Smart home automation is getting cheaper and accessible to more people through smart devices and smart homes. At the same time, the capabilities of smart devices are improving day by day with the latest innovations. This article will examine in depth what smart home automation and smart home technology are along with home automation protocols.
Smart Home Technology
What Is Smart Home Technology?
Smart home technology is the name given to any automation or connectivity that uses computer systems and electronics. What makes it an intelligent system is that it can automatically control devices in your home. such as lighting
Smart home automation is possible today due to the development of multiple technologies. Real-time analytics, machine learning, and various embedded systems make the technology possible.
Let's examine some of the essential home automation technology buzzwords.
Internet of Things
We can call the Internet of Things (IoT) a communication network where objects are connected or with larger systems.
Devices using IoT technology connect to the internet and exchange data. These intelligent devices, which we can call embedded systems, have their software and sensors. The most well-known example among them is smartwatches.
The applications of IoT are not restricted to Smart homes only. Apart from these, some of the application areas of the Internet of Things are such below:
- Smart city applications
- Smart security systems
- Medical and healthcare applications
- Procurement practices
- Smart home automation
- Agricultural applications
A smart home is a house that can control household appliances and belongings. It works with the help of a mobile device or another computer over a network they are connected to. In other words, a smart home is a group of interconnected smart home devices and sensors. Those connected devices communicate with each other in a network managed by the smart hub. You can control all your smart home devices remotely.
What does Smart Hub do?
The smart hubs or smart home hubs act as a bridge between the devices and gives them connectivity. The hub enables the communication of smart devices with each other and gives out information to the user through an app or computer over a network. If you are interested, you can also read Security concerns for Smart Home Automation.
Smart home appliances
Smart home devices work by connecting to each other by various protocols including Wifi. Smart homes devices are various, including air conditioning and heating, ventilation, lighting, hardware, and security systems. Some of the well-known smart gadgets are as follows:
It is a type of smart device and thermostat. It can be used with home automation and is responsible for controlling a home's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. They perform similar functions as a programmable thermostat.
It is an electromechanical lock. It is designed to perform locking and unlocking operations on a door when receiving such instructions from an authorized device. It uses the wireless protocol and encryption key to drive the authorization process.
It is a doorbell connected to the Internet. It notifies the home owner's smartphone or another electronic device when a visitor arrives at the door. Activates when the visitor presses the doorbell button or detects a visitor with the doorbell built-in motion sensor.
Most of us already know the smart bulbs brand, Philips Hue. However, there are much more smart light gadgets. Smart lighting is a lighting technology designed for energy efficiency, convenience, and safety. Lighting involves the deliberate application of light to achieve an aesthetic or practical effect.
A smart refrigerator, also known as an Internet refrigerator, is a refrigerator that can communicate with the Internet. A smart refrigerator is usually equipped to decide when a food item needs to be refreshed.
robot vacuum cleaner
Types of vacuum cleaners that work without human interaction depending on a particular algorithm are called robot vacuums.
Smart home security systems
Security systems are well-affected by these intelligent technologies. Smart technologies made a boost on smart home security systems. Especially, wireless motion detector type of alarm systems become a well-integrated security system to your smart home. Let briefly make a list of smart security systems:
- Wireless passive infrared sensor
- Curtain motion sensor: Wireless passive infrared curtain-type sensor creates a virtual wall and detects intrusion into a protected area through doors and windows.
- Wireless intrusion sensor: A wireless intrusion sensor detects intrusion into a protected site. The sensor controls the opening and closing of doors, windows, shutters, hatches, or doors.
- Wireless glass break sensor: Detects breakage of glass and glass structures. Wireless impact sensor: A high sensitivity wireless impact sensor detects displacement or impact on the protected surface.
- Wireless smoke detector: A wireless smoke sensor uses the scattered light method and helps to detect a fire early.
- Wireless Carbon monoxide detectors.
- Wireless temperature sensor: Measures the temperature at the installation site. It can also measure with external wired sensors. It measures temperature changes with high precision.
- Wireless heat and smoke detector: Wireless fire detector with temperature sensor, which monitors the security in the room 24 hours a day and instantly reports sharp spikes in smoke and temperature
- Wireless water leakage protection unit: These water sensors cut off the water when leakage is detected with the help of additional electrically-driven ball valves.
- Wireless water leak detector: It has 2 external wired leak sensors for 2 separate possible flood areas. External leak sensors are protected against false alarms from splashes and wet cleaning.
Smart home automation
Home automation is a sub-topic of robotics. It is also known as smart home automation. It is a methodology of automating the work to be done in a smart home with smart products. Therefore, automation refers to a broader concept than smart homes.
According to Wikipedia, a home automation system monitors or controls home features such as lighting, climate, entertainment systems, and devices.
The benefits of smart home automation systems
At a romantic dinner, you can make the fireplace burn out at once. It is pretty clear that this is a great move. However, smart home automation is a concept that has benefits far beyond these. I can say that we are at the beginning of a paradigm shift. Even just thinking about today's technology, we can talk about the following benefits:
- Remote access: Accessing remote devices means unlocking the door for your relatives or checking the fridge's temperature.
- Comfort: You will be able to start actions such as Heating, Ventilation, and Cooling before you come to your home. Thus, a warm house in winter and a cool house in summer will be waiting for you.
- Energy Efficiency: You remember that every time you come to your office in the morning, the light in the bathroom stays on. Who knows how many times we have experienced this situation. You can ensure that the devices you want are automatically turned off at certain times of the day. It makes everyday life more energy-efficient.
- Safety: Finally, many smart security products can increase your home’s safety. Wireless motion sensors and smart locks constitute great burglar alarms. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors prevent accidents.
It can save you money in the long run. You are better able to control the heating and cooling within your home if you incorporate a smart thermostat, either as a stand-alone device or as a connected component to your whole- home system. When no one is home in the winter, the system can turn the heat down and make the home ready for your comfort level just before you leave. This saves you money.
Home automation protocols
To make sensors and smart home products communicate with each other, they need a gateway. This communication mechanism is called home automation protocols. It is the one that accepts data from input devices or sensors and sends it out through output systems. Communication between devices can be over a network via various communication protocols.
The appliances of smart homes communicate with each other through various communication protocols like X10, UBP, Z-Wave, ZigBee, Insteon, and Wireless smart home automation.
Smart home automation automates tasks that would generally have to be done manually using smart home devices. Thus, there is no harm in calling homes where these tasks are performed automatically by IoT devices, such as smart homes.
You can control your smart home devices via:
- Voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google Assitant, or Alice. Simple voice commands are sufficient for controlling these intelligent systems.
- Smart home mobile application
Why is home automation needed?
Smart home automation gives you the chance to automate your life. Smart home devices are actually regular products that don't require internet. However, when they have the internet's power, they become smart home devices that communicate with each other over a network.
Besides, these devices are also known as the Internet of Things (IoT) devices controlled by smartphones and tablets through cloud computing systems. They enable various functions such as turning on lights when someone is there in the house, maintaining temperature levels, or automatically opening the door when dark outside.
Home automation makes life more comfortable and can even save you money. You can reduce the cost of heating, cooling, and electricity. Home automation can also lead to more excellent safety with intelligent home security systems and alarms. It also leverages physical security with smart security devices.
How smart home automation system works?
The systems operate at three different levels in the most general sense. We can call these functions of home automation.
- Monitoring / Surveillance: It means users can control their devices remotely through an application. For example, when you are not at home, you can connect your camera and view what is happening.
- Control: You have returned home from the cottage. However, you don't remember closing one of the shutters of the rooms. You open your application with your mobile and realized that the shutter was open. With a few taps, you closed your smart shutter and solved the problem.
- Automation: Setting up devices to trigger each other, such as a smart siren, when your security camera or wireless motion sensor detects a motion and automates the process.
Types of automation methodologies for smart homes
Home automation systems can be divided into specific categories that distinguish them from their peers. Let's briefly touch on these systems, which have a methodologically different approach.
1. Context-aware home automation
Context-aware smart-home automation tries to be aware of the context in which the user decides. For example, estimating the user's position within the living space contributes to defining the context. For example, an infrared grid or its English equivalent infrared grid can accurately predict the user's location at home. However, the fact that this system is challenging to implement in the home environment causes another problem.
2. Central controller-based home automation system
Multiple users and smart homes are controlled over a single secure network reserved for them in this system. Integration with the alarm monitoring center aims to increase the security of intelligent home automation systems significantly.
3. Bluetooth-based home automation system
Bluetooth-based smart home automation generally has a central controller hosted on a PC. This main controller communicates with microcontrollers via Bluetooth connection. Researchers have even created a new protocol called the Home Automation Protocol (HAP) to enable communication between devices. However, it is not preferred because it has a weak gravitational field of 100 meters and a relatively high power consumption.
4. Decentralized home automation systems
In these systems, information from sensors is received and processed by one or more control points. These shifting checkpoints make the procedure a much more difficult target. Let's say that it is exciting and open to development technology. It is not considered sufficient in current research for the home environment.
5. Internet-based home automation system
Internet or IP protocol-based smart home automation systems are a trendy choice among both researchers and end-users. You just need a wif-fi network for this type of smart home platforms. It offers high bandwidth and meager communication costs, and devices can easily connect and disconnect from the network. A username and password seem to be the only authentication method in most Internet-based home automation systems.
6. GSM or Mobile-based home automation system
GSM/Mobile-based smart home automation is prevalent due to the popularity of mobile phones and GSM technology. There are three different communication options. These:
- SMS-based home automation
- GPRS based home automation
- It is Dual Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) based home automation.
Smart home automation in popular culture
Although smart home systems have just begun to enter our lives, we often encounter traces in popular culture. Many of us remember "The Jetsons" will be remembered by many of us. They are aired in prime-time for the first time in 1962 in the United States. The cartoon series was set in a future-time utopia. There are numerous intelligent home automation examples in the cartoon.
Let's remember the Rosey character, which is loved by the Jetgiller family and never changed with a top model, although it is actually a home robot that is discontinued. This smart robot, which does all household chores, is perhaps the first example of smart home automation in our social memory.