Smart Homes should help create Smarter Cities

By 2030, four out of five people will live in megacities. Supplying them with power and water will be crucial. Smart Homes should help create a smart cities and megacities.

Finally the smart home has really hit its stride. Market analyst expect a compulsive adoption of the smart home.

In a recent post I wrote about the dangers of too much Smart Homes and how with the new technologies, devices and appliances at home many house owners are tempted to transform their homes into a hospital, gym or power plant.

Instead, there are also many uncomfortable people thinking that their homes could be smarter than them, and therefore the importance of being prudent with the technologies. If our homes will become the hub for smarter living we must ensure people are aware of the dangers and the risks involved in making houses too smart.

I support the idea that smart cities must be focused around the people, and city managers should prioritize Smart Living initiatives to make cities a desirable place to live, work and spend time in.

Many reports indicate that we are increasing the time at home, that´s why smart city managers must evaluate new models where smart homes can help to improve conditions their inhabitants. They need to take into account that smart homes owners that contribute to Smart Cities initiatives will expect incentives for their involvement to do it.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples in which smart homes could contribute to Smart Living initiatives.

Smart Homes will influence the quality of life

In “Healthcare-the-connected-patient”, I emphasize the benefits of wearables and Internet of the Things for families that can began tracking his blood pressure, blood sugar, and other health data so healthcare will be done at a distance with videoconferencing and remote monitoring improving our quality of life.

Smart homes will influence the quality of life in health. Let´s think for instance, how to effectively address people living independently for longer. In the future, wearables could allow for remote monitoring of the elderly, to see how much a person moved and whether he or she ate or showered, potentially lowering the cost of home health care. Or, how to monitor the babies.

Mimo has created a solution that allow parents get real-time audio and insights about their baby’s sleep activity, skin temperature, body position and activity level.  Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft are planning to launch their automation platforms (HealthKit, Google Fit and SAMI, Kinect, respectively), enabling consumers to aggregate personal/family data from a number of devices and wearables, and relay the information to other parties the future dreamed of for so long will come true.

Smart Homes saving energy, water, to separate waste or reduce travel frustation

The Smart Living Showroom in IKEA is a showcase of numerous products which support people in saving energy, water and to separate waste. In the City-zen project several innovative solutions are demonstrated in the field of smart grid, heat networks and sustainable housing. And this does not happen on a test location, but in very ordinary urban districts such as Nieuw-West in Amsterdam and Eco-Cité in Grenoble.

The Internet of Things has passed from future-world fantasy to present-day reality, showing up on home devices like fridges, thermostat, bulb lights, and even people. It is a matter of time where we will see ingenious ways to connect smart home devices to smart city IoT services.

By making some smart home data publicly available, new smart cities IoT services will be able to cut cost for instance in energy or garbage pick-up. The addition of sensors that detect water leaks will allow the water distribution company identify leaks when they are small and easily patched, and schedule repair work for minimal disruption. City’s bus fleet could better predict buses occupancy and our frustration will be reduced avoiding wait for long time or travel crowded.

Summary

I always have argued that smart cities means a safer, healthier, cleaner, and even joyful city. Always with inhabitants at its heart. As Mike Steep´s post “The Future Smart City Will Be Built Around You and the Internet of You“ , I also imagine some futuristic examples and I am convinced like him that this may be the first time in history that individual citizens will have the power to push back on and shape the city in real time.

Nobody ignores that cities and Megacities has a lot of real-life problems, that’s why everyone must contribute to help solve some of these problems.

Smart homes must be included as a key element of all Smart Living initiatives, but at the same time city managers must find a way to incentive smart home owners that share personal data.

For additional information please contact: francisco.maroto@oies.es

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