Imagine your door automatically unlocking and opening as you approach, or feeding your dog at home from the convenience of your office chair, or turning on the coffee machine while still in bed, or better yet your fridge ordering milk or groceries from the store when they are finished or expired. All this and more is possible thanks to smart home technologies.
So what exactly is a smart home?
A smart home is a premise, residence, or building that has been technically automated with smart devices to ensure convenience, comfort, security, entertainment, and remote accessibility is at your fingertips. All this is attainable thanks to the advanced technology of the internet of things (IoT).
How does Smart Home Technology Work?
The history of smart home products dates back to 1975 when a Scotland company named Pico Electronics developed a protocol called X10 that allowed products to talk to each other via the already existing electrical wires of a home. This system worked in a two-way traffic line that involves a transmitter (e.g. remote control, keypad, etc.) and a receiver (e.g. house appliances and devices) that communicated in a three-way process that included:
- The transmitter issuing a command to the receiver.
- Identifying the device that should receive the command.
- Decoding and executing the received command (e.g. – turn the lights on/off).
Over the years, this technology has advanced and evolved to include wireless radio waves such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth that are more faster and efficient thanks to advances like the Source Routing Algorithm that determines the fastest and easiest route to travel.
Examples of Smart Home Products
Most of the companies that create these amazing smart home communication protocols have partnered with big electronic companies to build state of the art high-end products that include but are not limited to:
- LED lighting systems that can be controlled remotely and that allow you to customize the colors and brightness from your smartphone.
- Smart cameras and motion sensors that are able to differentiate between residents and robbers and that can alert you or the authorities when there is suspicious behavior going on.
- Kitchen appliances that are programmed with smart technologies, e.g. – smart automatic coffee makers, smart toasters, smart refrigerators that can track expiration dates and make shopping lists, smart washing machines and driers, etc.
- Smart door locks and garage locks that can be automatically opened using your smartphone.
- Smart TVs and Audios with voice and gesture recognition.
- Automated pet feeders and water gardening systems with connected timers and etc.
Some of these devices also have AI capabilities that enable them to learn the homeowners’ behavior and automatically update their settings so as to provide maximum efficiency and comfort.
A recent report by Fortune Business Insights estimated that the global smart home market is projected to reach USD 622.59 billion by the year 2026, which is a 29.3% increase. This means that more and more people are embracing smart home technologies as more efficient, convenient and user-friendly smart home products are being released in the market each day.