Energy efficiency remains Australians’ top priority as AI tech rises

CES 2024 Samsung Ballie with dog
Image: supplied.

Energy efficiency remains a major priority for Australians wanting to buy technology for the home, according to a recent research report from Samsung.

As part of the brand’s Australians@Home in 2029 Report, 61% of surveyed Aussies view energy-efficient appliances as a priority, while 63% intend to buy a smart device in 2024. Just about every device these days could be considered “smart”, encompassing lights, fridges, and cameras.

One aspect of this is how much energy individual appliances use. In Australia, the Energy Rating Label quantifies how much electricity devices use within each product category.

Another layer to the energy efficiency topic is home management. You can’t make informed decisions and reduce your household’s power bill without knowing what’s guzzling up the most juice.

Samsung’s SmartThings platform provides some insight into how much energy individual appliances use. Other tech companies have their own versions, like Hisense and its ConnectLife platform.

However, many homes have appliances from different brands under the same roof, which is why the likes of Samsung and LG have teamed up, aiming to provide energy management data no matter your choice of platform.

Energy efficiency and AI in the home

It wouldn’t be 2024 without a mention of AI technology in some capacity. In the context of Samsung’s recent study, AI is seen as a potential driver of energy efficiency.

AI is already used in many home appliances to varying degrees, like how modern TVs use algorithms to upscale lower-resolution media. But Samsung, alongside other major brands, sees TVs as evolving into more of an “infotainment” device, like the way of modern cars.

Under this vision, TVs would have even more control over connected smart devices, letting you manage thermostats, security devices, and other appliances from your couch.

Samsung’s research data appears to back up this assertion, with 44% of Australians keen to use AI technology in living rooms and around the home. By 2029, 29% of respondents expect to perform tasks like opening garage doors and starting the washing machine from the TV.

It also feeds into recent partnerships with Tesla and Hyundai aimed at integrating with SmartThings. In addition to monitoring electric vehicle energy usage, you could also control connected devices directly from your car’s dash.

Samsung Tesla CES 2024 SmartThings partnership
Image: supplied.

But how exactly does AI fit into all of this? We’ve seen generative AI feature among the Samsung Galaxy S24 phones in the form of Galaxy AI as a start.

In smart homes, energy efficiency seems to be the biggest tangible benefit to users. AI algorithms could observe usage habits over time to then automatically optimise device usage and charging patterns, reducing the impact on power bills.

Do we want robot companions?

As cute as Samsung Ballie may be, AI robots and assistants are lower on Australian wishlists at this stage. 19% consider the technology an integral part of day-to-day tasks and routines over the next five years.

In fact, many early glimpses at emerging technologies, like those on show at CES 2024, haven’t quite hit public consciousness yet. See-through displays like Samsung’s transparent Micro LED technology are a while away. That’s not to say there’s not a place for them, as observed by futurist Steve Sammartino.

“In 2029, transparent displays will start to roll out in both business and public entertainment venues, and will begin shaping the functionality and aesthetics of personal living spaces,” Sammartino said. “They will offer incredible resolution and facilitate interactions once exclusive to virtual reality, which disconnects users from their surroundings.”

A separate report from Samsung claimed that 93% of Australians are interested in using AI to help with meal planning and preparation. The brand recently launched Samsung Food, an AI-powered app for that exact purpose.

For now, the biggest appetite for AI technology is for convenience and reducing energy usage. In today’s economic climate, saving time and money is something we’re all thinking about.

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