Embedded computing has the power to transform the home landscape. Traditionally, embedded computing in the home has taken the form of smart appliances. However, in-home sensing networks, particularly those with video, audio, text, online, etc., have been rare. Embedded computing could make everyday living more personalized for the connected resident in the connected home, using the occupants’ behavioral data, social relationships as well as in-home and “home-to-car-to- home” technology as key assets.
For example, general-purpose robots could handle many routine household tasks, such as loading and unloading the dishwasher and folding laundry. They could learn and improve on skilled tasks, such as cooking and ironing. Robots also could entertain household members, serve as companions, or simulate occupancy when the family is away to enhance security.
A smart kitchen with embedded systems could seek out and display recipes that match their owner’s dietary needs and goals. They could suggest meals based on the ingredients in the refrigerator, automatically dispense the right amount of spices, and update the grocery shopping list as ingredients are used. Recipes that conform to an individual’s dietary needs could be aggregated with learned personal preferences to provide desirable and healthy meal choices. Specialized embedded systems could make entertainment and information more personalized as well, adjusting automatically to the needs, moods, and preferences of each household member.
Energy-saving applications would reduce home heating and cooling bills. Future apps might automatically reduce energy usage by learning household needs and behavior patterns and shifting tasks (laundry, dishwashing, etc.) to off-peak hours when possible, without the need for the homeowner to take any action. Applications could also improve energy savings throughout a neighborhood by automatically notifying neighbors when resources can be shared.