Home automation is called the set of systems and technologies capable of automating a home, through intelligent management of energy, communications, lighting, security, and all the elements of a home or building in order to provide security, well-being, and comfort (similiar to what Intertops poker bonus provides for its users). These systems can be integrated by means of internal and external communication networks, wired or wireless, and whose control enjoys a certain ubiquity, from inside and outside the home.
Or what is the same, the integration of technology in the intelligent design of a closed area is what is known as home automation.
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How does home automation work?
In a home automation installation, the different devices that make up a network or home automation system use a Wi-Fi network to send and receive information and to connect with the user.
The terminals are always devices such as electrical appliances, lighting devices or points of light, air conditioning and ventilation equipment, blinds and awnings, and any equipment capable of having an intelligence or communication capacity with the programmable central system, introducing an interface for its control. The sensors within the set will collect sensitive information and the central unit will decide what actions to take in relation to the information provided by said sensors.
All the system devices send and receive signals through a communications network to the central unit, in charge of managing the information exchanges. The signals travel encoded in the form of communication protocols so they need to be “translated” for each of the devices, similar to how it happens in a computer network.
In a home automation system and depending on where the control center or the intelligent system that is going to control the installation resides, we are going to have several different architectures:
- Centralized architecture: through the different sensors, processing the orders, and sending them to the actuators, a centralized controller will control the installation.
- Distributed architecture: since there is no central processing center, all the intelligence of the system is distributed through the different actuators and sensors, so bus wiring or wireless networks are normal.
- Mixed architecture: in this modality, we will have a basically decentralized architecture, since there are several small devices that acquire information from different sensors and then this information is transmitted to the devices that are distributed over the network.
In addition to direct energy savings, home automation facilitates good maintenance management of the facilities, with the consequent economic savings that this entails.
Through the use of consumption monitoring systems, the user can be aware of the energy consumption of his home, which will provide him with the necessary information to be able to modify his habits and increase his savings and efficiency according to his needs.
In addition, in those homes with photovoltaic self-consumption systems or electricity generation by photovoltaic solar energy or other systems, the monitoring systems will allow the control and management of electricity production.
Currently, most home automation and consumption monitoring systems have applications that can be easily installed on any device and in this way allow us to control alarm systems, air conditioning, etc. from a tablet, mobile, laptop, or smart TV. , doors, windows, and lighting, among others, of our home.
When we talk about Smart Homes we refer to homes in which, through home automation integrated by technologies and control and monitoring systems, we can communicate with our home to achieve maximum comfort, convenience, safety, and energy efficiency. Thus, we can say that Smart Homes offer us a series of advantages:
- The first of the great advantages offered by home automation is energy savings through the efficient management of the entire house and through the use of renewable energies, the programming of air conditioning and boilers, the control of awnings and blinds, and the rationalization of electrical loads, disconnecting, depending on consumption, equipment for non-priority use.
- Comfort: The fact of being able to control light bulbs and air conditioning equipment and ventilation systems from our mobile devices, smart washing machines that warn us when they finish their operation, and refrigerators that worry about the expiration of products are just a few examples that contribute to improving our comfort.
- There is also security: Another of the strengths of home automation applied to Smart Homes. In this area, we find everything from intrusion alarms to prevent theft, to detectors of all kinds that ensure our safety: fire, smoke, gas, leaks, and water leaks, for example. A curious example is an appearance on the market of vacuum cleaners with video surveillance, with which users can control what is happening in their homes at all times.
- Better communications: The system installed in our smart home will be equipped with a communications infrastructure that will enhance and facilitate the rest of the house’s features and will provide remote assistance, remote maintenance, consumption, and cost reports, as well as the transmission of alarms and other warnings.
- Accessibility: one of the great benefits of home automation refers to accessibility, especially in relation to people with functional limitations, favoring their personal autonomy and improving their quality of life and safety. Some of the useful services are remote monitoring of inaccessible places, the transmission of information about the user’s status to their relatives or caregivers, and the issuance of emergency messages.
Technological advances related to the digitalization of the home are increasing rapidly and meeting the expectations of users, who are increasingly looking for houses (whether purchased or rented) that have the latest in home automation.
Smart Homes have gone from being something of a luxury, in their beginnings a few years ago, to something essential that is beginning to become cheaper and that users demand, aware of the benefits that these systems have on their daily lives and in the long term.
The first examples of home automation in the world
First steps in home automation: Less than a decade after the United States declared its independence from England, Nikola Tesla begins the first attempts at what would be considered one of the beginnings of home automation, with the invention of the first remote control (for remotely control a ship).
Beginning of the 20th century: A few centuries later, the Industrial Revolution has made possible the invention of household appliances and thus began the first traces of the history of smart homes.
Obviously, they weren’t smart, but they radically changed the game for people in the early 20th century, at least for the rich.
The first vacuum cleaner was introduced in 1901, and in the decades that followed, the world’s wits invented the washing machine, dryer, iron, refrigerator, electric dishwasher, garbage disposal, and other domestic appliances that we now take for granted.
1930s: By the 1930s, inventors had already turned their imaginations to the advantage of home automation.
Even though the technology was still a long way off, the World’s Fair introduced the concept of automated home appliances and smart home appliances.
As expected, viewers were fascinated by the idea of seeing the evolution of the refrigerator and other appliances.
1950: With the invention of the computer chip by Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce, this could be one of the key periods when home automation emerges, as the building block of today’s smart home technologies.
1951: UNIVAC I, the world’s first commercially available computer, is introduced. Consider the UNIVAC I the great-great-grandfather of today’s intelligent controls, which are essentially minicomputers.
1964: One of the first computer monitors, the Uniscope 300, is released. Without digital screens, what would computers, smart hubs, and smart mobile device controls mean today?
The first home automation product
1966: ECHO IV, although never sold commercially, was the world’s first home automation product.
Created by Jim Sutherland, the “Electronic Computing Home Operator” (ECHO) was capable of storing recipes, forwarding messages, controlling the temperature of a house, making a shopping list, and turning appliances on or off.
1969: DARPA introduces ARPAnet, the world’s first network, the forerunner of the modern Internet and, with it, all of our intelligent Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.
Evolution of home automation
1981: A precursor to today’s wireless technology is invented.
1980s: Home automation becomes commonplace, in the form of garage doors, home security systems, motion-sensing lights, fiber optics, thermostat controls, and other technologies.
1991: Ad van Berlo pioneers the field of gerontechnology – technology to improve the lives of the elderly and the sick.
These early technologies form a firm foundation for the intelligent and life-enhancing features of today’s intelligent systems.
The latest in home automation
1998-2000s: Smart homes became a thing.
The Future: Only time will tell, but experts predict that soon, smart homes and the evolution of solar power won’t be as far from the Jetsons as we once thought!
The contributions of home automation
Promote energy saving: intelligently control lighting, hot water, air conditioning, electrical appliances, irrigation, etc., making the most of natural resources, taking advantage of the lowest hourly rates, and thus reducing the electricity bill.
In addition, by monitoring consumption, the necessary information is obtained to change habits and increase efficiency and savings.
Promoting accessibility: favors the management of the elements of the home of people with disabilities in the most appropriate way to their needs, as well as telecare for people who need it.
Provide security through automated surveillance of people, animals, and goods, as well as incidents and failures.
Home automation operation
By means of intrusion controls, personal alarms, automatic closing of all openings, surveillance cameras, dynamic facades, dynamic simulation of presence, and technical alarms that detect fires, floods, power cuts, gas leaks, etc.
Transform your home automation into a more comfortable environment through the management of smart devices and domestic activities.
Home automation allows you to open, close, turn on, turn off and control electrical appliances, ventilation, air conditioning, natural and artificial lighting, awnings, doors, shutters, curtains, irrigation system, water supply, electricity, or gas.
Endorsing communications through the supervision and remote control of the home through your telephone, PC or tablet allows receiving notices of abnormalities and information on the state of operation of equipment and facilities.
The home automation installation enables the transmission of voice and data, including texts, sounds (multimedia), images with local networks (LAN), and the exchange of Internet access; resources and exchange between all the devices and home automation kit, access to new IP telephony services, cable, digital television, videoconferences, telediagnosis, and even teleassistance.
There are lots of interfaces people use to connect to home automation systems. A lot of the basic ones connect through wifi or Bluetooth to your phone for wireless control using something you usually always have on you anyways, other designs use even more hands-free methods.
These are voice-activated devices that can control your home automation. Examples of these are devices like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and the Apple Homepod. When hooked up to your system and configured, you can just tell it what you want to change and it’ll do it for you automatically.
Important moments in the history of home automation
This phrase was coined in 1984 by the American Association of Home Builders, but back then it was just a distant dream.
Home automation background and the horn
The clapper was an electrical switch invented in 1996 that operated through sound, most commonly a clap (although it can be accidentally activated by coughing, a dog barking, or a door slamming).
This moment was the first real breakthrough in smart home technology and was one of the most iconic inventions of the 20th century.
The Clapper was invented by Carlile R. Stevens and Dale E. Reamer, and issued US Patent #5493618, which was issued on February 20, 1996.
Home networks and the Millennium House
As mentioned at the start of the article, home automation became increasingly popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s, as internet technology advanced rapidly and the creation of smart homes accelerated. It became a more inexpensive choice all of a sudden.
Domestic technology or home automation was a highly discussed topic since household appliances were combined with computers.
The Millennium House was a British show home opened in 1998 to demonstrate how the operation of a house can be automated with computer-controlled heating, security, lights, gates, and gardens.