the most part, we still implicitly instruct our devices how to best serve us, but that’s about to change.

Just over two decades after the late venture capitalist Eli Zelkha and his team at Palo Alto Ventures introduced the concept of “environmental intelligence,” a future in which electronics are everywhere in our homes was outlined. , were interconnected and responsible parts, we have the opportunity to make their vision a reality in our homes. The exploding field of ambient technology promises innovative, intuitive electronics that fade into the background of our lives.

“Soon, you’ll have systems that are functional,” Paradiso said in a video interview. Our devices are “going to see and hear as we do, and they’re going to suggest and indicate.”

In 2018, Amazon began wading into these waters with Alexa’s Hunches feature, which can perform small tasks, like turning off smart lights for you when you go to bed, without your direction. Until this January, users had to allow Alexa to follow their decisions. But now, after your choices, Alexa can decide what to do around your house based on your habits.

“It’s a big change in your relationship with Alexa if it starts deciding things for you,” said Sarah Housley, head of consumer technology at the trend forecasting company…

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