If you go to someone’s house and they start talking to themselves and all of a sudden the lights change and music starts playing out of nowhere: don’t worry. They have (probably) not gone insane and their house is (hopefully) not haunted. They probably have what we call a ‘smart home’. So, what is a smart home and what part does music play in the future of this? Keep reading and I will write about that.
Having a smart home means that your devices and appliances are connected and you can control them using your voice. You can also programme them to automatically do things, for example put on music as soon as you get home.
‘The internet of things’ is constantly evolving and our smart homes are getting smarter every day. But where does music fit into all of this?
The most obvious way music fits into this puzzle is that you can control the music by talking. You can ask your device to play a song or a playlist. Yes, it might get it wrong sometimes and you might feel awkward talking to yourself but you can’t lie that it is efficient. Let’s say you’re chopping something really sticky and messy and a really bad song comes on. You can either put everything down, wash your hands and go change the song. Or you can say ‘change song’ and the song changes. Piece of cake. Worst case scenario: it doesn’t understand what you’re saying or misunderstands you. But most of the time it gets it right and at the times when it doesn’t: try again. As to the awkward part: you’ll get used to it. Everything feels strange before you get used to it.
Another way this can change the way we listen to music is when the predictive technology becomes even smarter. What if it could read your heart rate and blood pressure and thereafter know what mood you’re in and play the perfect song for that? You would always have appropriate music playing, without having to find it yourself. I agree that there might be some issues with this. First of all you would have to be wearing or install some device that reads your pulse and blood pressure and so on. This could be a little bit scary. But once again, as it becomes more common and we start using the technology, it would be normalised and you would eventually get used to it. Secondly: how would it know what music you need when you’re in that mood? How would it know what kind of music you like? You would probably have to enter some personal information in the beginning, or it would read previous data. It might analyse the music you’ve played on Spotify or Apple Music. Then as you use it, it would analyse the data and see what songs you skip and how you react to the songs it plays. Eventually it would basically know you better that you know yourself.
The last part I will mention is the marketing opportunities that comes up as our devices gets to know us better. As it analyses our listening habits, it could also recommend us or start playing songs that are similar to what we like. This would be a good way for new artists to reach an audience. Some people might say that this makes music less personal, we would no longer need to find songs and artists ourselves and we would have playlists made for us. But if you think about it: wouldn’t it be the opposite? You would get songs and playlists tailored for yourself and what you like. Plus, Spotify already has ready made playlists for us to listen to and I don’t see anyone complaining. It’s a great way to discover new music.
To summarise and end this post: smart homes can both scary and effective. It would make many of our everyday chores, and just life in general, easier. Some people might argue and say that it will make us lazy. Eventually we will just sit around and let the technology do everything for us. While those people might have a point, this would also mean that we’ll have more time to spend with the people we love, doing what we love to do. Back in the days we used to sew our own clothes, now we have machines who make thousands in a short amount of time. This doesn’t mean that we now sit around and stare into a wall all day. We found new interests and better ways to use our time.