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Google Home Max, Nest Home Automation, Machine Learning: Can Anyone Beat Google?

The theme of Google's big press event last week was: Stuff just happens. No downloads. No "skills." New Google Home Max, potential Sonos buster, listens and learns for "smarter sound," and Nest home automation magically joins the ecosystem.

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6 Comments
Posted by jason.evans legrand.us on October 10, 2017

Great article Julie.  It would seem for many years that the CEDIA channel has been hoping that players like Google would just “leave us be” and they have shown that simply isn’t going to happen.  Why?  The consumer is demanding these features and they have the technology to deliver.  It will be interesting to see how we all adopt and adapt. 

Posted by qubit88 on October 10, 2017

I think everyone who reads this article needs to be aware of the upcoming transition to any type of voice control and/or semi-AI (none of this is actual AI yet…) that is based in the cloud to the edge. This means whatever is taking place in the cloud will transition to a local chip that can fit anywhere so the cloud won’t be needed anymore for this type of automation. It will take place at the device level, NVidia is trying to accomplish this task and are many others.

Neuromorphic processing is going to change the field in home automation and many other industries. No more centralized cloud based services but decentralized and localized will be the future.Put the processing in the device, where the data is being generated and cancel the latency penalty by sending it across a network where it will be processed in some distant place is eliminated. Also privacy is maintained where all data generated in retained locally thereby reducing any hacking and/or privacy concerns.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on October 10, 2017

100% agree, qubit. I think we’re already seeing a retreat from the cloud. Suspect we’ll have a very hybrid approach where maybe there’s a data exchange every so often to gather new intelligence, but there should be no reason to have to ping the cloud for every event.

Posted by qubit88 on October 10, 2017

There’s always going to be a need for the cloud, mostly as a off-site back up for critical data but the main duties will be done as close to the device as possible. You are correct in stating the useless nature of sending data across the globe “the ping” when it can be processed locally at less cost and far quicker.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on October 10, 2017

Jason - Well, the technology was going to come from SOME place, and it would have to be a giant, not one of “our” people. The onus is on our world to exploit it now.

Posted by JMJuarez on October 11, 2017

Julie, while this was a informative article, I think you are overstating the “Automation” to their proposed service. It is clearly an A.I. direction, but the “A” isn’t for Automation. I am disappointed that even now, there is confusion on what true Home Automation means in our industry. It is so much more than song selection or turning on a light. It’s being able to control all aspects of a home like climate, security, access, lighting, occupancy sensing, and yes media control, from both inside AND outside the home. And here comes the automation part…. Automatically! Home Automation doesn’t even need two microphones! Voice control has been an added aspect to home automation offerings across the board these days. Again, the prospect of an A.I. running a home is fascinating and definitely has a “cool factor”, but how are the masses going to feel about facial recognition in there home? Do you have to argue with it when it turns the volume of your music up when the friends you have over are too loud? Is that a realistic selling point? For those of us “in the trenches”, we have seen the future of Home Automation (some a while ago) and Control4, Crestron, Savant and more are delivering on it now.  I really don’t think I am alone, when I say let’s compare “apples to apples” when it comes to technology. Otherwise, you are only adding to consumer confusion and making our job harder than it has to be. Thanks for listening.

6 Comments
Posted by JMJuarez on October 11, 2017

Julie, while this was a informative article, I think you are overstating the “Automation” to their proposed service. It is clearly an A.I. direction, but the “A” isn’t for Automation. I am disappointed that even now, there is confusion on what true Home Automation means in our industry. It is so much more than song selection or turning on a light. It’s being able to control all aspects of a home like climate, security, access, lighting, occupancy sensing, and yes media control, from both inside AND outside the home. And here comes the automation part…. Automatically! Home Automation doesn’t even need two microphones! Voice control has been an added aspect to home automation offerings across the board these days. Again, the prospect of an A.I. running a home is fascinating and definitely has a “cool factor”, but how are the masses going to feel about facial recognition in there home? Do you have to argue with it when it turns the volume of your music up when the friends you have over are too loud? Is that a realistic selling point? For those of us “in the trenches”, we have seen the future of Home Automation (some a while ago) and Control4, Crestron, Savant and more are delivering on it now.  I really don’t think I am alone, when I say let’s compare “apples to apples” when it comes to technology. Otherwise, you are only adding to consumer confusion and making our job harder than it has to be. Thanks for listening.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on October 10, 2017

Jason - Well, the technology was going to come from SOME place, and it would have to be a giant, not one of “our” people. The onus is on our world to exploit it now.

Posted by qubit88 on October 10, 2017

There’s always going to be a need for the cloud, mostly as a off-site back up for critical data but the main duties will be done as close to the device as possible. You are correct in stating the useless nature of sending data across the globe “the ping” when it can be processed locally at less cost and far quicker.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on October 10, 2017

100% agree, qubit. I think we’re already seeing a retreat from the cloud. Suspect we’ll have a very hybrid approach where maybe there’s a data exchange every so often to gather new intelligence, but there should be no reason to have to ping the cloud for every event.

Posted by qubit88 on October 10, 2017

I think everyone who reads this article needs to be aware of the upcoming transition to any type of voice control and/or semi-AI (none of this is actual AI yet…) that is based in the cloud to the edge. This means whatever is taking place in the cloud will transition to a local chip that can fit anywhere so the cloud won’t be needed anymore for this type of automation. It will take place at the device level, NVidia is trying to accomplish this task and are many others.

Neuromorphic processing is going to change the field in home automation and many other industries. No more centralized cloud based services but decentralized and localized will be the future.Put the processing in the device, where the data is being generated and cancel the latency penalty by sending it across a network where it will be processed in some distant place is eliminated. Also privacy is maintained where all data generated in retained locally thereby reducing any hacking and/or privacy concerns.

Posted by jason.evans legrand.us on October 10, 2017

Great article Julie.  It would seem for many years that the CEDIA channel has been hoping that players like Google would just “leave us be” and they have shown that simply isn’t going to happen.  Why?  The consumer is demanding these features and they have the technology to deliver.  It will be interesting to see how we all adopt and adapt.