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Smart Home – Getting you started successfully

Maison connectée 20.02.2019 | Manuel Raab-Faber

Smart Home, Internet of Things (IoT), language assistants, intelligent sockets. These terms are coming up more and more often on the Internet as well as in everyday life. It’s even challenging for people with a high affinity for technology to keep an overview on account of all the options. That’s why we want to give beginners a little support; in the following article, we are going to explain the basic concepts of Smart Home and what to keep in mind when getting started.

What does Smart Home mean?

The clear-cut answer: An intelligent home. Admittedly, it’s hard to picture what exactly that means. Smart Home is the umbrella term for all networked technical measures in your own four walls that increase comfort and (energy) efficiency. This includes the networking of standard household appliances like washing machines, heaters, blinds, and lights.

This topic has gone far beyond simple « smart » sockets for a while now. More and more automations are finding their place in everyday life. Getting a notification on your TV from the washing machine to let you know that your laundry is done – a thing of the future? No, the present. Automatically opening the blinds at a certain time or switching the heating off when you step out the door? This is also no longer a utopian idea.

Which standards are there?

It’s often the case that technical advances are not based on a common standard right from the get-go. Companies develop products, attempting to achieve market dominance – but this often takes place at the expense of customers. Who wants to rely on eight different company standards in their networked home? Probably very few people.

ZigBee

is one of the most relevant standards in this area. Many companies, including Philips, Osram, or Miele (at least in their older models), rely on this protocol when it comes to their products. Above all, the protocol is based on simplicity and low energy consumption. However, what must be considered for all products: although they are based on the same standard, they don’t work 100% seamlessly from the beginning. Technical fine tuning is still required here and there.

Z-Wave

is a little older than ZigBee and works with geographical territories, i.e. American products can’t communicate with European ones. This protocol is more widespread because it’s a bit older. Devolo is one of the biggest representatives in this area.

Wifi

Most homes have a Wifi connection. So why not use the technology that everyone already has access to? Especially language assistants by Amazon, Google, and Apple must be connected to Wifi.

Bluetooth

Most people are accustomed to this standard as well. Bluetooth was developed as a simple and energy-saving point-to-point connection. Currently, many people use Bluetooth in connection with speakers or headphones. We also use Bluetooth when it comes to our access solutions.

How does the control system work?

Many newcomers are also interested in all the possibilities that the Smart Home control system has to offer. The manufacturer usually provides a detailed instruction manual or an app to help you set up the respective products. These products are thus largely controlled via mobile end devices such as smartphones or tablets. But more and more manufacturers are giving users the option of language assistants, which makes the whole thing even more convenient. Switching off your lights with a single sentence is a lot easier than finding the app on your smartphone, opening it, and then switching off the lights.

Preset routine operations work even better, and they run completely independently later on. An example would be the blinds automatically opening at a certain time or linking processes of specific Smart Home actions, like switching off the lights, turning down the heating, and simultaneously closing the door with a single command.

Manuel Raab-Faber
Depuis 2012 déjà, j'écris sur toutes les formes de technologie, et ce avec beaucoup d'enthousiasme. J'ai notamment un faible pour les smartphones et les gadgets raffinés. C'est pourquoi j'ai été d'autant plus ravi de pouvoir vous fournir des contributions au sujet de « Smart Home ».