Do you think the smart home is science fiction? Think again, this is not a concept to come in the distant future. It’s a current concern that connects just about every part of your home together. You’ve probably seen these things connected to Wi-Fi that you can control from anywhere. What if you could open your garage door while driving down the street? Or close your roller shutters? How about simultaneously broadcasting your favorite play-list throughout your home? All of this is possible in a smart home.
What is a smart home?
It depends on who you ask! Because this seemingly simple question has many different answers. Basically, a smart home is a home equipped with a number of devices that automate tasks normally performed by their tenant or owner. Who says smart home says applications, voice commands, automation, artificial intelligence, etc.
For some people, having a Bluetooth speaker is already having a smart home. For others, it may involve connecting multiple items like a computer, smartphone, tablet, TV, speakers, etc.
How does a smart home work?
Smart home automation – another name for the “connected home” – can do a lot for you and your home. With the right devices and trained professionals, you can connect your whole home. Besides, there is a good chance that you already use smart home features every day. For example, if you have a sprinkler system that kicks in when you’re not at home, that’s automation. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
History of smart home automation
Before, smart home automation was just a dream, the fruit of the imagination of some. Today, it is indeed the reality. Home automation began with the ability to program and control certain devices. At the very beginning, the connections between the different elements were wired. Then there were major advances. Lights, household appliances, blinds began to be connected. Now, with Wifi or Bluetooth for example, a lot of things are possible. The most common is to connect your phone with a number of other devices. You can of course – by calling on a professional – link all your systems together: lighting, heating, shutters, etc.
What can be automated?
It would be tempting to answer: everything. Because everything electronic can potentially be automated. The bigger question is not what can be automated, but what should be. If you had exceptional financial resources, you could go to extremes and connect everything in your interior. You could, for example, store data about your surroundings, which would allow you to offer them to each their favorite lighting, temperature, music! Currently, we might as well stick to what exists on the market. The choice is vast and the offer is growing every day.
In terms of security, for example, the offer is already substantial. Cameras and alarm systems considered practical are among the most widely used products in intelligent home automation. These can be set from your phone. You can also upgrade your system by adding smart locks, which are extremely useful if your kids get home from school before you do or if you need to let a repairman in.
How does wireless home automation work?
Wireless home automation works by deploying equipment capable of sending and receiving information. Let’s take an example. You could have outdoor light sensors that detect the rising sun and send commands to automatically open your bedroom shutters.
This is an illustration of the “Internet of Things” that you may have heard of. It refers to wireless devices that owners can access to send commands remotely through an Internet connection. When it comes to wireless protocols, you’re probably familiar with Bluetooth and Wifi.
You are probably already familiar with Bluetooth technology, as it is widely used to connect things like an external speaker or wireless headphones to your smartphone. Developers keep improving it, constantly increasing data throughput.
Do you also have experience with Wi-Fi, for example connecting a laptop, tablet or smartphone to the Internet? Your home automation system may need Wi-Fi for certain applications.
Smart home automation system
Many household appliances are already designed to be connected to your mobile phone. You can connect a large number of products: front door, shutters, solar panels, coffee maker, kitchen appliances, enclosures, kitchen robots, vacuum cleaner, etc. Some can be commanded by voice. With all these “small” household appliances, a simple connection to Wi-Fi is enough. But if you want your home to become really smart, you will need to bring in an experienced professional. Because there is a difference between many things that are connected one by one to your phone and things that all communicate with each other, as a whole.
Smart home automation has come a long way. There is still more to do, even if connected objects are starting to become more democratic. The smart home will very soon be completely part of our daily lives. Just as the printer or the internet connection has entered our homes, the smart home is on its way to becoming standard technology in the near future.