Introduction To Smart House

What Is A Smart House?

Smart home technology generally refers to any suite of devices, appliances, or systems that connect into a common network that can be independently and remotely controlled. When your home technology works together in one system, it can also be referred more loosely as a “connected home”.

For example, your home's thermostat, lights, audio speakers, TVs, security cameras, locks, appliances, and more are all connected into a common system, which can be controlled from your smart phone or through a mobile touch screen device.

Smart home automation allows you to tap into high-tech functionality and luxury that wasn’t possible in the past. As technology development continues to expand, so will the possibilities for consumer home automation to make life easier and more enjoyable.

The History of Smart House

The Smart House term was first coined by the American Association of House Builder in 1984. In the early 1990’s there was a new focus in combining gerontology with technology in gerontechnology, to improve the lives of elderly. 

By the end of the century domestic appliance, computers and robotics were combined in many products trying to make them more intelligent. A new term was commonly used to describe that – Domotics – but despite the efforts to make this technology accessible it was still to expensive and was left for the rich.

In 1998 a demonstration called Integer Millennium House was opened in Watford presenting how home automation could be integrated to a home with heating systems, automatic garden controlling soil, security systems, lights and doors. 

Gradually with the technology became more affordable, this technologies slowly started to be integrated in our homes. With the popularity growing there was more investment into making them more cheaper and efficient and in the end accessible for regular people.

First Smart Devices

Engineers were flirting with home automation with in the 1930’s but not only in 1966 when Jim Sutherland developed the first Home Automation System called “Echo IV”, which could control temperature, manage a shopping list or turn the appliances on and off.

Another tryout came in 1969 when the Honeywell Kitchen Computer appeared, a machinery who could create recipes, but never had commercial success due to the huge price. When the microprocessor appeared in 1971, the price of electronics started to fall quickly and the technology become available to everyone.

Smart Home Components

  • Automation

Automation is, unsurprisingly, one of the two main characteristics of home automation. Automation refers to the ability to program and schedule events for the devices on the network.

The programming may include time-related commands, such as having your lights turn on or off at specific times each day. It can also include non-scheduled events, such as turning on all the lights in your home when your security system alarm is triggered.

  • Remote Control

The other main characteristic of cutting-edge home automation is remote monitoring and access. While a limited amount of one-way remote monitoring has been possible for some time, it’s only since the rise in smartphones and tablets that we’ve had the ability to truly connect to our home networks while we’re away.

With the right home automation system, you can use any Internet-connected device to view and control the system itself and any attached devices.

Monitoring apps can provide a wealth of information about your home, from the status of the current moment to a detailed history of what has happened up to now. You can check your security system’s status, whether the lights are on, whether the doors are locked, what the current temperature of your home is and much more.

With cameras as part of your home automation system, you can even pull up real-time video feeds and literally see what’s going on in your home while you’re away.

Even simple notifications can be used to perform many important tasks. You can program your system to send you a text message or email whenever your security system registers a potential problem, from severe weather alerts to motion detector warnings to fire alarms. You can also get notified for more mundane events, such as programming your “smart” front door lock to let you know when your child returns home from school.

How It Works?

Zigbee and Z-Wave are two of the most common home automation communications protocols in use today. Both mesh network technologies, they use short-range, low-power radio signals to connect smart home systems. 

Though both target the same smart home applications, Z-Wave has a range of 30 meters to Zigbee's 10 meters, with Zigbee often perceived as the more complex of the two. Zigbee chips are available from multiple companies, while Z-Wave chips are only available from Sigma Designs.

All devices are controlled by a master home automation controller, often called a smart home hub. The smart home hub is a hardware device that acts as the central point of the smart home system and is able to sense, process data and communicate wirelessly

It combines all of the disparate apps into a single smart home app that can be controlled remotely by homeowners. Examples of smart home hubs include Amazon Echo, Google Home, Insteon Hub Pro, Samsung SmartThings and Wink Hub, among others.

In simple smart home scenarios, events can be timed or triggered. Timed events are based on a clock, for example, lowering the blinds at 6:00 p.m., while triggered events depend on actions in the automated system; for example, when the owner's smartphone approaches the door, the smart lock unlocks and the smart lights go on.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are becoming increasingly popular in smart home systems, allowing home automation applications to adapt to their environments. For example, voice-activated systems, such as Amazon Echo or Google Home, contain virtual assistants that learn and personalize the smart home to the residents' preferences and patterns.

The Things You Need to Have a Smart Home

A smart home doesn’t have to mean completely new and crazy gadgets or robots – though it can if you want. Often it just means replacing gadgets, appliances and accessories with connected or automated versions of a similar thing – smart light bulbs, smart thermostats, smart security systems and more.

1. Smart Lighting

For most people interested in living in a smart home, lighting is the entry point. Many smart lighting systems work perfectly well without a central hub and are still capable of interacting with other smart home elements.

Bulbs from LIFX and TP-Link, for example, communicate over Wi-Fi, while some others communicate via the Bluetooth radio in your smartphone.

2. Smart Speakers

Smart home speakers give homes the best smart technology and sound in one device. Today’s smart speakers serve as a voice assistant, phone and music player all-in-one. The best speakers offer balanced bass and cost-effective control in one smart home device.

One of the best all around smart speakers are Apple HomePod, Amazon Echo and Google Home Max

The Best Smart Home Speaker Features To Look For

  • Two-way audio : This feature gives the ability to communicate with family members in different rooms using the smart speaker’s built-in microphone. Some smart speakers can serve as a home intercom or walkie talkie to communicate with others in the house through the speaker.
  • Multi-tasker : Popular smart speakers have voice assistants that can handle ‘Routines.’ Your smart speaker’s built-in voice assistant can multitask on your command. You’ll be able to tell them to play a song while turning on the lights when you tell it ‘Good morning.’
  • Phone and video calls : Smart speakers with microphones and voice control often allow Wi-Fi calls. Simply use voice commands to dial a phone number or call someone in your address book to chat with clear sound and hands-free.
  • Alarm clock : No more relying on the smartphone or old-fashion alarm clock. Smart speakers can wake you up to your favorite song instead of a generic chime.

3. Smart Thermostats

Ecobee4

Few smart home devices can match a smart thermostat’s ability to deliver both comfort and cost/energy savings. But how?

These devices go far beyond establishing a heating and cooling schedule based on when you anticipate being home to enjoy those benefits. They can detect when you’re home and when you’re away, so that your HVAC system operates only when it’s needed.

The latest trend on this front is to equip thermostats with sensors that you can put in the rooms you occupy most frequently, so that the thermostat operates on the basis of where you are in the house, instead of triggering heating and cooling cycles based on the thermostat’s location.

4. Home Security Cameras

A quality home security camera will enable you to keep a watchful eye on your home, especially while you’re away.

Some models—from Ring, Netatmo, and Maximus—incorporate lights that can illuminate your way.

Cameras incorporated into doorbells can monitor your front porch and let you interact with visitors without needing to approach the door—or even be home at the time.

5. Smart Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Nest Labs

A smart smoke detector will sound a local alarm, too, but it will also send an alert to your smartphone—and to anyone else you authorize as a contact—if danger is detected.

Nest Labs makes our favorite smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector. If you also have a Nest Smart Thermostat, the smoke detector can instruct the thermostat to shut down your HVAC system if there’s a fire, so smoke isn’t circulated to every room in your home.

6. Smart Irrigation

Water is our most precious resource. A smart irrigation system can help ensure your lawn and garden get enough moisture to be healthy and vibrant without wasting any of it.

And of all the smart home subsystems you can invest in, this might be the one that will benefit the least from being incorporated into a hub. Smart irrigation systems can also be complex, so using a purpose-built app is usually better anyway.

Smart sprinklers and irrigation controllers can simplify home lawn and garden care, and reduce water consumption.

Instead of fixed timers, these systems draw on data from sensors, weather forecasts and plant-care databases to determine watering needs and deliver just enough moisture at just the right time. Lower your water bill, and check up on your plants from anywhere in the world using mobile and web apps.

Smart House Benefits

  • Monitoring – We should be able to monitor in real time or historical, from any remote location, the house status. A smart house should provide live data and statistics about most of the systems integrated like energy consumption, water consumption, temperature and humidity monitoring, heating system status, security access alerts, proximity scanning and people presence counting.
  • Controlling – Don’t underestimate the power of being able to control your home’s functions from a distance. On an exceptionally hot day, you can order your house to become cooler in just enough time before you get home from work. If you’re in a hurry to get dinner started but you’re still at the store, you can have your oven start to preheat while you’re still on your way home. You can even check to see if you left the lights on, who is at your front door, or make sure you turned off all your media while you’re away.
  • Efficiency – Depending on how you use your smart-home technology, it’s possible to make your space more energy-efficient. For example, you can have more precise control over the heating and cooling of your home with a programmable smart thermostat that learns your schedule and temperature preferences, and then suggests the best energy efficient settings throughout the day.
  • Intelligence – House should know at anytime how many people are inside, and also how many people are in each room. This is important, it can be the main factor in controlling the heating systems. Plus, house should be able to access online weather providers and combine the forecast data with the measurements from sensors in order to adjust the heating systems in advance for a smooth temperature changing.

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