How Smart are our Homes Getting? by@annapozniak

How Smart are our Homes Getting?

A closer look at smart places trends with Planner 5D CEO Andrey Ustyugov. Smart spaces will become an essential part of our lives, he says. Smart homes are changing our lives in the same way as wearable devices. Data produced by these systems can help with the timely maintenance of a home, such as diagnosing possible incidents and predicting certain infrastructure damage or breakage. The biggest challenge here is privacy, and I don’t see the smart places trend evolving without time.
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A closer look at smart places trends with Planner 5D CEO Andrey Ustyugov.

Which of the following topics are you most excited by?

Smart places.

Why does it excite you?

We are witnessing smart spaces become an essential part of our lives. IoT has contributed significantly to this trend, as connectivity between devices we use and spaces we go to has increased dramatically over the last five years.


Not too long ago, the idea of a “smart home” seemed too costly for many. Today, many of us are using devices that make our homes smarter, such as voice assistants and various home automation tools for electricity, to name a few. When we look at our lives on a larger scale in cities and countries, “smart” technologies are penetrating our lives in the form of face recognition technologies, contactless payments, and motion sensors. Those are all pieces of a global ecosystem of smart places.


As we adopt smart technologies, they make us question whether they're safe and ethical and offer the privacy we want. Primarily those questions come from the fear of the unknown.

What are the trends in this area or products in this area that you are the fondest of? Why?

I am the fondest of smart homes. The connectivity within the smart home as a part of a larger ecosystem is an exciting feature. This ecosystem (of Google, Apple, or Amazon devices) is constantly evolving, becoming more intelligent and self-improving. I prefer to see it as an extensive network of interconnected units.


Smart devices are changing our lives in the same way as wearable devices. Smartwatches have changed how we think about health data and manage it. It is now possible to share this data with a physician, track it in real-time and generate insights from it. I am sure we will see the same with smart homes in the near future.


The home renovation and home improvement markets are evolving at a slower pace. It is happening because once the house is built, it usually takes about 10 years before any renovations are needed. We can't do anything to make it faster at this point, but this will definitely change in the future.

What are the positive impacts they can have on society?

Large volumes of data are being processed and organized. This process helps humans better understand our behavior and make significant changes in our habits and everyday lives. We can reduce electricity and water consumption and make more efficient use of our homes.


The data produced by those systems can also help with the timely maintenance of a home, such as diagnosing possible incidents and predicting certain infrastructure damage or breakage. If a light bulb is to burn out tomorrow, it would be great to know about it a day before ordering a new one. Knowing that water pipes will start leaking before they do would allow me to call a plumber to fix the problem in advance.

What are the negative impacts they can have on society?

The biggest challenge here is privacy. With our homes becoming smarter, digital systems collect more information about us and our behavior. It is crucial to predict possible risks and do our best to mitigate them.

Let’s imagine that I have a 24/7 surveillance system in my home. I am anxious about someone spying on me. I can turn the system off, but when I feel unwell and am home alone, the system wouldn’t be able to alert the emergency services.


We are now at the point where smart technologies feel scary and unfriendly. There will come a time when this will change, and we will better understand how they work.

What are your predictions on how these technologies will evolve?

The ecosystems forming around smart places will become more and more standardized. IoT started as a “garage movement,” where every region or every country would have technologies and devices not compatible with each other. Then large tech companies came into play and started making “home kits” to integrate various products and services. This standardization process will take a lot of time, and I don’t see the smart places trend evolving without it.

What are your predictions on the ethics of future societies in relation to these technologies?

When technologies are readily available to everyone, this improves the ethics of tech products. The more diverse the audience, the more varied the data the system learns from.


And while privacy questions are very important to everyone, I believe unique protocols and standardized solutions for all types of smart devices and technologies can regulate their use.


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