We all know our daily companions Siri and Cortana, but now you might just find your new best friends with regards to your smart home: “Google Home”.
And yes, Google has done it again, they released an incredible device using artificial intelligence to make your life easier and more pleasant. Google Home is an intelligent loudspeaker whom you can give voice commands to perform certain tasks, like putting the music on or creating your personal shopping list.
And, just like his sister Cortana, “he” (actually, it’s a little weird that Google didn’t give its device a proper name) will be able to answer your questions. Thanks to his artificial intelligence, Google Home can identify certain routines and patterns and automatically react to them (for instance, if you always ask to switch the lights on in the kitchen when you come home, he will do it automatically after a while). Additionally to Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home is a more complete system with a wider array of options. For example, with the “multi-room” function you can play different songs on different devices in different rooms – some nice latino vibes for the kitchen and romantic tunes for the bedroom..? We like!
For a more detailed information, check out the video below:
In any case, w’re super curious what the future battle Google vs Amazon will bring… Stay tuned on smart-lighting.com! 🙂
Smart-Lighting is a hot topic all around the World. It’s everywhere around us, at home, in the office, in the streets… And lighting is responsible for 19% of the World’s energy consumption, so let’s take a closer look at how the European market is evolving…
In short: awesome! Let’s start by crunching some numbers: From 2013 til 2019, the average growth of installed smart-home systems will grow on average 57% per year. This will mean a market penetration of 15% (up from currently 2,3%)
This looks very promising indeed! In Germany, 95% of the population has already heard about the concept of smart-homes, and 87% of them said that they are interested in smart-lighting solutions.
According to a recent GfK study, the most relevant products in a smart home are (in order of importance): 1. Security/Alarm-system 2. Lighting 3. Thermostat 4. Washing machine 5. Koffee machine 6. TV 7. Dishwasher 8. Fridge 9. Oven aaaaaaand 10. Dryer
Good news then; smart-lighting solutions are in the top 3! The main drivers for people to buy smart-lighting solutions are:
Easy control & usage
And, what about you? Do you agree with those drivers?
In any case, we already look forward to the future of smart-lighting!
How many lightbulbs do you see or pass every day? A few dozen? Or perhaps a few hundred? Imagine every single light bulb not only giving you light but also working as a wireless hotspot – and this a hundred times faster (about one gigabit per second) than our current Wi-Fi technology.
Well, that might soon become reality, with Li-Fi technology.
Li-Fi was invented by Harald Haas, a German professor from the University of Edinburgh, back in 2011.
The technology uses Visible Light Communication (VLC), a medium that uses visible light between 400 and 800 terahertz (THz). It works basically like an incredibly advanced form of Morse code – just like switching a torch on and off according to a certain pattern can relay a secret message, flicking an LED on and off at extreme speeds can be used to write and transmit things in binary code.
For an interactive way to learn what Li-Fi is about, check out the video below:
For the first time, Li-Fi has been tested and implemented outside of the lab – in an industrial complex in Tallinn, Estonia.
According to Deepak Solanki, CEO of Velmenni (Estonian tech company), the current tests are targeted for business clients, where the data communication is done through light. However, one project is also working on bringing Li-Fi technology to private homes. The results will be published soon.
So… Besides the speed, what are the other benefit of Li-Fi? It’s simple: security. Why? Because light cannot pass through walls, and thus makes it much harder to hack. A side effect is also that there will be less interference with other devices. Another benefit may be availability: at work, at home, on a train and even on a smartphone – every light bulb that you can may be a potential source of high-speed data transmission.
The potential for this technology is huge, but the problem is that all our infrastructure is based on the Wi-Fi technology. This means that a rapid change to the Li-Fi is rather unlikely, but, a solution to this may be to make it compatible with the current technology & infrastructure. This is what Haas and his team are doing right now with PureLiFi: working on a plug-and-play application with secure connection and high-speed internet (tough not as fast as with the “standard” Li-Fi technology). In addition, a French start-up called Oledcomm is already planning on introducing Li-Fi into hospitals, where the interference plays a big role.
Critics have named two downsides to this technology:
it cannot be used outside and
As you can see, the future is taking place right now! And to finish with the words of Mr. Haas: “In the future we will not only have 14 billion light bulbs, we may have 14 billion Li-Fis deployed worldwide for a cleaner, greener, and even brighter future.” (TED Talk 2011 – see below to watch the whole talk, and fast forward to 5:30 for the really interesting stuff)