Smart homes enable homeowners to automate those necessary but tedious domestic chores, making their lifestyle smarter and more efficient.
Smart homes are designed to empower the individual and improve our lifestyle by making our homes work for us. Lights that turn on automatically when someone walks into the room, dishwashers that can wash dishes at the optimum time, and security systems that send signals of a disturbance straight to our phone are just a few of the tasks welcomed by homeowners.
The most important aspect of the smart home is that ultimate control belongs to the homeowner. They can set their systems to meet their exact needs,
have their home function without their presence when they want it to, and change settings any time – and do so remotely too.
However, there are two major concerns that people have when it comes to smart homes. Firstly, there is a fear regarding the collection and potential leakage of our personal data. Secondly, there is a concern over our loss of autonomy.
Privacy and Personal Data
With our smart devices knowing what day of the week we order in a take-away, what time of day we want to turn the thermostat down and how often we turn on the TV, there is a fear that our privacy is being eroded.
If our personal data were to be exposed without our consent, companies would be able to use this for commercial gain. This could potentially mean we are bombarded with an increasing amount of advertisements for products and services that perhaps we’re just not interested in.
The Hub of All Things (HAT) makes it possible for individuals to generate, store and manage our own personal data. Smart sensors, which are embedded in devices and appliances, collect data about us that forms a quantified idea of our lifestyle and habits. The vital point though is that this data is also owned by us and is there to make our lives better.
The data which is collected by secondary companies, whether that’s supermarkets (through our loyalty cards and online shops) or film and TV streaming providers (through our viewing behaviour), is different to the vertical data recorded by the HAT. The data stored by HAT is one that we have complete access to, that we can request back from companies, and that we can trade for services that we feel are safe. The key principle of HAT: no one has access to your data unless you allow it.
Smart homes are designed to give us more autonomy. Smart appliances can predict and operate in ways that can make decisions for us before we’ve even thought about it. Whether that’s changing the TV channel so we don’t miss our favourite programme or providing us with the the day’s weather forecast each morning.
Smart homes empower individuals by making smarter, monetary savvy and time saving decisions for us based on the data they record. However, many people want to have complete control of their own data. The HAT empowers the individual to be involved in the ‘personal data economy,’ so that they can make better, more informed decisions themselves. The HAT is appealing in terms of ensuring individual autonomy and creating a household that truly does work for you.
It’s predicted that once the HAT launches, its adoption will be widely used. The Birmingham City Council has already invested £485,000 into an 18-month trial project with volunteer households and individuals.
Smart Homes and the Empowered Individual
Smart homes are designed to create opportunities to empower the individual and also businesses. Connected devices that work for us increase productivity and comfort to make not only our home but also our life stress-free. With great strides being made towards preserving privacy and giving data access to individuals, we are experiencing more control than ever before. Our decisions are better and more autonomous, and we can generate and record data with greater confidence and privacy.
Thinking about bringing your home up to speed with smart technology? Here at KAV London we offer customised home automation installation in London homes to suit your lifestyle.