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It stands to reason that video and audio analytics tech on other devices will eventually come to the smart home as engineering advancements make it feasible on a smaller and cheaper platform. Consumers may encounter this technology at work or in public and come to expect similar features and capabilities. There are also advancements in audio and video data that will act as competition or supplement these audio and video in gathering data for analysis.

Rise of Alternatives: Radar and Wi-Fi Sensing to Challenge Video

While video and audio analytics are among the most common – and advanced – applications of AI in the smart home, alternative approaches can handle many of the same use cases and represent a notable area of potential competition or opportunity. The technology is in its nascent phase compared to video. Still, radar and Wi-Fi are also being leveraged to gather data that can be analyzed to recognize shapes and movements without creating images that human eyes can view. This means there’s no way for a user to view clips, but a “clipless” approach eases privacy concerns.

Media on Speakers and Mobile Phones

User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI)

Phones unlock via facial recognition and have voice-controlled digital assistants. As the usage of these analytics-driven features continues to grow, devices that don’t operate the same way will increasingly feel lacking. Device makers who plan to allow users to control the devices by touch or voice (rather than by app) will need to keep up with mobile device makers or risk appearing primitive or hard to use.

Media Tagging

Qualcomm, partnered with Audio Analytic, is leveraging the performance capabilities to use AI for media tagging videos based on sound. These tags will then be utilized by the AI to act or report on the audio data and will also make them more easily searchable. It wouldn't be surprising to see media tagging become more prevalent in the smart home as consumers get accustomed to using this feature on their smartphones. Suppose media tagging is widely adopted in mobile, leveraged in connected cameras, and special events are more accessible via search. In that case, this AI-driven feature may help close the deal with shoppers or even appeal to a more extensive customer base.

Offices, Factories, and Hospitals

Customer Service

Call centers use voice and chat AI as well as using AI to monitor script adherence among employees on sales calls. Similar features could help smart devices react to distinct speech patterns and word choices while interacting with users in more complex and proactive ways.

Counting with Computer Vision

Healthcare uses video analytics to be sure a patient receives check-ins with the recommended frequency. Retail establishments used video AI during COVID to watch for capacity and social distancing concerns and use it to monitor traffic through a store and notify staff of growing queues.

Cars and Trucks

For many Americans, the car is like a second home, so it stands to reason that technology in the smart home and increasingly smart cars should be aligned.

Infotainment and Beyond

Large touchscreen displays have become commonplace car and truck dashboards. Mobile phone software such as Apple CarPlay allows drivers and passengers to use apps on their phones for navigation, hands-free calls, texts, and play music. Soon, though, the infotainment centers will have some of the more powerful mobile phone features.. The dashboard of the next generation of vehicles could be testing grounds for new AI technology.

Autonomous Driving

While they are still in the testing phase, autonomous smart cars and trucks demonstrate the usefulness of sensors (lidar, radar, etc.) combined with cameras. Video analytics has moved into the spotlight.

Companies can begin capturing value through AI with applications that have a clear and quantifiable ROI. When simple use cases are matched with business objectives, AI implementation is no longer an IT or marketing task with vague outcomes. For example, when AI can clearly optimize the customer experience to reduce churn or drive operational efficiencies that reduce costs, the investment in AI will be clearly validated.

Adequate funding for investment in AI often requires companies to think more broadly about its value than for one particular segment of the business. When companies are evaluating ROI, a cross-functional analysis of how AI insights can inform multiple tasks of the company will reveal its full value. This more comprehensive way of thinking also breaks down the data silos that often hamper AI implementation efforts when, for instance, one division pursuing a maintenance use case can’t get the service division to share “their data.” Executive alignment is needed to transcend functional level needs of marketing, sales, IT, maintenance, and service.

This is an excerpt from Parks Associates research report, Context is King: Smart Home Video and Audio Analytics. Innovation in video and audio analytics is driving new applications and services like facial, emotional, gender, and object recognition, creating dramatic new capabilities to understand context. Embedding microphones in devices throughout the home to deliver a voice interface creates opportunities to extend value through sound recognition and notifications. Detection of glass breaking or a baby crying provides clear value to consumers. This report examines how video and audio analytics are evolving and impacting the smart home user experience and profiles companies that are driving the technology forward.

This industry report, from our extensive library of research, is authored by Chris White, Sr Analyst, Parks Associates - great information and insights.

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