Mark Lippett, CEO, XMOS
The tech giants know so much more about us than we might think. By owning a smartphone or having a smart home assistant, we’re enabling these large corporations to interpret, learn from and influence our behaviours in a way that furthers their business model. With the current reliance on cloud connectivity, alongside the growing adoption of voice interfaces, imaging and presence detection cost, reliability and privacy rapidly become primary concerns. For many consumers, convenience currently outweighs these issues, but is it time to examine alternative solutions that put the user in control?
Edge computing brings processing and data storage on-device, providing a firewall between the user’s privacy, and the tech giants, while retaining valuable utility. The user’s data is no longer a commodity to be monetised by corporations.
By moving cloud processing into the home in an affordable manner – both in terms of power consumption and device cost – the XMOS edge solution ensures the privacy of the user, providing a filter between the home and the service providers. The user can no longer be observed or listened to, but if required, there is a window to the cloud that opens only with explicit consent. For example, an elderly relative may have a smart device in their bathroom. It would be a security and privacy concern to have this permanently connected to the cloud, always on, listening and recording, but if that relative had a fall, you may want them to be able to call out to a virtual assistant for help, connecting to you or to the emergency services. This filtering capability not only delivers clear utility, it also enhances the safety of relatives while providing reassurance for you.
Ease and convenience of use are also primary concerns, and particularly important when it comes to new environments. Whether it’s staying at a hotel or moving into a university dorm for the first time, edge computing allows the user to seamlessly integrate into their surroundings. It provides a safe, secure, intuitive interaction.
There is an enormous diversity of “things” that will benefit from intelligence at the edge, both within the home and beyond. As we drive further and further towards voice-based, touch-free interfaces, this technology promises a revolutionary impact on safety, security and privacy in our day-to-day lives.
Discover more about the XMOS edge-processing solution at xmos.ai/xcore-ai/