Smart home and the 4th industrial revolution
7 November 2017 | Written by Cristina Pozzi
The technological advances linked to the Fourth Industrial Revolution are entering in our homes: what impacts will they have on our lives?
During the recent years, almost without realizing it, we started to open our homes to intelligent robots that support us in so many home activities. We have more and more interconnected and intelligent objects such as bulbs, thermostats, alarms, locks.
We call it “smart home”. But what is happening will bring much deeper change. It is the beginning of a new era that will transform not only our homes but also our lives.
Issues of revolutions
From the time of the Second Industrial Revolution we have seen more and more objects becoming independent of animal, human, or nature motive power and transforming our homes by introducing new products such as fridge, dishwasher, washing machine, electric light.
Today, we are witnessing changes that are influenced by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and that concern three main trends:
- Automation: By robotics and better sensors, many objects need less and less people around to “move” around the house.
- Internet and therefore IoT: thanks to the ability to connect more objects to the network, they can interact with the surrounding environment, collect data, share it online and make the use of it more efficient.
- Artificial Intelligence: More and more objects are becoming intelligent, learning and adapting to the environment and activities for which they were created.
To realize the change, just look at IKEA’s new product line, which is focusing on Artificial Intelligence and Io as well as great players such as Amazon, Google and Apple do with smart wireless speakers, bulbs, thermostats and more.
The researchers like Cynthia Breazeal of MIT say that we will all have a personal robot as well as we have a personal computer. Meanwhile, we are content with Amazon Echo or similar tools, but a product like Jibo, created by Cynthia, could raise the level of service we can get from these new family members.
With these changes, social revolutions come true: the fridge
Our homes are changing and social impacts will be enormous.
We first mentioned the fridge as one of the new products that have entered in our homes with the second industrial revolution.
Think about what changes it has brought with it this appliance.
With the fridge the food is kept longer.
This means that:
- you no longer have to go to the market every day to buy fresh food
- you do not have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen every day but you can do it with less frequency
- less food can be wasted
- you can preserve the pre-cooked foods for a longer time
- with these premises, supermarkets and pre-packaged foods can be produced domestically: shopping can be done once a week!
- all of this consequently frees women (in particular) from a variety of activities that occupy their days.
- if we add dishwashers and washing machines, the game is done: we are facing a real social revolution.
What will the next revolution be?
Let’s imagine what changes can come up with the novelties that are brought by the technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotic, 3D printing. How much free time will we have when robots and artificial intelligence will arrive to handle our appointments, spending, housekeeping and house management? How will our world be 15 years old? What will change in our lives?