While some smart home systems are better than others, none are truly intelligent in the futuristic way that consumers expect. Smart systems today are not able to anticipate needs or wants before it’s articulated by a customer, nor can they automatically modify based on who is or isn’t in a room. But the smart home of the future – a smart home system that could do those things, is closer than you may realize. Advancements in AI, more powerful microprocessors, and the capabilities of the cloud are providing the right ingredients that make the true smart home possible.
Kenny Kim, vice president of platform and services at Snap One, says AI is really “democratizing technology.” He says AI is enabling Snap One to recognize customers’ patterns and have the devices learn from that activity.
“This is not unachievable technology. It’s more mature. When I think about AI in our space it is really democratizing the technology. It gives everyone the ability to incorporate some of these AI capabilities,” he says.
So what does that mean to integrators?
“When I think about our the systems in our industry, what we call smart home systems… to me, they are not really that smart. It’s still very manual to really customize it and tailor it for the customer. It has to be managed over time and that takes a manual Intervention. When I think about ‘smart,’ I think about what AI could do in our space. It can learn the patterns of our lives, it can learn the patterns of what our needs are and how that changes dynamically over time. It can learn and adapt to us without having the need to have a very manual intervention by the partner,” he says.
The result from that AI learning is that integrators will be able to deliver much better experiences, higher engagement for the end customers with less touch needed required by the integrator.
According to Kim, the professional smart home industry is in a unique position to leverage this technology because the average number of IoT devices in an integrator’s customer’s home is over 100 devices.
“When you think about any IP-enabled device you almost have to think of it as a sensor: And they’re all producing data input and output that is being tapped by a single control system. So, by being able to leverage what we already have as our foundation, I think we are most uniquely positioned to leverage AI to really enhance the experience that our customers have with their systems,” he explains.
Kim says Snap One is heavily investing in a number of areas to make its systems smarter, including refreshing its products with the latest processors that are smarter and more powerful with the ability to process more data. That foundation then is base for the systems to communicate with OvrC.
“OvrC Pro technology is scanning the network, it’s understanding a lot more,” he says. That knowledge is not only in the software, but also bleeds into hardware devices from Snap One, such as its new routers launched earlier this year.
Snap One Is Prepared for the Future
Kim says Snap One is investing its R&D to help realize this future, but not only in the obvious areas like AI capabilities, cloud infrastructure, and hardware improvements, but also investing in data security and privacy to ensure that it can protect customer data.
“We’re continuing to enhance our interoperability program to ensure we can work seamlessly with products and services the customers love. And we’re evolving the portfolio of tools for our partners so that they can maximize their growth and profitability with these changes—Control4 Composer Pro enhancements to improve efficiency, OvrC Pro-enablement on Control4 controllers, OvrC notification improvements, and wireless network management within OvrC. We’re very excited about what is ahead for our industry and what this means for our partners and customers,:” he says.
“Dealing with so much data that’s coming from all these different devices, it’s going to be very critical that we protect this data, make sure it goes through all the protections, that it is secure, private and owned by the end customer. These are things that we’re investing in. We’re constantly looking at how do we make this protected as we develop these features that benefit from the data,” he concludes.