What to Expect as Amazon Delves Deeper Into Smart Homes and AI

And what it could mean for the future

pink background; in the middle is a house; there are arrows pointing out of the house; the arrows point a TV, smartphone, tape recorder, and a speaker
Amazon's foray into green homes shows their interest in dealing with larger, more all-encompassing issues.
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Amazon recently announced its plan to develop AI-enhanced homes through Plant Prefab, a company that specializes in high-quality, sustainable prefabricated homes, by integrating Alexa devices into what are being touted as affordable and easy-to-assemble houses. But is it possible to have high-tech homes that are also ecologically sustainable?

Amazon’s introduction of AI voice technology into home design and architecture is not new. Many companies have been marketing electronic domestic products with AI for years. At the beginning of 2018, LG decided to put AI into all its products, in fact.

From last year, it was a given that the “internet of things” and AI would be a standard in most home and personal products. For instance, Samsung extended its business from outside the product consumer market into the home internet of things service market that interacts with AI that can recognize a user’s facial expressions and voice. There are even some experts giving how-to advice in creating your own internet of things and AI creations from your mobile, Amazon Alexa and IFTTT (If This Then That), which has myriad uses. Aside from home products, we are beginning to see how financial technology has integrated with AI and how the elderly in assisted living have benefitted from this same integration where medical information can be easily monitored, assessed and regulated from afar.

Alexa also aids people in recycling and generally living a greener lifestyle, with some contending that this combination can help tackle climate change.

Breaking new frontiers in the home market, Alexa is intuitive and can learn new information, such as reminding homeowners of what they might have forgotten to switch off with Alexa Hunches. Amazon’s AI homes are set to automatize far more than this given the collaboration between Plant Prefab and Amazon, which are working to create ecologically advanced houses far beyond the automated ability to turn off lights and heating upon leaving your home.

With the innovation of green roofs in modern ecological home design, Alexa would be able to connect to roof irrigation systems in order to keep your insulating green roof healthy. Similarly, water conservation is built into many homes today such that gray water could be redeployed to those parts of the home or exterior where you need it most (i.e., toilets, outdoor plant watering systems, home recycling systems to produce drinking water). Alexa also aids people in

The reality is that voice-controlled AI and the internet of things are not just seeping into the domestic sphere but are also actively working in the areas of marketing where AI meets SEO and where online marketing will be undertaken more and more by digital assistants like Alexa. Many of us already use various interfaces when ordering groceries online or when using PayPal’s voice activation system. In these instances, most people are more than happy to have AI enter into their professional lives.

The future of Alexa in the bedroom is still one that is being evaluated culture by culture as there are noted trust issues at play, with over 50 percent of voice tech users believing that their devices already listen to them. What is certain is that Alexa’s introduction into the domestic sphere is good for the planet as Amazon’s sustainable architecture will work to preserve natural surroundings as these pre-fab homes will have a smaller footprint and will be derived from renewable sources.

What makes voice-controlled assistants so appealing for the domestic sphere and why should marketers jump on this new technology now? After all, it seems like it was just yesterday when the latest technological must-haves were the fitness tracker or monitoring devices that track your child’s whereabouts. What is it about voice-controlled devices that make them so desirable?

Firstly, the main driver of this shift toward voice-controlled interfaces in the domestic sphere is the millennial consumer who is a creature of multi-tasking, so giving commands to a speaker is par for the course. Also, what many mobile producers missed out on was the fact that the mobile phone is not the primary electronic hub in the home. The number of internet of things devices, such as smart thermostats and speakers, that are giving voice assistants more utility in all our lives with industry experts predicting that most every application will integrate voice technology in some way over the next five years.

While Amazon has its critics, we can learn from Alexa’s integration into green architecture as a first step toward encouraging a larger societal push against our planet’s demise. We can only hope that more startups will challenge Amazon on its design and build even better and more affordable homes that will create local markets for this new housing trend.

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