About The Smart Home Guide
This entertaining smart home guide gives you an overview of setting up a smart home and how it all works. We also investigate how we can use home automation and any downfalls we have encountered. Within this guide, you will find links to some innovative home products. You may also come across a piece of technology you needed to know you needed.
A “Smart Home” uses technology to automate many day-to-day tasks. Such as turning on lights, closing the blinds, checking who is at the door, adjusting thermostats, and much more. This guide will give you an overview of what is to offer in the growing field of technology-integrated living.
The Internet Of Things.
World Wide Web (WWW), otherwise known as the “Internet” and its connected devices known as “Things.” The overall concept is known as “The Internet Of Things.” Abbreviated as TheIOT, IoT, and often just IoT.
The IoT describes devices (Things) such as switches, thermostats, cameras, or groups of such devices with different types of sensors. In the world of the IoT, a device is a connected device that produces an input or output input signal to sense a physical phenomenon. The ability to process all this information comes from advanced software, protocols, and evolving technologies that exchange data between various connected devices, communications networks, and the internet.
Who Makes These Devices?
Some companies that produce smart home devices will be familiar to you. These names include Samsung, Amazon, ADT, Google, Honeywell, LG, Apple, ABB, GE, Philips, Belkin, and Siemens. All of these manufacturers have brand names for their products. There are far too many to cover here; however, browsing TheIoTPad will introduce you to many.
Like the idea of a door opening by voice command when your hands are full and notified of a water leak in your laundry? Or have your garage door open automatically when you return from work because your car has signaled that it’s a quarter mile away?
If so, then please, read on…
It was on television shows like The Jetsons, Thunderbirds, and Startreck where we could let our imagination run wild with laser devices and flip-open communicators. Computers that could be spoken to and could speak back and, of course, droids diligently performing human tasks.
All of this was far from reality, or so we thought. Those futuristic ideas have been an actuality for some time now. Things that may seem futuristic today are just around the corner. It is because they are already being developed and will, at some point, be available to the market.
The www, otherwise known as the internet…
Only thirty years ago, large computers limited the internet to large computers. Other large computers have networked these computers with other large computers in big businesses, industry, defense departments, and the like.
Eventually, these networked computers were further inter-networked locally or over great distances via dedicated cables or telephone lines that covered a large percentage of the globe. However, until the 1990s, the internet in households still needed to exist. Now the internet spans the entire planet and the deployment of satellite constellations like Elon Musk’s StarLink. There is virtually nowhere on Earth you cannot access the internet.
Home Automation, How Did That Begin?
It started with the invention of the thermostat, a straightforward device. Indeed, by today’s standards, it has become the catalyst for one of the largest markets in the technology field, home automation. Today industries that support home automation continue to grow at a rapid pace. Home security, controlling appliances, monitoring energy use, helpful personal assistants, and monitoring and controlling our environment at any time from anywhere in the world.
What Will The Future Look Like?
In the future, we will not be using a smart home guide or talking about intelligent homes or devices individually, it will just be how things are, commonplace, and everything will work; autonomously, precisely what it is programmed to do. In time your home will be an extension of your brain, learning your habits and developing automated support where required.
Digital assistants like Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant are getting more impulsive as time goes by. One feature is making helpful suggestions like that your front door has been unlocked for too long or opened at an unusual time. These devices can then notify you about this via your phone. Likewise, your alarm clock could check your digital diary to determine when you should wake up and could have input by alerting you to make an appointment with the doctor. Because it deduces from waste that you are ill. It was the future, and it is happening right now.
Let us now look further into what is generally required for your Smart home automation projects;
Smart Home Guide – How Do Devices Communicate?
Devices communicate using four main methods:
- Devices communicate via apps on a phone, tablet, smartwatch, etc.
- Devices communicate via intelligent assistants such as Google Assistant, Siri by Apple, or Alexa from Amazon. You can use voice commands to control your devices.
- Via automation, this enables apps and devices to communicate with each other and have total control without someone needing to act as the go-between.
- Via local control, this is where your devices do not need an internet connection to operate; some careful consideration is required with local authority because many of the more advanced features of devices, such as voice control, are lost.
Smart home devices Communication (Using Complex Protocols)
An IoT protocol is a language that devices use to communicate with each other. Protocols allow devices to share information and control each other’s functions. Protocols are software and firmware that are a device’s brains and lie within their microcontrollers. These protocols are unique to specific vendors.
IoT devices use advanced low-power radios to connect everything to the same network and, in most but not all cases, to the internet via a central hub or controlling unit. You will come across protocols like Z-Wave, ZigBee, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Thread, Z-Wave, and HomeKit; the latest and most inclusive protocol is Matter.
The Matter Protocol
The Matter protocol is a significant change in protocols. The matter is due for release in late September 2022 and is an intelligent home connectivity standard supported by all the major companies involved with IoT and home automation. More than 200 companies are involved in developing the Matter protocol. As a result, innovative home device manufacturers will support the Matter protocol, and matter protocol will include it in updated versions of their hardware. Companies that have already adopted the Matter protocol include Philips Hue, LG, Infineon, Honeywell, Google, Amazon, Belkin, Apple, GE, and Infineon, to name a few.
The primary purpose of the Matter protocol is to allow internet-connected devices from different manufacturers to communicate with each other simply and securely. Therefore, when you go shopping for a new smart switch, camera, doorbell, smoke alarm, door monitor, and so on. You will not have to figure out if a particular device will work with another brand; you will look for the Matter logo on the device’s packaging or advertising, which should ensure seamless interconnectivity.
Basic requirements for smart homes:
- A consistent Wi-Fi signal wherever you place your intelligent things; you can use a Wi-Fi mesh router if this is an issue.
- Intelligent devices that you would like to add to your homes, such as thermostats, sockets, smoke detectors, or bright light bulbs, you get the idea.
- The basic requirements include a smart speaker or intelligent assistant such as the Apple Home Kit, Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, etc.
- Making sure your chosen IoT devices are compatible with each other by looking out for the Matter logo on packaging and advertising.
- It takes a little time and patience to set up the things, but most are plug-and-play.
Smart Home Guide – Setting Up Devices:
Big innovative home brands offer easy compatibility with the major ecosystems. Philips Hue bulbs, for example, can be added directly using the Google Home or Apple Home apps. However, at the time of writing, most devices still require you to use a third-party app for the initial setup, at the very least, and possibly for configuration and control. The Matter protocol will eliminate some of these steps during device setup.
All smart home devices come with setup guides. They will usually direct you to download their proprietary companion app as the first step. In addition, most devices come with a QR code or a serial number to enter. This is a security measure and helps prevent privacy attacks. Carefully run through this process before you mount anything in place or throw anything away, as these codes often appear on the back or underside of devices or the instruction booklet.