We live in a world where almost every new piece of technology we purchase is crying out to be connected to the internet. Light bulbs, thermostats, the latest 8K UHD TV’s, one way or another practically every powered device is able to connect to the internet. All these devices come under the umbrella of the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) and simply having these devices in your home does not really class it as a smart home.
But why is the requirement for the internet so crucial to these devices? The obvious answers are the popular ‘video on demand’ (VOD) or ‘Catch Up’ TV services which allow you to binge on box sets or box office movies to view in your own time. For radio fans there’s an infinite number of internet radio stations and for music lovers, music streaming services such as Spotify, Tidal or Apple music where, for a small monthly fee, claim to offer you “all of the music in the world“. But more important is the ability for the manufacturer to send updates, bug fixes and improvements to the devices on a regular basis. This is part of the manufacturers continued support and responsibility to ensure smooth operation of their hardware and hopefully deliver great customer satisfaction, although there are some who are not so good at this!
By this point you may be asking what has all this got to do with a Smart Home? Well, a truly smart home is an environment where all of these devices connect together and work seamlessly hand in hand. Cutting out the multitude of different App’s or remote controls and instead provides operation via simple to use single interfaces. Whether this is a dedicated app, tactile remote control, smart light switch, or even motion detection where the house can do it for you. In order to achieve this a “brain” is required, whether this be cloud based or a piece of hardware in the home, there needs to be something in place to pull everything together. Once this is in place and programmed, scenes and events can happen autonomously or from the press of a single button, the possibilities are endless;
Pull up on the drive, the CCTV cameras detect your number plate and by the time you open the door your favourite radio station is playing in the house.
Having a party? A single button press can start the playlist and set the lights to “party” mode.
Lights automatically turn on when you enter the room and off when you leave.
A smart home should work for you, it will become part of your everyday life and as such it will become the norm.
In order for this to be achieved, one of the most important ingredients in any Smart Home is a correctly designed, reliable and robust home network consisting of both wired and wireless connectivity. In a poor network with under specified hardware, bad coverage and limited connectivity there will undoubtedly be problems. Multiple devices will fight to connect, constant drop outs will occur and when devices begin to “fall over” the outcome will result in a lack of communication across the network and ultimately impacting on the user experience. All of this leaves you thinking “why did I bother?”
At Connected Home Systems the infrastructure is a core feature of our projects which is never overlooked. From the design to the installation and right through to maintenance, we tailor all aspects to suit your project now and for years to come.