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Presence detection of Bluetooth 5.1 could be the future of Smarthome

  Well lit at dusk
Dariusz Jarzabek

Bluetooth 5.1

allows for the mutual tracking of centimeters. With Bluetooth 5.1, you can not only find your keys, but you also know exactly who you are and where you are at home.

Your smarthome does not know where you are

Smarthomes are great You can automate the lighting, air conditioning, or your coffee maker according to a schedule, but they are not based on your general behavior. That's because Smarthomes are all based on schedules and commands and for the most part have no presence detection. Your home does not know your exact location. It's not known which room you're in the most, and without that, you can not do anything for you. At best, he can do things to your command (even if it's a scheduled command).

If you are outside your home, the problem will only get worse. When you leave or arrive, any knowledge of your presence relies on geofencing. However, geofencing can be inaccurate, triggering too late, too early or worst when you are not around. The last possibility is why many smart devices use geofencing to limit their capabilities. For example, most smart locks can not unlock a geofencing-based door.

RELATED: Bluetooth 5.1: What's new and why is it important?

Bluetooth 5.1 could make your Smarthome smarter

Bluetooth is not very good at finding and locating things (or people). It can help you find the space in which an object is located. However, the position is not further limited. For this reason, audible alarms for locators such as Tile and Trackr have an alarm. However, the Bluetooth SIG has introduced the version 5.1, which greatly improves the location detection. A Bluetooth 5.1 connection allows both direction and position determination in centimeters. So you know exactly where an object is in a room and in which direction. If you happen to have a Bluetooth 5.1 tag or a phone with you, your SmartHome could know exactly where you are and in which direction you are heading.

Bluetooth 5.1 is not just about finding your stuff.

Your music could follow you through the home

If you start a song on a smart speaker in your living room and then have to go to the kitchen to have a drink, you can not take your music – at least not without it Headphone. The closest option is multi-room audio, but playing music throughout the house is not always what you want. When you're home alone, you do not need your music in the back corners of the house. But if your smarthome could track your way from the living room to the kitchen and back, your music could go along with a graceful handover from speaker to speaker. Or if you prefer, your music could pause or pause because you left the room.

Lights may only be on in the rooms you use

  Movie Night Home Theater Lounge

Similarly, if you enter a wardrobe or bathroom, your home may recognize you and turn on the lights for you , Late at night, this would eliminate the need to search for a light switch or a chain. If you leave the wardrobe or the bathroom, the lights may turn off. If you go through your home, your lights might follow. If someone else is already present, the lights can stay on when leaving the lights.

Your favorite scenes, colors, and brightness levels may start automatically when you arrive at home or enter a room. If you sit on the couch to watch TV, the Smarthome (with the ability to determine your location and the direction of the centimeter) can tell where you are, that you are looking in front of the TV and automatically turn on your electronics while you are turning off the computer lights.

Intelligent heating and cooling

The automatic room-to-room presence control can not only exceed light and music. With better presence detection, your home could more accurately turn off the heat or AC when you go to work. If you step into your bedroom on a bright, sunny day, it could forgo the lights and automatically increase the shadows for you by letting in natural sunshine. If you know you are in the study, your air conditioning may continue to heat, even if the thermostat normally detects that you are not present and goes into eco mode.

The same room control method applies to devices connected to intelligent plugs, such as portable heaters or dehumidifiers.

Your Wi-Fi and Voice Assistant might also be smarter

 An Amazon Echo and a Google Home Side by Side

Mesh networks are becoming more common, especially in larger networks homes They work out the idea of ​​having multiple Connect wireless extenders and intelligently pass one device on to another without the need for additional passwords. For presence detection, however, your mesh network might prioritize the nearest router. The higher priority should allow you to enjoy faster speeds and a more reliable connection on all your devices.

Language assistants would also benefit from a better idea of ​​who you are. Currently both Alexa and Google Home support multiple user profiles and try to differentiate by voice. However, this is not always reliable. And that eliminates the hassle of having to explicitly change profiles before you can access your music and routines.

However, if you have a Bluetooth 5.1 connection, your voice assistant would have an extra data point that physically matches you. It could compare the data in the direction of your voice with the information in the direction of your Bluetooth connection. This information would provide a more reliable experience in distinguishing other users in your home.

Today's presence detection is not so good

  Artist Rendering of Intelligent Automation Control System
Alexander Supertramp / Shutterstock

You can achieve a lot now, but the solutions often leave much to be desired. Motion detectors can not tell the difference between a human and a pet, or the difference between you and the other people in your home. Cameras can tell the difference, but this requires facial recognition, which raises some privacy concerns. Geofencing is limited on arrival and departure and can be unreliable.

What about guests and privacy?

The only downside of this suggestion is that you need to take something with you for this to work. This could be your Bluetooth 5.1 enabled phone (and possibly an app), or it could be a day, similar to Tile or Trackr. If you forget the device while you work or leave it in another room, the SmartHome will not know where you are. The only way to do this for guests in your home is to give them a Bluetooth tag or set up the phone to connect to your smart home system.

Not everyone wants to wear any of these tags or install an app, and that may even apply to the people who live in your home. Some privacy implications must also be considered. Although you could talk less to your smarthome, this will not always completely replace listening devices like Alexa and Google Home. And you may be able to tell Amazon, Google, and other smart device manufacturers more about where you are at home and which rooms you visit most often.

Like most smarthome technologies, convenience and privacy are a balancing act. So that's not for everyone. However, better presence detection is a major missing component of smart homes, and Bluetooth 5.1 could be the means to open a smarter home.

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