What is a smart house made from? Components, technologies, and functions
Houses are said to look like their masters. So, if you keep up with the times, appreciate your time and want to express love for progress, you probably have already heard of a smart house and now search for more information about this concept. This article will explain in detail what a smart house is and how it is fulfilled in the reality.
What do we call ‘a smart house’?
Smart house is one of the most hotly discussed innovations of our time. However, when asked, ten strangers will provide different definitions of this technology.
Imagined a house of Tony ‘Iron Man’ Stark with a virtual butler, voice commands, and artificial intelligence that manages all the systems and remembers all your habits? So, you are pretty far from the point (though close to it).
Any examples of automation that conduct routine household operations without a human are considered to be components of a smart house: for example, a sensory faucet; a timer switching off the light in the hall; an automatic cat feeder. Notwithstanding, we call a smart house a complete ecosystem (not separate components) only when all housekeeping systems are combined in one, controlled from one central point and can interact when configured.
For instance, you can choose a ‘Cinema’ mode so that a house automatically curtains windows, switches off the bright light, switches on background light, and sets a media center ready for watching a movie.
There isn’t any set of necessary components for a smart house: you can combine one-two complex systems (for example, a heater or an air conditioner) or a complex network with more than 10 systems ranging from management of curtains to sensors of water leakage and e-locks. Manufacturers usually make it possible to integrate new smart components in the house.
You will ask: “Why buy a smart house if I can turn off the light, tune an air conditioner, or open curtains by myself?” Meanwhile, the mankind is constantly embracing emerging technologies not to spend time on daily routine and be free to work, create, and see relatives. As far back as 20 years ago, people didn’t have dishwashers in their flats while washing machines required much manual work. We currently use household appliances that wash, do the laundry, rinse, and spin on their own, and we take it for granted. A smart house is another innovation emerging to improve our life.
Key advantages of the smart house concept:
- time economy;
- enhanced comfort level;
- resources economy (water, electricity);
- safety: access control; alarm; leakage sensors; a possibility to control it from the central point.
Not always expensive and complicated
One can think that a smart house requires complex programmable gadgets and reconfiguration of all existing systems. However, the real state of things differs. A base project of a smart house is a compilation of automatic services preserving factory settings and modes. All smart features are tuned later. That is why all home services like heating, lighting, and air conditioning work as usual. You only tune the unified system as you want.
You do not need to buy new household appliances, just change their connection. For instance, set up a smart plug, and you will never leave a heated iron. When needed, you will be able to unplug it remotely or plug staying in bed. The same situation appears with an air conditioner, a TV-set, and a wireless.
However, there exist smart appliances specially created for such systems offering a wider range of functions and possibilities. Rubetek is the most famous brand.
Some solutions for a smart house are implemented with minimum changes and expenses. For example, light and climate control: you can set special plugs, change light switches, configure devices and sensors control with ready-made apps via Wi-Fi. However, if you decide to automate curtains and doors, watering systems and windows opening, get ready to fork up and put up with installation work.
Components and control
Let’s have a look at the general principle of a smart house and how it works.
Gadgets of a smart house can be divided into several types:
Controller – a control center. This component manages the network and all the devices it comprises, receives data from gadgets, stores modes in memory, ensures the connection between an ecosystem and a smartphone, a tablet, or a PC.
Sensors: sensors of movement, smoke, and leakage. These detectors allows to keep track of the house’s state.
Executives – devices that execute the system’s commands given accordingly to data of sensors. For example, a relay turns off the light when a sensor doesn’t detect any movement within the area of its coverage.
Control device – gadgets making the experience of a smart house usage comfortable. These are remote controls, and switches.
Integrable equipment and online services — programmable or controllable equipment that goes as part of a smart house.
A network can be established with both Wi-Fi and a wireline; an exterior control center and an automatic one. If you choose a wireline network with automatic connection, it’s better to project it at the building stage or during home remodeling.
An automatic system implies that a control center is placed indoors. Depending on the number of devices, that can be a mini-ITX computer or a small server. It will receive all the information from sensors and process it, remember modes, receive and process owner’s commands.
If you use ready-made systems delivered by a supplier, their core will probably be located on the company’s serves and connect with your devices via a PC or a laptop. Therefore, no need to install servers at home. However, you will have to pay a user charge and depend on the Internet connection.