2017 – The Year of Automation
Home automation has been around for a while, but is still in its infancy. So, what is it exactly and how can it help you?
What is Home Automation and the Internet of Things?
Have you ever heard of the Internet of things (IoT)? It might sound like something out of a sci-fi film but it is already here and its popularity is set to increase. Essentially, it is a huge network of every day devices that are connected to the Internet and controlled by a single device, such as your smartphone. Some call them Smart Devices.
Not a New Concept
According to my research, the first recorded smart device is as old as I am; an internet toaster conceived in 1989 by John Romkey and Simon Hackett following a dare by the President of the Interop (Internet Networking Exhibition).
Although, some people consider ATM’S (automated teller machines) the first smart devices and they date back to 1974.
Home automation (also known as domonics) works together with the IoT. Most often you find devices to open your blinds, control the heating, turn on your oven, manage your security system (which I will come on to) and control the lights, but the list of smart devices is getting longer and more complicated.
Soon, your fridge will be able to tell you when you are low on milk or eggs, you will be able to track and remotely water your house plants and monitor your appliances to ensure they are working effectively and not displaying any faults.
Connected Home Security Systems
Security systems including intruder alarms, smoke and fire detectors, automated gates, CCTV and rising bollards are already part of the IoT. Having these devices interconnected means you can control them from your smartphone in real time, providing total control of your home.
The chances are, your security provider can already remotely access your system, report, and fix errors. A home surveillance camera is currently available that can tell the difference between things and people. It uses facial recognition to inform you when an unfamiliar face is in the house.
In the future, I can see facial recognition used for access control for home electric gates and entrances. Arriving home from work and fumbling for your remote-control key fob will be outdated. Intercoms can already be connected via Wi-Fi to your smartphone allowing you total control of your property entrance from wherever you are in the world.
With IoT, all your home devices, things such as your TV can report when they are unplugged so you can remotely track all your possessions. For example, even if intruders manage to enter your home, you will be alerted if they try to steal your television when they unplug it.
The Future - 30 Billion Things
Experts predict that by 2020, 30 billion things/devices will be interconnected within the IoT. Let us see what kind of things:
1. Home appliances; everything from toasters, vacuums, houseplants, and temperature can be controlled to safety devices such as CO2 and fire alarms.
2. Rail networks; technologists claim smart devices could revolutionise our rail networks.
3. Baby and childcare; managing the environment that your child grows up in, including temperature, noise levels and heart rate, feeding into your smartphone.
4. Automobiles; monitor the running of your car and manufacturers will apply updates remotely.
5. Clothing and fashion; apparel will be connected meaning you can find your favourite shoes lost in the cupboard, find washing instructions, and get fashion advice tailored for an individual item of clothing.
Want to know more?
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