The Future of Sustainable Smart Homes

 Author: Mike Genna | Benzinga

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It’s 5:30 am and time to get up for work. You wake up, but you’re not totally conscious yet. Your bed communicates with your blinds that you’re awake and draws back the shades for you. You eventually sit up and begin to get dressed. The pressure sensors in the floor initiate a light switch and begin to start your coffee pot in the kitchen.

You dread making your own breakfast. Before you can even start, your digital assistant shouts across the room, “You’re going to be late for work based on traffic conditions!” You shout at Alexa to start the car (or order you a cab) and run out of the house. As your car drives you to work, your house locks itself and sets the alarm while you read the digital edition of the morning paper.

This is how many picture life in the typical Smart Home of the future.

The Reality

What’s an autonomous home without power? An overwhelming majority of smart homes, if not all of them, will be solar powered. Tesla is already in position to capitalize on solar panel production and installation. New California legislation mandates that all newly built homes be equipped with solar power - the state aims to have 50 percent of its electricity derived from solar power by 2030. The new legislation faces backlash with the immediate cost increase of a home. Officials deny it, saying it will pay for itself with a reduction in consumers’ energy bills.

The solar power will supply energy to a small piece of hardware called a sensor, which is built into each smart home device. They send and receive data from other sensors to create a seamless smart home experience. Advancements in 5G infrastructure and artificial intelligence catapult these sensors’ abilities. Right now, we’re in the midst of creating worldwide 5G network. This means cars and their sensors, along with other cars and buildings, will be able to communicate with each other at ten times the speed of the current network.

Outside of its inner workings, a hot topic in the field is the prevention of hacking or security breach. Starting back in 2013, hackers had success in targeting the customer bases of massive corporations. About 500 million users were affected in Yahoo! security breach and, about a year later, consumer credit reporting agency Equifax had 145 million identities stolen. We’ve also seen security hacks in huge online brokerages, corporate retailers, and large universities.

Software engineers, designers, and consumers must be diligent in protecting their customers or themselves. People will not be able to live in peace if their home’s central command is compromised.. Is there a solution? New technologies like blockchain and tangle, which revolve around an ecosystem of things, are still too early in their development stages to say. However, its creators envision an unhackable, permissionless data ecosystem.