How 'smart' is your home?

How 'smart' is your home?

Today, smart home technology is a prerequisite for comfort and personal security. The concept of smart home technology has been around for a while; the main idea behind this was to introduce integrated technology and services through home networking for better quality of living.

Smart home technology enables the entire house to be automated, providing convenience and ease in everyday home activities. This technology is used to make the electronic devices ‘smart’ to facilitate users with security, comfort and energy management.

We know that untoward incidents can occur at anytime, even when we are away from our homes; having a home security technology in such times provides peace of mind. Fear that comes with crucial questions such as — Are you worried about your home security while you are at work or at vacation? Are your kids safe when left alone at home? Can smart home technology, using Internet of Things (IoT) mobile apps help us monitor our homes without a hitch? Do you want to keep a watch on what is happening at your home at any time? — can be alleviated with the assistance of home security technology.

Home automation technology has a huge impact on establishing a safe and effectual environment for our home as the consumer’s digital expectations and the desire for technology-enabled solutions to make their lives simple and untroubled are met at once. Home automation technology is moving forward, progressively improving,
thereby promising to provide harmony and convenience to our lives.

Linked together

Imagine a scenario where you forgot to switch off your home lights, and are now sitting at your workplace or in another city, from where you can possibly turn them off. Smart homes and offices have integrated technologies and Internet of Things (IoT) competencies to automatically perform tasks in order to save time and costs, while delivering convenience and personal security. The IoT assures a revolution in our way of living and connects us to our homes through smart phones and other devices, enabling exchange of data, useful information and control. Customers can use their smart phones to effectively run their homes and secure them from any damage or threat.

Smart homes rely on a centralised pivot that harmonises the IoT devices, smart alerts, sensors and other mobile devices within the house. This pivot has the capabilities to run programs and apps, and at the same time connect and broadcast information or data to the end-user. One of the most powerful aspects of a smart home is its ability to connect with its diverse facets including its many devices which collect and analyse data which is stored and used in multiple ways to improve functionality and create a smarter, more responsive customer experience which is the eventual goal of modern smart home.

Smart Automation Machines (SAM) provide a household security system which includes remote surveillance of security cameras over cloud or the Internet. They also provide central locking of all doors and windows along with other functions such as such automated lighting, thermostat control and ventilation within the home boundary. The Home Automation Machines have many motion detectors, sensors and alert alarms which are designed to detect any premise intrusion blocking any threat or property damage. The security alarms are interspersed with the CCTV cameras to keep a record of the activities of the intruders.

A smart home has numerous advantages; the homeowners can save home costs and perform home tasks more conveniently. The lighting can be automatically turned off to save energy, cooling and heating functions can be controlled when not in the house, hence optimising cost savings for the customers. Smart homes provide a sense of security and peace of mind. The home owners, whether or not they are at home, can use apps from their phones or other devices to facilitate smart locks, video conversations with visitors, neighbours and even use emergency trigger alarm buttons to turn on lights and alarm hooters to deter potential threat.

And the other things...

The aesthetics behind a smart home is the admixture of products that collectively work together as one well-knit system. The system operations require a substantial amount of coordination among each of its home automated devices that comprises a complete system. For example, the lights need to be able to connect to security camera systems and alarm sirens on detection of any movement or noise.

The concept of smart homes is in a nascent stage. Also, a technical breakthrough is required to shed light on how automation and human expertise can be fluently combined to provide home security solutions. If humans tactfully assist these automated home automation systems, that will be the path ahead.

The future of smart homes will depend on how adaptive we are to the improving technologies. As technology continues to grow, automated systems will thrive in the future. Of course, as is the case with all good things, there is a price of convenience which we have to pay for such smart technologies — these systems are open to vulnerabilities at each point of their usage. Unsecured security settings, easily hackable passwords, unmonitored security camera settings and untracked network connected device or software are loose ends that can lead to breaches. Therefore, while setting up a home automation system, it is essential to keep all these things in mind and only then go ahead.

(The author is director, AnG India Ltd)

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