There has been a rapid evolution of technology in the past decade. The internet, social media, smartphones, cloud computing, big data analytics along with other technological advancements have simply transformed the way we work, live and socialize. The modern homes are smarter than ever, thanks to the latest smart gadgets and cutting-edge innovations, Internet of Things and Machine-to-Machine communications.
What are Smart Homes?
Smart homes are residential spaces equipped with advanced automatic systems for lighting, temperature control, security, windows and doors functionalities, multimedia, and many such home functions. For a long time smart homes tethered on the edge of reality; however, finally, they are being crafted in cement, stone and healthy addendum of IoT (Internet of things) and M2M (Machine to machine) technologies.
Smart homes offer an intelligent, secure, personalized and convenient living experience backed by the Internet of Things. All the M2M devices in a home are networked using IoT, to provide a reliable and seamless control on all the functional segments of home.
Why Opt for Home Automation or Smart Home?
We use several electric appliances at home and often it becomes hard for us to keep a track of everything, especially when we step out of our homes. Home automation provides you flawless control of lighting, air conditioning, home theatre, music, sprinkler systems, security systems, curtains or shutters…you name it.
Smart home automates all the appliances and connects them to a common network. These automated devices are specially designed to receive and interpret the owner’s instructions and operate accordingly. It can be used anytime, anywhere and even when you are away either via direct control or preset shortcuts, in the same look and feel from a home computer, wall switch, TV or even your smartphone.
The technology can switch on the TV program of your choice at a particular time, make coffee for you, or set the lightings as per your mood. When you wake up in the dark and go to the washroom, the technology is intelligent enough to light your path. If the fire alarm buzzes, it can also be programmed to unlock the doors and make a call to fire department.
Apart from this, it also helps in saving electricity by sensing the presence of people at home and turns off the appliances automatically when not in use. This technology is especially useful for elderly people who live alone where their children can monitor the house while they are away from home. Thus, home automation lets you enjoy 24 x 7 connectivity, convenience, comfort, peace of mind and entertainment homewide!
Major Constituents of Smart Homes
The two main components of home automation technology are:
- Automation: Technology has enabled the user to customize their smart devices in such a way that they can even schedule the events beforehand so that the devices learn to perform certain activities at a particular time every day. For example, the lights will automatically turn off every night at the time when you go to sleep. It may also include the incidents such as the lights turning on whenever the alarms are triggered.
- Remote Control: Smart homes make use of monitoring apps that can be accessed via TV, smartphone, Tab, etc. These apps can give live feed or can be programmed to give notifications via text messages or emails in case there is a potential problem or security threat.
Terms Associated with Home Automation
To build a smart home a whole set up of hardware and software is necessary which forms the foundation of home automation technology. Some important terms associated with home automation are:
- X10: X10 is a protocol that enables communication amongst various devices used for home automation. It enables remote control of appliances and devices which act as receivers while the keypads and other devices act as transmitters. The X10 devices may either use electrical wires or radio waves to communicate. The two radio networks for home automation are:
- Z-Wave: In this medium of transmission, each device is embedded with a code and when it’s plugged, the controller recognizes the code, determines its location and adds it to the network. A hierarchy exists amongst the devices and the fastest route is chosen to transmit the message.
- ZigBee: This uses a mesh networking concept where the messages are transmitted in a zigzag manner determining the best path to reach the receiver. Any company can build a Zig-Bee compatible device and it does not have to pay any license fee. Zig-Bee is based on the standard set by Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for wireless personal networks.
- Insteon: In this technology, a dual mesh network is formed by both electrical signals and radio waves integration. The message is broadcasted by all the devices until the command implements. No hierarchy exists and hence all devices act as peers.
Setting up Smart Home
To set up smart home hardware, software and the fundamental technology including protocols is required. Besides, you need smart devices which can be connected to the internet on the home network. For example, motion sensors, cameras, devices with built-in web servers, LED lights, etc.
It is always recommended to seek professional help when designing a smart home. One has to plan where the nodes must be placed so as to have an effective routing range and sometimes renovation or remodeling of the home may be needed.
The role of M2M communications in Smart Homes
Intelligence at home is taking a whole new meaning with the growth of IOT, M2M and broadband communications. Multiple connected home appliances are transforming the entertainment, information, general well-being and health into more interactive as well as maneuverable factors. There is massive potential within smart homes for M2M technology, providing the residents with advanced controls and intelligence to manage the security, functionality and other facets of home automation.
Technosoft Innovations’ Smart Home Solutions
Technosoft Innovations have a rich domain expertise in electronic products and connected devices. We help our clients in designing smart home devices and applications with the power of IoT and M2M communications. Our innovative solutions give our clients the flexibility and adaptability to engage with us using flexible engagement models. Technosoft can help bring customer’s home to life with customized solutions that work with their budget and lifestyle and grow with their changing needs.
We help our clients in customizing and introducing new products in the market. The products we engineer take low time-to-market and the manufacturers do not have to build the device from the ground up. With the help of our outstanding engineering services capability, we build a product that meets customer’s specific needs, generate higher revenue and more margins.