Your house is your assistant.
Innovative home technology is a general term for basic home amenities equipped with communications technology to provide some degree of automation or remote control. It includes household appliances (such as washing machines, refrigerators, and garage door openers), home entertainment systems, home security systems, environmental management such as air conditioning, heating, and lighting.
Smart home benefits
Connecting all your appliances to your smartphone is a definite plus – meaning you can do your laundry while you’re at work or save money on your energy bill by optimizing your heating only to turn on when you’re at home (and 15 minutes both ways). Some countries reward people with off-peak electricity discounts so that you can run your dishwasher at 3 am instead of 7 pm when everyone else turns on theirs.
Another benefit is that people understand better where their resources are going by having more information about what is used. Most smart home systems come with usage logging technology, making it easy to track resource usage.
A considerable barrier to the Internet of Things (IoT) in general and intelligent home technology, in particular, is security. Generally speaking, two problems need to be addressed. First, every time you connect a device to a network and connect that network to the Internet, you open another port that needs protection.
Imagine that you are defending a castle. If the drawbridge is up, it’s friendly and accessible. With the drawbridge down, it’s a little more complicated but still manageable. Now imagine that there are ten drawbridges, and they are all lowered. That’s what adding multiple devices to your network does.
For decades, a wide range of different household appliances has been helping to make everyday life more pleasant speed up processes, therefore, saving time and work. So what are the added benefits of a smart home? Without an intelligent house, the momentum for every machine action would have to come from people manually starting the processes and to activate each device individually at the right time. The intelligent home relieves them of this work by allowing the components to communicate.
Devices start and control specific processes in the house independently, depending on the scenario and how they are programmed. Interoperability is the magic word. If the devices are compatible, they can communicate with each other. Only in this case is the alarm triggered when the blinds are closed. If there is no interaction between elements, the house is not wise.
How is a home transformed into a smart home? The required components can be installed and configured without any technical know-how. The following aspects should be taken into account in planning:
- An Internet connection and WiFi are required.
- A smartphone or tablet is best suited for controlling and monitoring the devices.
- A wireless network is modern, convenient, and elegant, but transmission by cable is more secure.
- Should the instruments be programmable from the central control unit and interoperable, or is a standalone solution enough?
- Are all the devices connected using the same wireless standard (e.g., WiFi)?
- Starter sets are ideal for beginners but usually only cover a single area: energy efficiency, security, or convenience.
- The central control unit should be placed so that all the devices to be addressed are within its radius.
Controlling items around the house with one button or a voice command seems like a dream. People often forget to turn off the lights, TV, the oven, an iron, a washing machine, or radio when they leave home. And even if they haven’t but cannot remember the moment of switching off, they worry it may have happened. With innovative home technologies, they no longer have to return home in such cases. Automated technology can allow remote control from a personal device.
All the devices controlled via the Internet can potentially be hacked. Malicious activities may endanger the home’s safety. Intruders can get access to your in-and-out schedule, disable your security system and steal the house. Since innovative technologies are still developing, and the art of hacking evolves, it is hard to say whether they can protect their owners better than traditional security systems.
It’s good for the planet. However, until gaping security holes are partially closed, intelligent home technology still has significant hurdles to overcome before it becomes ubiquitous.
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