The Home Field Advantage — Your Personal Datasphere

  • The Home Field Advantage —  Your Personal Datasphere

We’re here at the Seagate Data Games exhibit at CES 2018 — welcome to the Personal Datasphere. It’s a glimpse into the future of what your home might look like.

“If you think about all the things that are happening in the home environment today, with the massive amount of Internet of Things, streaming entertainment — there’ll soon be technological aspects to virtually everything in your home,” says Ted Oade, Seagate director of Product Marketing. “It all adds up to a tremendous amount of both data consumption and data creation.”

“All of the applications and data flows that are required for that will require a tremendous amount of processing power and data management in the devices that enable that, as well as all the support infrastructure — the Hyperscale cloud where a lot of the massive data will reside, and then the Edge, which will be necessary to provide very low latency response, storage and curation of all that data from those devices.”

“Ultimately having all of this incredible technology, and the ability to leverage our data in smart ways, will make our lives more productive,” Oade says. “We’ll be healthier; and hopefully we’ll be a little bit happier as well.”

Watch this quick video to hear Oade talk about how Seagate envisions the Smart Home of the future. Then scroll down to learn more about your Personal Datasphere, how Smart Homes are changing today and what makes them tick, and the challenges and potential for data to make our lives better.


What is your Personal Datasphere?

Your Personal Datasphere is your own personal piece of the emerging Data Age. It’s the enormous amount of data generated just by living your life, which can be captured, structured, and leveraged to make your life richer and simpler at the same time. It’s what’s enabling the Smart Home to become smart — a reality we’ve anticipated for years, that’s finally arrived.

For a decade now we’ve manually input data on our smartphones and worked to integrate that into a few other systems around the house — the TV, the stereo, for some perhaps the lights and heating, and maybe a security camera on the porch.

Today we’ve entered the era of direct interaction. Your voice. Your bodily movements. Your hand setting a temperature or a schedule on your heater. All of these now drive data to an intelligent system to help us plan our week, change our exercise habits, keep our home safe, reduce our energy use, improve the quality of entertainment we choose…

Your home is the epicenter of your digital life — how you create, live, work and recreate is evolving and the scale and movement of data is at the heart of it.

Imagine your home being able to stop a burglary in process — or before it even starts. Think about a residence that can help you communicate with your medical providers after a surgery, give you access to real-time guidance once you bring your new baby home, or even detect a heart attack and call 911 on your behalf. Picture yourself in a home that can help your children with their homework, suggest dinner recipes that sync up with what’s in your fridge, or give you a heads up when your dog is getting antsy and is about to destroy your favorite pair of running shoes. Such a home would have to harness data smartly in order to help us live longer, healthier, more productive and streamlined lives.

The Data Age is already in your home, and trending up

What makes the Smart Home tickMost readers are already quite familiar with voice-directed technology, which continues to grow in popularity and is especially hot at CES this year. Some of the most popular gadgets over the holiday season were smart speakers with digital assistants from Amazon and Google. But this week at CES the voice-activated trend is spreading far beyond speakers.

We’ve already seen a lot of people adopting voice-activated smart lighting and heating. And now your car, your washing machine, your refrigerator and other appliances and household objects are getting smarter and getting connected to the Internet of Things.

Kitchen and bathroom appliance company Kohler revealed its new Kohler Konnect products including a Voice Lighted Mirror, VibrAcoustic Bath, DTV+ Shower System, a Smartwarm heated toilet seat and the Numi Intelligent Toilet — all controlled by voice. The newest smart refrigerators make it easy to add and use data that simplifies your life — so when you’re at the grocery store and forgot your shopping list, your system knows what’s left in the fridge and what’s missing; or you can just order groceries straight from the fridge door. LG’s Alexa-powered refrigerator can even send recipes to your oven — their whole line of ThinQ kitchen appliances share tasks and information with each other.

This growth in device intelligence mirrors a larger trend we’re talking about this week: imagine expanding this trend far beyond the home, and you’ll see what we mean when we talk about the impact of the Datasphere enabling Smart Cities, improved health, efficient travel, reduced energy use — when in the near future, for example, we’ll all enjoy better-maintained roads and smoother traffic flow because sensors all over are delivering data to maintenance crews, public transit, and traffic lights that turn green when the vehicle and pedestrian traffic dictates they should.

What’s the secret sauce to making Smart Homes work?

“Data accessibility. It’s all about accessibility to data that’s constantly flowing within that home and out,” says Jason Bonoan, Seagate product marketing manager for IronWolf NAS-optimized hard dries. “Homes have evolved beyond consuming data to creating it, to not just storing and backing up their data, but being able to share files in their own private cloud and do what they need to do in their daily lives. Streaming media content, editing files, gaming, and going further with connected homes who today are using Alexa or Google Home. The Personal Datasphere has allowed homes to access and do more than what they have done before.”

“One of the interesting things about our interactions with our interconnected, always on, smart devices at home driving a huge increase in data consumption is how invisible the quantity of data and processing power behind these interactions are,” notes Sharmistha Mallik, Seagate product marketing manager for BarraCuda and FireCuda drives. “Customers’ expectations have evolved to just expect Alexa to crawl through information — be it on the interwebs or their personal calendar — in a matter of milliseconds to provide an answer. But the computational power and data processing required to make it happen seamlessly is mind-boggling. The computers from just 50 years ago — as large as rooms, requiring days to perform calculations on punch cards — seem like myths today!”

What’s the potential for data technology to improve our home lives in the near future?

The smart home is a connected residence that can be controlled remotely. It is energy efficient and able to anticipate needs using artificial intelligence and machine learning. It focuses on convenience, comfort, security, and cost savings by using AI-enabled appliances that help you embrace life to the fullest. The power, speed, performance, storage, and interconnectivity of the smart home is made possible by data storage solutions that enable smart appliances to give you an experience so seamless it’s almost unnoticeable.

How will the technology continue to evolve in the near-term to help ensure the Personal Datasphere improves our home lives?

“Interconnectivity with enhanced security is the next big challenge everyone is working towards, to further enhance the personal device experience,” says Mallik. “My Fitbit talking with my weight-loss app talking with my Blue Apron app and Amazon Now app, to order the best and healthiest meals and groceries for me by the time I get home, all within my preset budget limits set on my credit card — that’s an example of data-enriched experience that is not too distant. However, the data format and security protocols that regulate the data transfers between these different devices, on different platforms, by different companies, are still not standardized. For now, customers are filling in the gaps manually by storing their favorite recipes, tracking their weight goals on apps and managing their budgets on or on their personal PC or laptop, or their home NAS system.”

“The Personal Datasphere is all about what people can do with data — and on the technology side, how and where it’s being processed, analyzed and stored,” adds Bonoan. “The Hyperscale cloud, the Edge, and local storage all play a role. Consumers can devise specific levels of control of and uses for their home data within their own network environment, and NAS system builders plan to go further in their product designs to enable smarter private cloud and home automation. Today you may use your NAS for backup, remote access, and file sharing — but soon it’ll provide even further value in enabling personalized control of your networked home, as just one small piece for the future of the Personal Datasphere.”

“As data flows in and out of the home, and between multiple devices inside the house, storing and processing the data securely and in a timely fashion is critical,” concludes Mallik. “Intel chipsets crunching through terabytes of data stored on storage devices like Seagate hard drives, be it on local laptops, Edge devices or at offsite data servers is where the magic happens! Secure storage is one piece of the puzzle, and Seagate has a long history of incorporating security features not only built into the hard drives with Seagate Secure, but in every step of the manufacturing process to ensure that the drives, and customers’ data, stays protected — from the conceptual phase of design to their final retirement or reuse.”

The impending reality is that every single aspect of our homes will both generate and require data as the Data Age advances. That data needs safekeeping whether it’s being stored at home, at the Edge, or in the Cloud. Seagate leads the way with the most advanced technologies and solutions for Hyperscale cloud and Edge data centers, and has industry-leading local storage solutions like BarraCuda and IronWolf and expert partners like Synology, ioSafe and QNAP — so that we can enable every use-case the Smart Home of the future reveals.

Seagate IronWolf Pro and Seagate BarraCuda Pro


About the Author:

John Paulsen
John Paulsen is a "Data for Good" advocate, with nearly 20 years in the data storage industry. He's helped launch many industry-firsts including HAMR technology, 10K-rpm and 15K-rpm hard drives, drives designed specifically for video and for gaming, Serial ATA drives, fluid dynamic HDD motors, 60TB SSDs, and MACH.2 multi-actuator technology.