What do you know about the term connected home? Are you using any of the smart home devices?
The problem (or concern) with appealing technology today I believe lies in the fact that quality features of engaging products and devices make them potentially (very) addictive.
We have already experienced this addictive moment with our smartphones – we expect our smartphones to do everything for us: communication, travelling, shopping, entertainment, protection, service, work management – there is almost nothing our phones cannot do for us.
However, are we satisfied with only using our smartphones?
According to a report by Pew Research Centre, about 83 percent of surveyed experts (1.600 industry experts) believe that Internet of things and wearables will dominate the mainstream in 11 years.
They do believe the progress will be slow; however, these trends will bring the digital technology revolution, according to them.
With everything Google introduced at its annual conference, we had a glimpse at the future, to a certain extent. As Android was at the centre of the event, with Android Wear and Android Auto, Google Now was (is) back in the spotlight (although I am not certain whether it was ever in the dark).
With it, Google might have turned our attention to why we desire (need?) personal voice assistant and what may be the future of voice-command.
Should you buy it? Perhaps.
Both smart watches have voice-powered search with Google Now, and a good one, and this is what makes sense having it on your wrist.
You can do all “OK Google” searches, set a reminder or alarm, dictate a note that will show in Google Keep, and of course check your calendar, set timers, send emails, get map directions and more.
For quite some time the battle over control of our homes is evident, and with Works with Nest program, the idea of a connected home is reshaped and improved, putting one smart gadget at the centre of a smart home, getting more companies to collaborate.
Android users will be able to command their thermostats from anywhere (although it is rather strange to see a thermostat as a central smart gadget), because, above all, we desire control that does not require our constant attention, rather an execution of our needs and wishes.
Apple is trying the same control and collaboration with HomeKit, turning your iPhone into a remote control for the individual smart home devices, highly possible all through Siri rather than with a specific app, even putting smart home devices into groups and controlling a series of items at once.
They are not alone in this desire to unite smart gadgets. Quirky introduced Wink, a single smartphone app that integrates different smart objects into one system, with 15 companies that will already be joining.
A gift from the future, as they explained.
Samsung collaborated with Dell, Intel, Wind River, Atmel and Broadcom to launch the Open Interconnect Consortium, an organization that aims to help electronic devices “talk to each other” to make it possible to use devices from different companies across any platform (controlling Samsung fridge with an Intel-powered smartphone).
The main goal is to create an open-source code that will turn the Internet of things into a reality that benefits consumers, as explained.
Android Auto is coming next year using familiar phone features, which people already use while driving, gathering them on an integrated display that is optimized with voice-commands that can be used to navigate Google Maps, send messages, find or play music and more.
Android Auto already has support from Chevrolet, Audi, Chrysler, Dogde and Bentley. As for the apps, Google offers Spotify, Pandora, Pocket Cast, Songza, the MLB’S At Bat app and more, all to call up using your voice. Apple’s CarPLay, Siri-based iOS system, is coming to Honda, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz, while Microsoft is testing Windows in the car concept.
Voice applications are on the rise, although still in the experimental phase
Windows did an interesting job with their voice-controlled app that handles music Hey DJ!
Calling out the name of an artist, album, genre, playlist, and song with just one word, this virtual DJ will provide instant playback, and it is doing a particularly good job.
Who wouldn’t want to play music they wish just with their voice?
Dragon Dictation, a well-known app, translates voice to text allowing you to create notes, emails, text messages, and more, though almost hands-free (you still need to open the app, and hit record, but it deserves the mention because it is faster than Siri).
Scout, the popular navigation app, was recently updated and now listens to the instructions from the driver, and has free voice guidelines all the time.
As voice-communication improves and self-running software develops, we expect even more given our interaction with smart devices.
We desire connected technology and we want to control it, and in the future, we would probably want to control it with our voice.
The effort Google and Apple in particular, as well as Microsoft, are putting into making our lives easier is expected.
Users expect to have their phones turned into virtual assistants in every possible way.
Users expect to use technology to improve their everyday lives. We expect technology will meet our needs in every possible way, and this is where the problem lies.
„The upsides are enhanced health, convenience, productivity, safety and vastly more useful information for people and organizations“, said Janna Anderson, the author of the report.
„the downsides: challenges to personal privacy, over-hyped expectations and tech complexity that boggles us.”
It all comes to privacy and expectations
The experts also expressed another concern: not knowing how to fix things when they break, as well as the possibility of redirecting human relationships to technology-based ones.
One may say that this is just a logical step in the development of internet technologies, and it probably is. The appealing technology that will make our lives easier, more comfortable and more secure (?) is potentially our new addiction.
Connected home is bringing many challenges but controlling our devices in the way we want is what we strive for.
However, at what cost?