In recent years we’ve seen the smart home get smarter with voice-activated speakers that can control simple household functions. But with an increase in adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), smart homes will be able to do more at the sound of your voice than just turn on a light—they’ll have your morning coffee ready when you wake up.

According to a Cisco report, connected home applications such as automation, home security and video surveillance, connected white goods (domestic appliances), and tracking applications will represent 46 % of the total machine to machine (M2M) connections by 2021.

As your customers grow more comfortable with smart home devices, we’ll see an uptick in the desire for more home automation. But the new connected home will require a large number of interfaces. People will not want to juggle between apps that control only some of their devices. Earlier versions of the connected home used gadgets like Amazon’s Echo and Google Home to connect devices with the Internet of things (IoT) by voice command. AI-driven home automation will take this process a step further by utilizing a system that is centralized, perhaps in an enclosure that can take care of most daily chores. A central hub that rescues customers from menial tasks is among the smart home trends for 2019.

As we look forward to growth in home automation, here’s why we can expect consumers to want more, and what you need to know about installation.

Coming soon to a home near you: AI, ML and robots

Currently, for many, smart speakers might seem like the height of tech but in the next few years we’ll see AI in the home that will make Alexa look like something out of the Flintstones.

The smart home of the near future will be aware of the presence of people in the house, what they’re doing, and the status of each smart. Today, a motion sensor would tell a light to turn on; but an AI-enabled system would consider the time of day and where a person is in the home, when deciding to turn on a particular light and for how long.

Imagine waking up to freshly brewed coffee, breakfast (within reason!) and a home with calibrated heat, sound, lighting, and security controlled by AI that has simply learned from previous programming. This smart home is aware of how much household supplies are left, place an order online when necessary and receive the delivery (with cameras watching). Robots will unpack and put the items away. When you’re on your way home from work, everything will be ready for you.

Automation, home security and video surveillance, connected white goods, and tracking applications will represent 46 % of the total machine to machine (M2M) connections by 2021. Click To Tweet

The role of AI in home automation is not only restricted to convenience. It can also improve energy efficiency and security. By controlling smart thermostats, smart plugs, and automated lighting sensors, AI-powered home automation can reduce energy consumption and the carbon footprint. And through facial recognition algorithms, an AI-powered system can monitor security in your home by cataloging and keeping track of social media connections and home visits.

What you need to know about installation

Price is still an obstacle for many homeowners, as AI home automation systems require a large initial investment in multiple devices.

The average smart home system consists of 25 separate interface devices, including keypads, light switches, mobile phones, voice modules and touch panels. Those interfaces control an average of 43 total devices, including individual light fixtures, shades, printers, thermostats, loudspeakers, surveillance cameras, displays and more.

AI home automation will be a boon to telcos. Every time you wire a media distribution enclosure for a customer, you are powering the potential for AI in their home. AI may become a revenue stream for telcos as well, since analytics tools can transform data collected from home AI into valuable information.

The next generation of home automation is just around the corner. And it’s going to require more than a voice-controlled device ordered from an internet retailer.