Which home is really smart?
Smart home market overview
Smart home is all over the media. Basically, the term smart home refers to all aspects of smart or intelligent living. A house that helps and supports the inhabitants and makes their lives easier. When you start researching the topic, you’ll see that the market is being flooded with smart home solutions and products. This makes it very difficult to keep an overview: What is really useful? What is gadgetry?
The smart home gadget market
Many products that have appeared in recent years are gadgets rather than professional solutions. There are light bulbs that can be controlled via smartphone app. Or thermostats, that learn what temperatures inhabitants like. And night lights, which simultaneously monitor you sleep. Those are all exciting technical devices, but they usually require their own mobile app and cannot be integrated into other systems. Large smartphone manufacturers such as Apple or Samsung even build platforms to integrate and control the countless apps. The main problem is still that all those solutions cannot integrate fixed installations such as built-in lights and blinds. So the question arises: What is so smart when I can control the lights by a smartphone app, instead of a wall switch? The majority of the electrical installation of the house remains dumb as before.
Proprietary smart home systems
The next group of smart home manufacturers offers proprietary electrical systems. Those are designed to also control devices of fixed electrical installations. They connect components either via power supply, proprietary cabling or wireless. This allows for centrally controlled smart home functions. As those systems are proprietary, the client is always highly dependent on a single company (i.e. these smart home systems are not exactly ‘future-proof’). Furthermore, an individual company simply cannot offer the functional breadth and depth compared to that of a global network of companies.
Premium smart home systems
Interesting and, above all, ‘smart’ are systems that build on an international standard with many manufacturers. Such premium smart home systems are mostly combined with a home server providing graphic floor plans and a myriad of intelligent functions. With the interconnection of all electrical components, the full potential of a true smart home can be unlocked!
For example, the alarm system can also control all lights and blinds for presence simulation. The integrated system allows you to control lights, blinds, music and other functions with the same multi-functional wall switch in each room. When you forget to close a window in winter, the heating is turned down. Strong solar radiation lets the house close the blinds to prevent overheating.
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