Hello Mi Fans,
The concept of Smart Homes is steadily gaining currency across the world. Thanks to leaps in technology and price affordability, automation in homes is a reality now and is also economically more affordable. Today, smart homes equipped with IoT technology, are rapidly gaining in popularity, owing to the incredible comfort, convenience, and security they offer. With nearly every aspect of such homes being interconnected and controllable by remote, including lighting, temperature control, and security, smart home automation is widely being recognised as a disruptive innovation that greatly enhances the lives of residents.
Smart home technology, also often referred to as home automation or domotics (from the Latin "domus" meaning home), provides homeowners security, comfort, convenience and energy efficiency by allowing them to control smart devices, often by a smart home app on their smartphone or other networked device. A part of the internet of things (IoT), smart home systems and devices often operate together, sharing consumer usage data among themselves and automating actions based on the homeowners' preferences.
In short, a “smart home” is a residence equipped with a number of devices that automate tasks normally handled by humans. For some home owners, turning a house into a smart home can be as simple as buying a connected speaker. For others, it can involve linking several different products, including speakers, cameras, computers, smartphones, televisions, security systems, appliances, and more; and creating a smart home hub of sorts.
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So, what exactly does it mean to have a smart home? Automation is a major factor. Two of the most prominent radio networks in home automation are ZigBee and Z-Wave. Both of these technologies are mesh networks, meaning there's more than one way for the message to get to its destination.
Manufacturers use Z-Wave for such wireless applications as connecting sensors in security systems, smoke detectors, locks. Z-Wave uses a Source Routing Algorithm to determine the fastest route for messages. Each Z-Wave device is embedded with a code, and when the device is plugged into the system, the network controller recognizes the code, determines its location and adds it to the network. When a command comes through, the controller uses the algorithm to determine how the message should be sent.
However, that’s not really “smart” because you still have to set up everything physically. So how do we make the jump from “home automation” to “smart home automation?” The key to this is remote monitoring and programming.
An example of wireless home automation is if you are downstairs unwinding after a long day and you want to turn off your child’s bedroom light. You can do this via wireless control through your home automation system instead of having to hike back upstairs. Wireless home automation works by deploying low-power equipment that can send and receive information, such as light sensors that detect the rising sun and send commands to open your bedroom curtains automatically.
A variety of wireless protocols have been developed for use in a home automation environment, including:
This works in the 2.4GHz band and is considered an ultra-low power protocol for wireless connections. It uses a proprietary protocol originally designed for use in fitness and sports data, but is now being applied more frequently in home settings. It is similar to Bluetooth in that it runs with low power requirements.
You are likely already familiar with Bluetooth technology, as it is widely used to connect items such as an external speaker or wireless headphones to your smartphone. Bluetooth is a good choice and developers continue to improve it, with a data rate increase from 1 Mbit/s to 2Mbit/s between Bluetooth version 4 and the latest version 5.
Homeowners generally also have experience with Wifi, such as using it to connect a laptop, tablet or smartphone to the Internet. With Wifi, more power is consumed because this protocol is often used to sustain high bandwidth connections (such as when you binge-watch videos from a streaming service). Your home automation setup might need Wifi for some higher-data applications, which you can discuss with your installation team during your consultation.
The ZigBee alliance controls the ZigBee protocol, a low-power specification based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard for personal area networks, offering media access control. With mesh networking, your devices have multiple channels to communicate over, letting each piece of equipment connect with one another. An advantage of Z-Wave over ZigBee is that it uses less power to achieve better coverage in the home. However, ZigBee is seen as more versatile for short-range connections.
This is not a comprehensive list, as developers continue to create and improve their wireless technology offerings. Some wireless networking protocols have open standards so any manufacturer can create devices that will work with it.
One of the most touted benefits of home automation is providing peace of mind to homeowners, allowing them to monitor their homes remotely, countering dangers such as a forgotten coffee maker left on or a front door left unlocked. Domotics are also beneficial for the elderly, providing monitoring that can help seniors to remain at home comfortably and safely. For many people, the driving force behind creating a smart home is the potential to save energy and money with automated heating and air conditioning systems.
A major issue is smart home security. If hackers are able to infiltrate a smart device, they could potentially turn off the lights and alarms and unlock the doors, leaving a home defenseless to a break-in. Further, hackers could potentially access the homeowner's network, leading to worse attacks or data exfiltration. In addition to security, many smart home opponents worry about data privacy. While smart home device and platform manufacturers may collect consumer data to better tailor their products or offer new and improved services to customers, trust and transparency are critical to manufacturers building trust with the users of their smart products.
Our very own and favourite Xiaomi has some amazing smart home devices, which are winning hearts across the globe! LED Bulb, Mijia Kettle, Mi Tv, Mi Air Purifier, Wifi router, Mi 360 camera, Mi power strip, Mi water purifier, Mijia Vaccum Robot, Mijia IHP Rice Cooker, Mi Mosquito Repellent are some of the picks of the long long list.
According to the new research report "Smart Home Market by Product (Lighting Control, Security & Access Control, HVAC, Entertainment, Smart Speaker, Home Healthcare, Smart Kitchen, Home Appliances, and Smart Furniture), Software & Services, and Region - Global Forecast to 2024", the overall smart home market is expected to grow from USD 76.6 billion in 2018 to USD 151.4 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 12.0%.
With home automation gaining momentum each year, the future for smart homes is extremely bright. How many Mi smart home devices do you own? Which of them do you like the most?
Which Mi Smart Home Device is Your Favorite?
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