What is home Automation?
Home automation or domotics is building automation for a home, called a smart home or smart house. A home automation system will monitor and/or control home attributes such as lighting, climate, entertainment systems, and appliances. It may also include home security such as access control and alarm systems. When connected with the Internet, home devices are an essential constituent of the Internet of Things (“IoT”). For example, you can put your lights on schedules so that they turn off when you usually go to sleep, or you can have your thermostat turn the A/C ON about an hour before you return from work. Home automation makes life more convenient and can even save you money on heating, cooling, and electricity bills.
Home automation can lead to greater safety with IoT devices like security cameras and sensing systems etc. But hold up; what are IoT devices in Home Automation?
Internet of Things in Home Automation
The Internet of Things, commonly known as IoT, refers to any device that’s connected to the Internet that isn’t normally; for example, a smart light bulb that you can turn on and off via an app. The devices/appliances involved in home automation are IoT devices, which can be automated to trigger one another. So while IoT refers to the devices themselves, home automation is what you can do with the IoT devices to make your life just a tad bit easier.
How Does Home Automation Work?
Home automation works via a network of devices that are connected to the Internet through different communication protocols, i.e Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LPWAN and others. The devices can be managed remotely through Mobile apps or web panels, IoT dashboard or a voice assistant like Alexa or Google home.Many of these IoT devices have sensors that monitor changes in motion, temperature, and light so the user can gain information about the device’s surroundings. To make physical changes to the device, the user or sensors can trigger actuators or the physical mechanisms like light switches, motorized valves, or motors that allow devices to be controlled remotely.
There are three distinct levels of home automation.
The ability to view the status of systems i.e
- What is the temperature?
- Is the door locked?
- Is The Light on or off?
The ability to change the state of a systems i.e
- Turn ON the heater or Air conditioner..
- Lock the Door.
- Turning the light on or off.
The ability to change the state of a system automatically in response to an event. i.e.
- Turn on the heating if the outside temperature falls below a certain temperature.
- Turn the lights off when no one is at home.
Currently, most smart home systems are at the control level.
Smart Home – Automation System Components
A home automation system will consist of
- End Devices like switches, sensors, lights, locks, etc.
- Connection devices like hubs and Gateways.
- A Network or networks e.g. Wi-Fi, Zigbee, LPWAN etc.
- Internet connection – may be optional
Role of IoT in Home Automation
The IoT based Home Automation will enable the user to use a Home Automation System based on the Internet of Things (IoT). Modern homes are automated through the internet and the home appliances are controlled. The user commands over the internet will be obtained by the Wi-Fi modems. The Microcontroller has an interface with this modem. The system status is displayed through the LCD, along with the system data. This is a typical IoT based Home Automation system, for controlling all your home appliances. The smart home market is taking off as IoT device prices come down and the general public comes to understand the benefits of these products. And from smart homes, the next logical step is smart cities, which would take the IoT to the next level. And yet, smart homes are just one small part of our daily lives that the Internet of Things will transform in the coming years.
IoT home automation: getting started
Home automation has three major parts:
- Backend & User Application
- Communication protocol
Each of these parts is equally important in building a truly smart home experience for your customers. Having the right hardware enables the ability to develop your IoT prototype iteratively and respond to technology pivots with ease.
A protocol selected with the right testing and careful consideration helps you to avoid performance bottlenecks that otherwise would restrict the technology and device integration capabilities with sensors and IoT gateways.
Another important consideration is the firmware that resides in your hardware managing your data, managing data transfer, firmware OTA updates, and performing other critical operations to make things talk.
Home automation components
We have talked about them before, but let’s separate our components that will finally help you build a realistic model of what significant components are involved in building a smart home. The major components can be broken into:
IoT sensors involved in home automation are in thousands.
The biggest players in IoT cloud can be divided into a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (iaas).
Major IoT PaaS providers
- AWS IoT
- Azure IoT
- ibm bluemix
Characteristics of IoT platforms
Again, these platforms are extremely divided over the IoT application and security-related features that they provide. a few of these platforms are open source.
let’s have a look at what you should expect from a typical IoT platform:
- device security and authentication
- message brokers and message queuing
- device administration
- support towards protocols like coap, mqtt, and http
- data collection, visualization, and simple analysis capabilities
- integrability with other web services
- horizontal and vertical scalability
- websocket apis for real-time for real-time information flow
A Little about what we do at PsiBorg,
We are a team of young and energetic electronics design engineers, firmware and software developers smartly collaborating to create next to perfect products in all aspects.
We have created a wide range of Home automation and security products for our clients, if you are looking for a team to build your idea into a product, then you are at the right place to kick-start.