I wrote a column for the September 2020 edition of Residential Systems entitled “The Holy Grail of Our Industry.” It was based on Charlie Kindel’s Control4 keynote presentation at CEDIA Expo the previous year. Specifically, he described the following home intelligence infrastructure levels:
- Level 1: Traditional Home — 0 network devices, nothing in the home is smart
- Level 2: Piecemeal Accessories — 1–3 network devices, promised as DIY solutions but difficult to integrate
- Level 3: Integrated Accessories — 1–25 network devices, multiple apps, professional integration needed to simplify overall control of the home
- Level 4: Built In — 40–1000 network devices, devices integrate well across the entire home, strong network backbone infrastructure
- Level 5: Ambient and Invisible — 40–1000 network devices, the use of technology is personalized and seamless
It was Charlie’s discussion and description of the Level 5 home that intrigued me most, and I wrote about how we have applied some of these ambient and invisible solutions in our cyberManor Showcase Home.
Fast forward to almost three years later and now we have easily available and accessible open architecture artificial intelligence platforms that can be added to personalize the home experience. JoshGPT has already been incorporated into the Josh Voice Assistant software as a generative AI that can answer any question about any topic, such as:
- “Okay, Josh, tell me a bedtime story,” where JoshGPT provides stories based on the location of the home and other factors unique to the family.
- “Hey Josh, what are some interesting nearby attractions?” which can be easily modified to focus on shopping, outdoor activities, the arts, or other parameters of interest to the user.
- “Okay, Josh, can you help me understand [topic] at a 3rd-grade level?” in order to help learn and understand new topics.
- “Hey Josh, what are some public golf courses to try around Malibu?” where any activity in any location can customize a list, even adding variables such as “that are handicap accessible” or “that cost less than $25 per person.”
- “Okay, Josh, the kids are coming in and it’s getting dark — can you make sure the kitchen is ready for them?” where JoshGPT can properly prepare the space.
According to Alex Capecelatro, CEO of Josh.ai, “The possibilities are endless, and there has never been a more significant moment in the evolution of smart homes and AI.”
Related: Real-World AI for the CI
What strikes me about this time period in our smart home industry is that we now have all the tools to create a truly personalized experience for our homeowners. We’ve spent the last 10-plus years wired and wirelessly connecting all of their home electronics systems to each other and the internet so they can all talk to each other in a commonly accepted and understood language. We’ve also allowed our homeowners to engage with these integrated home technology systems using intelligent keypads, touchscreens, mobile devices, and now voice. But all of these interactions are reactive to our homeowner’s intent. Want lights? Push a button or turn on a switch. Want music? Go to a touchscreen and select a music choice. These are tried-and-true solutions, and there is nothing wrong with them.
But now we have the tools to engage and delight our customers with solutions that are proactive to their wants and needs, not just reactive. Case in point, we just leased a new Tesla Model Y and whenever we approach our home the car knows we are within 70 feet of our garage door and automatically opens the door and folds in the side mirrors. We don’t have to push our garage door opener anymore — the car knows that when we pull into our driveway we want the garage door to open — it’s a proactive solution.
We showcase the AI-empowered Bryte Balance Bed in the master bedroom of our showroom, which is a bed that learns one’s sleep behavior over time and adjusts the coils and pressure points of the bed to yield the most restorative sleep solution on the planet. That’s a proactive solution to a better night’s sleep.
When our AirB&B showroom home guests step into the Kohler DTV+ hydrotherapy shower, the temperature is already set to their desired final temperature based on their personal hot water temperature preference. That’s a proactive solution to a better showering experience.
As custom integrators, we now can provide many of these proactive solutions for our homeowner clients. The first step is to collect a personalized profile of our client’s preferences. Here is a suggested list of personal preferences for products that we plan to personalize in our smart home showroom for our potential clients and guests:
- Music (Control4)
- Temperature (Ecobee)
- Lighting (Control4)
- Bed Settings (Bryte Bed)
- Coffee Preference (Thermador)
- Shower Temperature (Kohler)
- Floor Temperature (NuHeat)
- Photos (Netgear/Meural)
- Movies (Kaleidescape)
- Voice Assistant (Josh AI)
As custom integrators, the better we understand, design, and install these intuitive intelligent technology systems in the home the closer we bring our clients to the smart home they have always wanted from our industry. Not just a connected home, but one where the home’s intelligence creates a better, healthier, and safer life for our clients and their families. When we add these personal, proactive solutions to our clients’ homes, we create a long-lasting relationship between our customers, their homes, and us — and that’s a personal touch that will always have everlasting value.