Smart technologies can automate a series of activities and processes in homes to optimize consumption and ensure greater comfort. They refer to the IoT and indicate all products that use the Internet connection and smartphone apps to offer new functions also connected to traditional products, such as room thermostats.
Difference Between Home Automation And Smart Home
However, there are significant differences: home automation includes all systems and devices that improve the comfort and efficiency of the home through integrated and wired functions in the electrical system. Smart home, on the other hand, refers to the IoT and indicates all products that use the Internet connection and smartphone apps to offer new functions also connected to traditional products, such as the room thermostat. Smart home technologies can automate (and optimize) a series of activities and processes in homes to optimize consumption and ensure greater comfort for those who live there.
Smart Home: What A Smart Home Is, How It Works And What It Is For
Smart is synonymous with “connected.” What makes a device “intelligent” is the possibility that it becomes part of a home network, and from this, it can reach and be reached by the Internet. This allows you to control the device remotely and automatically, be it a switch, a thermostat, or other. Smart devices, intelligent devices, communicate with a hub or server through one of the different communication standards: WiFi, Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Bluetooth, the most used.
The difference between a smart device and a non-smart device lies precisely in the fact that the smart one responds to a command, can be programmed according to a routine, and, in the case of sensors and detectors, can communicate the collected data and in addition to showing them on an integrated display. Although smart speakers and security systems are the most requested solutions currently, the Internet of Things for the home concerns many aspects of home life: from home comfort to energy saving, the market is developing in various directions, including the smart building sector (i.e., construction).
- air conditioning/heating (air conditioners, thermostats, or boilers adjustable remotely or via app);
- household appliances (remote on / off, via app or with your voice, of dishwashers, washing machines, microwave ovens);
- lighting (switching on / off, adjusting the tone or intensity via app or agent);
- security (video surveillance and video door entry systems with the possibility of accessing images remotely and from smart TVs, intelligent locks that send alarms in the event of an intrusion);
- smart speakers (devices that can be controlled via voice that allow you to receive information – e.g., on the weather, traffic – and to issue commands – e.g., adjust the lights or the temperature).
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Connected Devices For The Home: What They Are And How To Use Them
There are various ways to implement an intelligent home system. One of these consists of using special relays to be inserted in the electrical system to switch on, off, or adjust the intensity of the lights and to control the electric shutters with a smartphone. The installation of such a system involves the insertion of multifunction relays with Bluetooth technology, which guarantees greater data security than WiFi combined with 128-bit encrypted transmission. Where a cloud system of the manufacturer is used, the same must be undertaken to protect the sensitive data produced by the devices installed in the customers’ homes.
This home automation system allows the control of various domestic devices via smartphone apps, even voice, and through innovative electrical system elements, such as buttons and wireless switches. At the center of an intelligent home system, we find the gateway, through which all the peripherals that make up the system are managed. In essence, it is a router equipped with low-power wireless interfaces. Through the router, the “objects,” i.e., the peripherals, are connected to the home network (Lan) and the Internet so that they can also be controlled remotely, thanks to unique apps and Access credentials. Gateways are almost always compatible with popular voice assistants from Google and Amazon.
Advantages Of The Connected Home
Among the advantages of having a bright and connected home, energy saving comes first, becoming an economic advantage. The automatic and personalized control of the operation of lights, appliances, air conditioners, radiators, and more, based on your habits and external environmental conditions, allows you to avoid waste, using the various devices only in case of real need. A smart home also means monitoring consumption promptly and controlling the energy bill. The second advantage is convenience.
Automating the switching on and adjusting lights, shutters, heating, and refrigeration relieve the user of the burden of remembering. As an alternative to automation, human control can be maintained but entrusting it to voice commands, which are much more immediate and comfortable than manual ones. There is also the possibility of remote control of many domestic functions, which adds further comfort and practicality. Consider, for example, the activation of air conditioning systems or some household appliances, which can be performed in the office or your car while traveling.
A smart home also means assistance; technologies can be used to improve life or provide service to the elderly and people with disabilities, especially motor disabilities. Last but not least, safety. Integrating traditional alarm systems with an intelligent and connected system significantly increases the degree of reliability, allowing the apartment owner to keep it under control even when he is very far away.
Some Smart Home Functions
Some smart home systems provide for the possibility of setting geolocation on the smartphone or voice assistant app. In this way, the system can know where we are, or if we are at home or not, allowing us to save energy. For example, if in the winter season the heating timer has been set half an hour before the time we leave the house to go to work, the day we leave the house much earlier for an extraordinary commitment, the system will notice and deactivate the plant in advance, avoiding waste.
Control Of Thermostatic Valves And Room Thermostats
Many smart home systems allow you to regulate the temperature in each room by acting on the “smart” thermostatic valves that the radiators are equipped with. With the app, it is possible to manage several thermostats located in the same house (sectioning of the system to zones); or thermostats situated in different buildings, such as the main house and second home or office.
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