Convenience, security, and energy conservation are among the main benefits of a connected home, but at what cost?
There is hardly any aspect of human existence that has not experienced the positive influence of technology. From business to health care, banking, traveling, and education, the internet has become an integral part of almost every activity of mankind.
In this context, IoT and home automation are the biggest innovations that have transformed the way we live. Internet of Things refers to the vast network of devices (things) which are connected to the internet, and are able to communicate with each other via this connection. These devices include smartphones, tablets, and in context to home automation, air conditioners, washers, electrical lights, heating systems, and all the devices in your home. IoT has dramatically reduced the dependence of devices on human beings.
On the other hand, home automation technologies have made it possible to access and control these home devices from remote locations. Home automation uses IoT, which assigns an IP address to each device so that it can be accessed and monitored remotely. The devices are able to collect as well as exchange data and perform according to the instructions they receive. Together, these cutting-edge technologies have ushered a new revolution for the human race.
Smart devices and apps are integrated with these smart technologies to make your living space smarter than ever before. From electrical devices to heating and cooling systems, alarms, smoke detectors, locks, and surveillance cameras, home automation can be applied to an array of home appliances. The most amazing thing about the technology is that you can incorporate it on your own, one device at a time, without having to rely on professional help. With IoT and home automation, the possibilities are literally endless as they can make your lives more comfortable and convenient.
All you need to smarten up your home
The technology of home automation with IoT works on the principle of networking. A seamless connection between the home appliances and remote devices is required to run the system smoothly. The primary requirement for the devices is that they should be internet-enabled so that they can be integrated with the network and controlled remotely. Home automation systems are capable of connecting together multiple devices to make an array of functions possible, even without the physical presence to carry them out.
There are two ways in which these IoT-enabled “things” can be automated. The home devices could work on the binary system, with the states of “on” or “off”, as in the case of electrical lights and power outlets. The other kind is the ones which have two states of “open” and “close”, in devices such as security sensors. These appliances are connected with remote devices such as a smartphone, tablet, or computer, via an app interface. This can be done with the help of a web application or mobile application.
Further, these applications can be designed to run on multiple devices, or there could be specialised ones such as iOS or Android apps. In simpler words, a home automation system consists of a dedicated device at home, which is monitored and controlled via a mobile or tablet from a remote location. A smart app is used to establish a connection between the two.
What are the benefits?
Despite being an expensive investment, home automation is gaining increasing acceptance days because of the extensive benefits it offers. The technology adds value to your home and makes it a better place to live in. Here are some reasons why every homeowner should consider investing in it:
Convenience. Nothing matches the convenience of being able to have your home heating/cooling switched on as soon as you start going home from work. You are able to have your home welcome you with just the right temperature at the end of a long day. Home automation lets you handle the operation of temperature control with your smartphone. It also enables you to turn the lights on and off before entering your home or after leaving it. The technology is now being used in even more interesting ways, such as cooking, washing clothes and dishes, watering plants, and cleaning while you are away. You can even open the door lock from your workplace and allow your child or a guest to enter your place.
Energy conservation. Along with convenience, home automation bundles up the benefit of energy conservation. A click on your smartphone is all that is needed to control all the devices back home. The technology also helps you set schedules to turn on the lights and temperature controls at different times of the day. This reduces the risk of forgetting to turn the home devices out while leaving the house. Imagine how much you can save on electricity bills by being able to control lighting and heating/cooling while you are away from home. This makes it an amazing one-time investment which can help you save on energy costs for a long time in future. Also, a flexible home automation system is a great way to make your abode eco-friendly and energy-efficient.
Security. With the use of the bundled technologies of IoT and smart home automation, you can effortlessly enhance the security of your living space. Smart locks and surveillance devices protect your homes from intrusion while you are away for work or vacation. A smart security system acts as a watchdog, ensuring that all the doors and windows are secure while no one is home. The video cameras installed as a part of the automation system provide real-time video feeds. This enables you to keep a regular tab on your children, the elderly, or pets as well as check out the security status of your home.
Constant monitoring and regular notifications. Not only does this system ensure security and convenience, it also helps you with home maintenance. You can monitor every nook and corner of your home and find out the maintenance and repair requirements such as leaks. The system may even be programmed to sound alarms or send notifications as soon as it detects a leak. Alternatively, it can provide a message or mail reporting a potential issue as well as fire alarms and weather alerts.
The popularity of IoT in home automation is growing with every passing day as more and more people are adopting it for a stress-free lifestyle. It can be simply explained as making your home a “smart home”, which can be managed using devices and mobile applications. The only issue that keeps it from becoming universal is its cost. The future looks bright as manufacturers are looking to make such devices more affordable and within reach of average consumers.
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