A new transformation in homes is changing the way we use resources. Internet has increased in speed, number of users, digital content and types of devices. The proliferation of mobile devices has changed the way we access it, and now, objects around us may be connected to the Internet as well, to gather information, process it and share it. Internet connects not only human to each other but other things together. It has opened new opportunities and contributed to improving the way we live.
For those who grew up watching ‘The Jetsons’, that reality, where most human activities are driven by technology, is not that far.
Home automation is based on the idea of adding intelligence to a house or a building so it deals with certain tasks by itself. These tasks can be as simple as conditioning the temperature of a space or opening and closing the blinds depending on the time of day, to something more complex as providing security for an entire building.
Illumination’s management is probably the easiest to understand, a home that handles the lights without you touching a single switch. Knowing, not only if there are people in a room or not, but understanding if you are awake or sleeping.
To perform these tasks, there are three key elements in the automation systems:
- Sensors, in charge of measuring what we want to control, like: light, temperature and others.
- Drivers, who are responsible for deciding what action to take based on predefined rules and conditions.
- Actuators, that implement the necessary changes according to what is being controlled.
The systems have controls that allow users to make modifications either directly on site or remotely via computer or any smartphone or tablet. Thus networks have a key role supporting the implementation of this technology.
For example, refrigerators that know exactly what they have inside, and can suggest recipes with ingredients that are at hand, providing extra information through video tutorials available online.
Regarding security, the system can ensure the welfare of the inhabitants of the house. For instance, if you are sleeping and there is a gas leak, the sensors could identify, evaluate concentration and cut off the supply to avoid accidents. Likewise, automatically notify the company to perform an inspection or a repair.
Although this technology exists since several years ago, a 100% smart home is not yet popular, especially because of cost. It is probable that like most technology devices and applications that initially has high costs, in a few years, the mass production and new developments will allow the costs to drop, not being an obstacle to the popularization of this technology.