- With several Kenyans purchasing multi-million dollar homes, why is it important that these homes are made smart through modern technology?
- Smart technology has advantages such as more security, easier to control, easier to save on energy costs, and also more stylish.
- What are some of the technologies that the organization integrates into the homes?
Internet of Things such as smart keyless door locks, automatic window blinds, automatic light intensity bulbs, CCTV
- Are smart homes relatively expensive compared to non-smart homes? What is the approximate cost of a smart home?
- There is an added cost compared to the traditional methods. The added cost of purchasing and installing the smart home gadgets is offset by the higher quality of living that the gadgets will help to achieve.
- What is the role of voice activated artificial intelligence in your homes and how does it enhance the interactive aspect of the smart home?
- Voice activated artificial intelligence devices enable home users to give verbal commands such as switching off lights, opening, closing doors, coffee or toast making etc. to devices that are intraconnected through the internet of things.
- This makes work a lot easier, increasing efficiency and comfortability of the home.
- What are the technical issues of having voice operable devices and household appliances? (Devices and appliances include fridges, speakers, light control etc.)
- These devices will need to be able to communicate with each other through the internet of things. Current new model house hold appliances and building elements such as doors, windows, window blinds are fitted with computer chips and internet connections to be able to receive commands from smart phones.
- Have clients found it difficult or challenging to make use of these technologies and adapt to an ‘intelligent home’?
Younger clients do not have a problem in up taking this new technology. Older clients usually have a problem and this can be solved by installing physical back up plans eg for key less doors, they can also have physical key options for those who would like to take a longer time before going completely digital.
- Are you aware of how these technologies are programmed/designed?
- These products are programmed through top of the range software and mechatronic engineering technology.
- Describe the social and ethical issues that arise with your smart homes particularly focusing on voice systems? Issues may include security, privacy, reliability etc.
Ethical issues such as private information being mistakenly given out by the smart device can result. Also, learning curve sometimes becomes steep and easier interphases are required to be incorporated.
- With the home connected to a network/the internet, can the security of the house be breached thus causing privacy concerns?
There are a few cases of where hackers gain access of the devices but this only happens in very highly sensitive areas such as banks and top secret rooms for large multi nationals. For residential houses, its not possible for the average burglar to breech security of a smart home.
- Do you see a future for smart homes in Kenya or Mombasa in specific?
- Yes, up coming homes in Nairobi and Mombasa are now being fitted with smart technology. Most high end Mombasa hotels have CCTV and keyless door locks already.
Architect Francis Gichuhi Kamau.