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How Swarm Intelligence will Take Over our Lives

Swarm intelligence is a type of crowd intelligence, like what is seen in ant or bee colonies, where each member of the colony tends to work independently at a particular task and then contributes their particular knowledge to the collective, and the group reacts as a whole. 

For example, ants may have guards, health monitors, food gatherers, childcare monitors, etc.  When any one group hits an alarm, (Food is low! The Queen is dying!) the entire hive reacts appropriately because they come “programmed” with the knowledge of what their next task should be. 

In effect, this is where the Smart Home is going.  With lights, sockets, hubs, speakers, security, curtains, appliances, etc, the Smart Home is becoming a swarm of input sensors where each sensor will be able to react based on input from all other sensors. 

For example, in a Smart Home, if the sensors are activated, i.e.  a window is broken or the inside temperature is not ideal, then the entire home will react appropriately.  The alarm will go off and the security alerts will be sent, the heater may automatically go off to save energy, the lights may go on, and the home owner’s phone alarm alerts them to the situation.  Each segment of the home will come preprogrammed with the knowledge of how it should react based on the particular information supplied by the hundreds of sensors around the home. 

In any given day, there are a dozen tasks any consumer has to do when waking up, leaving the house, coming home, and going to bed.  All these tasks can be automated.  The porch lights may turn on when the sun goes down, the curtains may open when its time to rise, the thermostat may automatically adjust to the consumer’s activities.  In the smart home, there is no more worry about forgetting to close the garage door or turning off the oven. 

The unique Smart Home feature is the system becomes a swarm of knowledge that can predict the correct behavior and adjust for it. 

Semico has released a new report on the topic, titled: The Smart Home, Big Brother or Swarm Intelligence? Check out the ToC here.    

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