The Connected Cottage: Making the Connected Home Smart (Part 4)

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

The Smart Home incorporates many different applications of technology. The most common ones are as follows.

Remote Control A remote controller can be an infrared remote, touch panel, key fob, wand or even through a web browser on a PC or a smartphone application which can control access or trigger “Scenes” or “Zone” behaviour. This can be everything from a master control device to one that opens a door, controls the temperature or turns lights on in a room.
Gateways and Bridges A gateway (sometimes called a hub or smart controller) supports one or more smart home protocols and can act also support Wi-Fi and act as the router.   Gateways can also connect to bridges.Bridges just “bridge” the communication gap between different protocols like a smart home protocol and the Wi-Fi router. Gateways can also be bridged together, e.g. over IP to extend the signal range of the network. Both allow the linking and registering of devices or nodes and the ability to control them through an application or APIs.
Automotive This includes charging of a Plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) or Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).
Blinds and Shutters Automated awnings, blinds, sun shades, screens, shutters, smart glass and smart film can also be triggered to provide security and passive solar controls – letting in more sun during the day when the weather is cold or cloudy, shielding a property from excess heat in the warmer months and closing to prevent heat loss at night.Smart glass and smart film can also dynamically shift between opaque and mostly transparent and may be able to do partial opacity or transparency.
Energy and Utility Smart energy and utility monitoring includes meters (for electricity, gas, water, and heating or cooling) and displays to view both real-time and historic data. Energy usage generated in the property (for example through the use of photovoltaic panels) can also be monitored. Plug sockets can be monitored for load and controlled remotely.
Environment and Climate This is generally known as Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC). It includes a variety of sensors (including temperature, humidity, CO², air flow, floods, water freezing, leaks, pump and pressure) and programmable communicating thermostats (PCTs).
Health Telehealth is the holistic (preventative, promotive and curative) delivery of health-related services and information using telecommunication.   This can include general health and fitness monitoring.Telemedicine is sometimes used synonymously withTelehealth and helps with disease management. It uses tools like connected blood pressure monitors, blood glucose readers, weight scales and pulse monitors.Telecare allows independent aging at home and uses technologies such as bed sensors, fall detectors, personal alarms, pill dispensers and carbon monoxide (CO), gas, flood and water leak detectors.
Light Lights can be turned on, off and dimmed physically or remotely through plugs, lights, dimmers and wall switches. Some smart LED lights are also able to change colour. Lights can run on timers set to fixed times or timed to sunset or sunrise. Lights may also trigger off of other devices like occupancy sensors.
Media and Entertainment This includes the wireless delivery and remote control of radio, audio, video (including HD) and gaming through Personal Video Recorders (PVR), Multimedia Home Gateways (MHG) and other Consumer Electronics (CE).
Monitoring Monitoring includes wireless surveillance cameras and baby monitors.   These can be viewed live as well as have actions triggered by motion detectors.
Safety and Security This includes alarm kits, Passive Infrared (PIR) motion and occupancy detectors, window and door locks and sensors, glass break detection, door phones, residential access controls, electronic door locks, garage door controls, sirens, smoke and fire detectors and alerts and emergency call buttons.
Retail Services Retail services allow retailers to manage their supply chain through the monitoring, control and secure automated purchase and delivery of goods. This can be triggered through both employee and consumer handsets, smart shopping carts and shelf tags used in the retail space. Near Field Communication (NFC) can be used for payment and scanning tagged items.
White Goods White goods and appliances can be controlled remotely and set to run in off-peak tariffs to conserve energy. And the “connected fridge” can use some of the same behaviours as a retail service.
Telecommunications No longer just the realm of DECT cordless phones, Telecom Services include information delivery (e.g. weather, public safety, traffic status, advertising, sports, stocks), indoor location based services (e.g. for navigating airports and shopping malls as well as provide retail spaces with traffic information), mobile payments, mobile gaming and voice.

Table: What we can find in the connected smart home

>> Next in the series: Part 5 – The Connected Cottage: Testing Out the Connected Cottage …

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