The Connected Cottage: An Introduction to Home Technology (Part 2)

Welcome to the second post in The Connected Cottage series, leading up to Maria’s panel chair at The CSI Converging Home Summit on the 8th of May, 2014.

The Connected Home and its components aren’t particularly new, but in the same way as the “environmentalism” of the 70s has become the “sustainability” of the 10s, there’s a new flurry of buzzwords to describe it. Including the phrase Connected Home itself. At the time of writing this, neither Connected Home nor Multimedia Home Gateway had a Wikipedia entry and Smart Home redirects to Home Automation. Yet we use these words like we know what we’re talking about – and as if we agree – and that somehow, all this is new and shiny.

For the purpose of this series, I’ll describe things as follows.

Connected Cottage A Connected Home retro-fitted to an old-build structure while maintaining its original character. Maria’s practical application of the Connected Home to an 1840s cottage.
Connected Home A networked home which receives multiple services over broadband. (I.e. it’s connected to the outside world). These services use the devices and networked infrastructure within the home. Built on broadband, home area networking (HAN), WiFi, connected devices, and Radio Frequency (RF).
Home Area Network (HAN) A Home Area Network (HAN) is a Local Area Network (LAN) that allows devices (often smart devices) within the home or on its property to communicate and interact. Derived from Local Area Network (LAN).   Required due to IPV4 IP address limits. Network Address Translation (NAT) is needed across the Wide Area Network (WAN) to HAN boundary.
Multimedia Home Gateway (MHG) Essentially the merging of a Set Top Box (STB) with a Residential Gateway and incorporating the Smart Home connectivity and Media Centre capabilities. It may also include QAM to IP conversion, client/server capabilities rather than a hard-drive and real-time transcoding to deliver content appropriate to IP devices within the home. An extension of the Set Top Box (STB), Residential Gateway (cable modem, DSL modem, wireless routing, network switching, VOIP) and Media Centre mixed with new Smart Home technology.
Smart Home Within the Connected Home devices need to communicate with each other. The Smart Home allows these devices to connect through a home network and be controlled either within the household or remotely from outside the network.   Devices can be controlled directly or intelligently automated with programmable scenes – actions that are triggered by different events or schedules. Based on Home Automation (HA) which is based on building automation.
Internet of Things (IoT) Objects (living or inanimate) are tagged in a unique way (by an IP address) which allows them to identify themselves to other objects and to communicate with them.When there are 10 billion people on the planet (we’re at 7 billion now), just 100 unique devices each means 1 trillion uniquely identifiable objects. IPv4 only allows 4.3B addresses.

This brings on board Big Data considerations, relates to IPV6 and raises privacy concerns – how many beers or cakes have you ordered from your connected fridge?!

Based on the internet, wireless, sensor networks, embedded computing and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication.Utilises technology like RFID.

IPV6 would allow identification of any object.

Table: Connected Home buzzword descriptions

>> Next in the series: Part 3 – The Connected Cottage: Connecting the Connected Home …

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