By: Alan Robin Wesley, RIG Inc Intern Researcher

 

The growing use of AI in homes has made our lives easier, starting from turning the porch lights on/off, setting the thermostat to the most energy efficient setting, to even remotely monitoring and protecting our homes. Smart home device companies like Nest have been surveying their consumers, and their reports show that the average smart thermostat can reduce heating costs by 10% and cooling costs by 15% in a residence. For an average household, that could mean around $130 in savings each year. [1]Smart thermostats use a combination of scheduling, geofencing, and motion sensing to know when to turn the heat up or down. Programmable thermostats help save money by resetting the temperature when homeowners are asleep or away[2]. The Nest thermostat requires almost no setup and teaches itself when to adjust the temperature. It also has a ZigBee wireless chip, so it can work with smart meters to turn on the A/C or the furnace when energy is cheapest. The google nest thermostat was certified by the EPA as an ENERGY STAR product in 2017, independent data has shown an average savings of 10-12% on heating and 15% on air conditioning costs. Some users report the savings paid for the device in under two years! One of the best features is they take more accurate readings and better communicate with your HVAC system creating optimal energy savings[3]. It’s classified as a “Smart” thermostat, meaning it “learns” your household’s habits and rhythms to maximize your comfort and your system’s efficiency.

Image Credits: – https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/nest-thermostat

AI in homes have certainly made our lives easier as well as protected us. Some key insights collected from the zebra, an insurance company that compares rates, shows a huge need for home security system:

  • There are 2.5 million burglaries annually in the United States. 66% of these are home invasions. (US Department of Justice)
  • Homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be broken into and burglarized. (Alarms.org)
  • 9% of people don’t have a home security system installed in their home. (The Zebra)
  • 83% of would-be burglars check for the presence of an alarm system before attempting a break-in. (FBI)
  • 34% of burglars use the front door when breaking into a home. (US Department of Justice)
  • Police solve only 13% of reported burglary cases. (Pew Research Center)

Image Credits: – https://digitized.house/should-you-upgrade-to-new-nest-aware/

The increasing need to improve home security has propelled the implementation of AI-powered devices.[4] These devices encompass a variety of features, including threat analysis, facial recognition, and smart home integration, which, in turn, safeguards homeowners from security threats. Smart home security has evolved to not only record but also recognize animals, people, packages, and sounds. The cameras can also send notifications to the user’s device regarding any motion detected in the monitored zones. Most advanced home security systems could also identify faces of family members, friends, and pets. Artificial Intelligence in home security with continuous and remote monitoring has been effective in helping solve potential security threats.

 

Other key insights and statistics collected from the Zebra reported that :

  • In a five-year period, house fires caused 2,620 deaths and $6.9 billion in property damage (NFPA)
  • In 2018, the national average was 2.5 civilian fire deaths and 9.8 injuries per 1,000 fires (NFDR)
  • The top three causes of fires in homes are cooking, heating equipment, and electrical malfunction (FEMA)
  • It can take just 30 seconds for a small flame to turn into a major blaze (Department of Homeland Security)
  • An average of 358,500 homes experiences a structural fire each year (NFPA)
  • More than 3,000 Americans die in fires each year (FEMA)
  • Every day, at least one child dies from a fire inside the home (Stanford Children’s Hospital)[5]

Fire accidents at home is one the most dangerous and feared topics among homeowners. Smoke Alarms paired with artificial intelligence can help think and alert the user. Some of the smart features of smoke alarms include providing notification on phones regarding low battery and issuing alerts in case of smoke or carbon monoxide leaks and pinpointing the location where there has been a fire or smoke outbreak[6]. Smoke detectors use the voice alert feature to notify the first sign of smoke, which facilitates improved response during emergencies. While the “Hey Google! Turn off/on the lights” command has made us lazy, the “Hey Google! Arm my house” has certainly given us serenity.

Image Credits: – https://9to5google.com/2020/07/04/google-home-nest-protect/

 

 

 

 

References:

[1] https://www.alarmnewengland.com/blog/smart-thermostat-energy-bill-savings

[2] https://www.popsci.com/gadgets/article/2011-12/artificially-intelligent-thermostats-learns-adapt-automatically/

[3] https://apollohome.com/nest-products/

[4] https://www.futurebridge.com/blog/smart-homes-impact-of-artificial-intelligence-in-connected-home/

[5] https://www.thezebra.com/resources/research/house-fire-statistics/

[6] https://dev.to/221910301044/smart-homes-artificial-intelligence-3fpn