Smart home development: goals, tasks, and system components
Smart home represents an automatic control system for a building, management and monitoring of its engineering systems. Its components can be any automatic equipment that helps people in household use from alarm systems with auto dial to sensor faucets. When all devices are connected in a single network, interact, and can be managed from one center, we are talking about a smart home.
Smart home systems are very different, as they are customized for every client. There are no compulsory components; there can be any number of subsystems from two or three to dozens. Smart homes are usually open systems that can be supplemented with new components.
Main advantages of a smart home:
- saving time for cores;
- enhancing of comfort level, improving of life quality;
- economy: control of water and energy consumption;
- security: control of access and possible leakages of water, gas from one center.
How to start building a smart home?
All services of a smart home function as usual, and control is built on top: a computer turns them on and sets up in the way you would do it. Some systems do not require large investments to unite them in a smart house. For example, for home appliances (including air conditioner and heater) one can install smart sockets, and for lighting – controllers. However, if you decide to install smart blinds, intelligent lawn watering, or a leakage control system, it will cost you a lot. Besides, assembling will take a lot of time and effort. Therefore, smart home design should be arranged at the stage of construction or full repair of the building.
How does it work?
Let’s review types of control and system elements.
Controller is a control center of the network and connected equipment. It gathers data from participants of the system; remembers settings and stores modes; is a binding link between the ecosystem and smartphone (tablet, computer).
Sensors of motion, leakage, temperature. “Sensory organs” of the ecosystem that monitor the state of the house.
Actuators – devices that fulfil commands. For example, relay, heater, air conditioner.
Control elements – devices used to adjust system components: switches, remote controllers.
Integrated equipment and web services – programmed or controlled equipment included in the smart home system: coffee machine, refrigerator, robotic vacuum cleaner.
Smart home development can rely on the Wi-Fi network, wire communication, or specialized protocols for smart devices such as LoRaWAN. The nerve centre of the system can be based on your computer or in a cloud in case you use a cloud solution. In the latter case, it is important to provide a seamless Internet connection for the system, preferably with a spare channel.