A house is not a home without people living in it. This cannot be emphasized more by the fantastic sensors that make up the “nervous system” of a smart home. The sensors know that human beings have needs, moods and preferences. IoT works smartly in a domestic setting such that it can turn an otherwise empty, dull house into a home. It can actually feel like being taken cared of at home by an invisible, intelligent and utterly efficient house help.
How do smart homes work?
Imagine a set of computers connected to each other and communicating with one another to solve problems. These computers, or computer devices can actually be installed in your house and function in a way that it interacts with you and the other computers. Your appliances and furnitures, such as thermostat, lighting system, airconditioning units, coffee maker and even the refrigerator can be turned into ‘home automation devices’ with its own processing capability and memory chip. The devices are then linked through a network, often through WiFi hub.
In achieving a fully automated home, you would need a WiFi hub that links all wireless home automation devices. Applications or programs can be installed in your phone to allow you to remotely control all the devices’ functions. (source: Home.Howstuffworks) With many sophisticated mobile apps now in the market, users can actually install home automation devices all they want and control them using the phone in a flick of a finger.
Another fascinating feature of a smart home is its capability to predict what you need. Imagine waking up in the morning with your coffee maker already brewing, your favorite news program already chattering on TV and your night lights already turned off, all because your alarm clock had rung. The IoT has taken computer intelligence into another level and, as far as smart home is concerned, more humane.
The news site editorialtoday.com describes the smart home as follows: “You could push a movie button on a touch pad which would dim your lights, close the drapes, turn on the popcorn maker, check for beer in the fridge , put your phone on voice mail, adjust heating or air conditioning in unused parts of your home while you’re watching and turn on your home theatre system.” That is a lot of effort and time saved. Quantify the effort and time to determine the value in dollars, and you would have saved lots of money, just because your home is smart.
In terms of value for money, the benefits of IoT for homes has been proven in many ways. But these benefits are more obvious if we talk about security and safety. In fact, keeping homes secure and safe had been the original objective of IoT for homes. The networking of alarms, security cameras and smoke detection devices were the first home automation devices to be installed. IoT has allowed the user to monitor every corner of the house in real time. It is also now possible to prevent electrical short circuits through the automatic disconnection of power around the house when smoke or short circuit is detected. Devices can also immediately detect gas leaks and warn household members by setting off the alarm and cutting off power supply.
With the way IoT is developing so rapidly, smart homes of the future are expected to be astoundingly intelligent. According to Business Insider, Bill Gates’ home in the Lake Washington is the smartest house on the planet. The technology used for the house is astounding and cost over a hundred million dollars because of its innovative and most advanced network. In each room, a number of sensors have been installed to determine when a person comes in, identifies the person, checks for security credentials and makes a basic background check. The room’s air conditioning unit is then turned on to a temperature that suits the temperature of the person who just came in. The room is automatically lit, and a soft background music chosen by the computer based on mood and preferences of the person who just came in. When no one is in the room or at home, the lights and thermostat turn off to save on power, and the security system turns at peak level.
So are you planning to go on a vacation? No worries, your smart home is house-sitting on its own.