What a Smart Home is all about
What you need to understand by the term Smart Home and how everyday life can be more comfortable with the latest home automation.

Imagine being the last to leave the house in the morning. And now think about what you have to think about before you go: if you have switched off the stove on which you have just made the milk ready for the children, if the light in the bathroom is off and is the heating turned off in the dining area? And now imagine that all these devices would switch off only by locking the front door twice when leaving the house. Wonderful new world? This is not a dream of the future but possible today with a Smart Home.

What is a “Smart Home”?

“Smart Home” is a generic term of the lighting and construction industry for technical systems and processes in living rooms and houses. Smart Home is all about quality of life, safety and efficient energy use. This is done with networked devices and lights, as well as installations for the automation of certain processes, such as control of the heater, the shutters or air conditioning.

The networking possibilities in the Smart Home

This term also includes the networking of components of consumer electronics and, as already indicated, the networking of household appliances.

A smart home is a house in which as many lamps and devices as possible are networked with each other, they can even store data and map their own logic. A truly networked Smart Home has its own programming interface, which can be accessed via the network and controlled via apps on the smartphone.

How is home automation done?

Who builds a new house and has a soft spot for “Smart Home” can e.g. install a touch screen in each room and organize networking of the devices via cable. This is called a fieldbus control, KNX is the best known variant here. Even if you think your client doesn’t need this, you should offer a retrofit option for the new building, at least in the form of conduits and deep sockets. Thus, smart technology can be integrated later.

There are many smart home devices for purchasing. An example would be Philips Hue.

If you want to create a clever networked home after the fact, you can get yourself products that are controlled with a remote control or an app via WLAN, Bluetooth, ZigBee, Z-Wave or e.g. EnOcean. These can also be quickly taken away with a relocation. Examples include Amazon Echo, Google Home or Logitech Harmony. Devices with different standards are no longer a problem here because there are systems that “translate” the signals of different Smart Home standards into one signal and thus can be controlled by a single software. This is often a WLAN signal. A provider who masters many standards is e.g. MyHomeBox.

Criticism on Smart Home

The following issues still need to be addressed by manufacturers, science and politics: how to protect such systems from hacker attacks, which mechanisms can be used or developed to ensure privacy and security. Or another topic: how do the many different radio frequencies affect the human organism? There are very few long-term studies. Although the EU issued a recommendation in 1999 to protect people from electromagnetic fields.

Due to the rapid development towards more and more radio-controlled and controllable devices in the household, however, the question arises whether this recommendation is sufficient and whether it would not be appropriate to do further studies to investigate the physiological effects. If necessary, any remaining doubts could be eliminated or measures taken to ensure that smart technologies are handled with care.

Our conclusion

Everyone has to decide for themselves how extensively to configure their Smart Home. Does the idea of comfort play an important role, the energy saving potential, the security aspect or even the possibility of controlling your own four walls at any time? And when it is clear what the desired outcome should be, it must be weighed as to how this is best implemented and how much money you want to spend on it.

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