The smart home concept is nothing new. Ideas for interconnected devices and automatic adjustments to people’s needs emerged decades ago. But the development of new technologies—especially the ascent of the Internet of Things empowered by AI and 5G—real intelligence is finally possible and the market is expanding every year. Still, many consumers only have a vague understanding of the smart home: televisions and lights controlled by smart phones, air conditioners actively adapting to habits, or apps running locks and security systems. A huge step forward, certainly, but a handful of devices connected through the internet is far from the full scope of how our lives might transform.
“The true smart home must be able to connect different scenarios—not just devices—in the home,” said Dongguang Li, senior project manager in Lenovo’s NB system development. “We’re pushing for people to control various smart devices entirely through voice interaction. At the same time, cloud services allow various home devices to intelligently judge and preemptively satisfy user needs.”
To gain deeper insight into the development of Lenovo’s devices and vision for the future, we interviewed Dongguang Li and toured Lenovo’s Smart Home Lab. The video below reveals how the lab acts as a “smart showroom” and simulates a real home environment, including bedroom, living room, office, and kitchen.
Beyond a set of connected devices, what exactly is a smart home?
The smart home is a residential platform that utilizes technologies including integrated wiring, network communication, security, automatic control, and audio and video to integrate the activities of home life. A true smart home includes an efficient management system for residential facilities and family schedules, and improves security, convenience, comfort and artistry at home—all while being environmentally friendly and energy-saving. The actual smart home devices are, of course, some of the most important components; they need to connect, sense, compute, interact, and work within a cross-device Smart IoT cloud platform.
That’s a tall order. For people just starting to bring their homes into the smart era, what products do they usually start with?
In any home, security is the priority, so people turn to smart devices like door locks, security sensors, and surveillance to feel safer. These devices already often come bundled or work together to create a more connected and secure scenario, so it’s an easy entry point.
Okay, so imagine someone is ready to transform their home. What does Lenovo offer?
Lenovo already offers or is actively developing more than 20 categories of smart home products that go way beyond security, light bulbs, or sockets:
- Smart managers (smart door locks, and smart cameras)
- Smart learning (children’s watches, companion robots)
- Smart health (smart body fat scales, and smart electronic rulers)
- Smart sanitation (smart air cleaners, smart sweepers & dust collectors
- Smart entertainment (entertainment treasures, and smart speakers)
- Smart wear (smart watches)
What kinds of Lenovo devices are proving most popular at the moment?
Products that are currently on the market, such as smart door locks, smart cameras, smart air cleaners, and smart body fat scales, are already very popular. We expect immediate interest in the near future for sweeping robots + dust collectors, smart storage, and smart doorbells.
Beyond home security, data security and access matters. What steps is Lenovo taking to ensure connected devices stay secure?
Lenovo has a complete process and mechanism to ensure the information security of smart home products. Before the product reaches the market, the firmware and software must pass an intensive security review. In addition, Lenovo’s global security laboratory will protect the information security of the product, including architecture review, privacy review, white box review, open source library review, black box test, and APP hardening. For products that are already on the market, should security risks be discovered, repairs and updates will be delivered immediately.
What is the role of the smart home in our push for Intelligent Transformation?
The mission of Lenovo is to become the leader and enabler of the intelligent era. As an important part of SIoT, the smart home will give birth to more new types of smart devices that create more intelligent scenarios, allowing ordinary users to enjoy ease, convenience, and deeper connections—and all this while promoting the development of the industry.
Looking ahead, what is Lenovo’s vision for the ever-evolving smart home?
SIoT means Smart + IoT. The SIoT advocated by Lenovo creates user-sensible scenario intelligence from the user’s point of view, an upgrade from smart device to scenario intelligence. It’s about building a meaningful and powerful ecosystem of technology with the user at the center, not just building separate devices. This is not only an upgrade for Lenovo, but also an upgrade for the entire industry.
What do you expect smart homes will look like in the future?
With the upgrade of consumer demands, technological innovation, and the rapid growth of the commercial market, the smart home industry has ushered in a new era. On the technological level, the rapid development of underlying technologies, such as the Internet of Things, cloud computing, big data, and especially AI, provides the industry with a more mature and complete technology foundation, which has greatly enhanced the intelligence of consumer electronic products.
The Internet of Things is an extension of the current telecommunications network and the internet. In terms of architecture, the Internet of Things can be divided into sensing layer, network layer, and application layer to form a huge industrial chain system. Over the past two decades, IoT technology has emerged as one of the top ten technologies that will change people’s lives. Not only are smart devices extremely abundant, but we can provide excellent services to end users, which sounds exciting. From device intelligence to scenario intelligence, and to global intelligence, we will create a truly smart home experience that is secure, convenient, comfortable, and artistic.