Basically, a home can be defined as smart when in a certain environment every kind of comfort is guaranteed, combined with minimal energy and resource consumption. In addition to this, many other factors come into play, such as the control of remote home systems and equipment or home automation.
A smart home is a place that has a series of special equipment that takes advantage of the innovative technology of home automation. This allows those living inside the house to automatically manage, program, organize and use the electrical devices that are installed inside the house, such as electric shutters, household appliances, outdoor and indoor lighting, and so on. Smart home and home automation are therefore two aspects that go together. The technologies that make a home smart, come from the world of home automation.
The importance of the central unit and of the different control interfaces
The central unit is the heart of a smart home. It is connected to several peripheral devices that are controlled and managed. The central unit, however, can only control some of the functions that are normally performed in a domestic environment, such as opening doors or switching on and off the lights. Often, the control unit is also extended to other domestic installations to manage water, thermal, as well as, electrical equipment.
Users can fully enjoy their smart home through a convenient and simple system with dedicated interfaces. These interfaces can be for instance, touchscreen devices, keyboards, remote controls, PCs, tablets or smartphones. These last two devices are essential for remotely controlling your home systems. In this case, there are special software, programs and apps that are increasingly functional and easy to use.
Why should you choose to live in a smart home?
A smart home can provide its users various benefits:
- Energy saving and less waste
Thanks to home automation technology, energy is correctly used, and there is no waste. Equipment works with the correct amount of energy thus allowing you to optimize your energy consumption over a year while reducing your costs.
Some companies make it possible to perfectly insulate the home environment to avoid thermal dispersion. Furthermore, home automation controlled systems detect both the outside temperature and light. This makes it possible to regulate the functioning of the devices inside the apartment and to efficiently control the heating, the lighting systems or the opening of doors and windows according to the inhabitants’ needs, while maintaining a perfect temperature in the house, in a constant manner.
Each system and installation can be connected to a central control unit according to the inhabitants’ requirements. Home automation is totally customizable according to the domestic needs and the way you live your house, and when we say house we mean the “environment”.
In a smart home each device and equipment can be managed, programmed and controlled using a simple button.
This, basically, means having a total control of the whole house, even if you are far away or you aren’t there. Automation and management systems allow you to program appliances, turning lights and the heating system on and off, etc. With home automation, the system can “save different scenarios” and always react in the same way when the same conditions occur (for example switching off lights, closing doors and shutters or activating anti-theft systems overnight).
Automatically closing and locking the main entrances (doors, windows, window frames, etc.) through a single remote control, allowing you to live in a safer and more secure environment. A smart home has a higher security level than a traditional home. In addition to the basic control of the main entrances, users can choose from many other systems designed to ensure maximum safety.
Among the most appreciated features, there is, for instance, the presence simulator which is very useful to prevent possible intrusion attempts. Moreover, thanks to home automation it is possible to keep your home under constant control. You can also activate a warning message to be sent (by telephone, e-mail, phone call, and so on) in case of a “dangerous” situation such as a gas leak, or if there are any intrusion attempts.
The latest innovations are coming from Japan
Great innovations are coming from the Land of the Rising Sun: we are talking about the so-called Smart Home 2.0, where everything is controlled through the Internet. Japan is promoting a concept of a new 5.0 society (based on the German concept of industry 4.0 which referred to digitalisation changes and processes that have revolutionized many manufacturing processes). With the technological upheaval proposed by the Japanese, we could even manage to deeply change the society, having an enormous impact on people’s lives.
In the Japanese Smart Home 2.0 it will be possible to control equipment, systems and everything else present in the house, with a simple voice command. Many hi-tech apps will affect people’s daily life, such as a “box” able to illustrate in just 10 seconds the amount of calories and the different nutritional values of a specific dish, as well as give valuable advice on how to maintain and follow a correct and balanced diet. There are also many solutions designed to make life easier for older people, who are often limited in their movements or to simplify children education.
Many new products presented in Japan during the “Ceatec Japan”, an innovative technology exhibition of great importance for the whole world, have been designed for professionals and for specific companies or buildings. Obviously, it is not excluded that these technological and smart innovations cannot one day become more “popular” and accessible to anyone. After all, home automation was also invented with this ideal and, today, it is increasingly appreciated and demanded throughout the world.