Control is something every human wants to have. Both, over their own bodies and events occurring around them. Internet of Things (IoT) helps to do just that by providing Home Automation systems which aim to control all the devices of your smart home through internet protocols or cloud-based computing.
Problems and implications:
Some of the problems that our un-automated homes face are as follows:
Safety and security: Residential areas are more prone to theft, robbery and other criminal acts due to lack of safety and security measures. Moreover, most of the people belonging to the middle-class fear of spending too much of their finance on security personnel.
Surveillance: In this modern age most of the houses have maids. Some of them though commit unlawful acts. Being away from home, owners don’t have any information regarding their doings in the house.
Appliance control: Most of the appliances release excess heat and use up most of the electricity due to lack of proper control. In this age where resources aren’t readily available, their wastage doesn’t affect an individual but rather a group. Most of the times, house owners forget to switch off their appliances and that leads to a huge loss of electricity.
Temperature and Air and water quality monitoring: In this age of rapid technological developments, it isn’t just technology that’s developing but also new diseases. Water and air quality contribute a considerable input for these developments. Temperature control is important during extreme weathers of summer and winter for a comfortable living.
Mobility: Since homes are stationary objects, it becomes tough to operate them when they are located far away from the owner’s location.
IoT based automation system deal with the above problems in the following ways:
Enhanced safety and security: Through IoT based automated security systems, our homes could be monitored 24/7 with the provision of alerts and notifications to our mobile phones or emails for customized events. Companies like Bluesinq offer IoT safety and security products for homes.
Round the clock temperature, water, and air quality monitoring: Temperature inside homes vary with the use of appliances and the weather in the surroundings. Weather isn’t in our hands, therefore efficient control of the usage of appliances is a viable solution for the temperature control. Through IoT, the temperature could be controlled by directly connecting the devices to the internet, cloud and with themselves. In this era of pollution, it is important to have control over what we breathe and what we drink. Through IoT, the water quality in the water storage tanks and the air quality present in our homes could be monitored at intervals. When harmful substances are detected, notifications would be sent to the owners. Ecobee4 is one such IoT based temperature controller.
Appliance control: For temperature control as mentioned above and also to efficiently use the energy available, it is important to have appliances connected with each other and the control of it to be real-time. Through IoT geographical constraints are removed, as owners from any part of the world can operate, schedule operations of the appliances at their homes. Aeva provides similar IoT based solutions for homes.
Connectivity: Internet has always helped in connecting people and ideas across the world. Through IoT, the same connection is obtained between appliances. This makes it easier to find any faults or leaks in the system and the optimization of tasks can be achieved with ease.
Savings: As mentioned above, energy utilization can be minimized with optimum control of appliances which therefore leads to savings of income.
Home assistance: Through IoT real-time home assistant services could be provided at the times of need. For eg., for old people staying at home, in case of emergencies home assistants could help them find the solutions. Moreover, they could also be used for entertainment and surveillance purposes in the presence of children at home. Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant are some of the commonly used IoT based home assistant services.
Though home automation through IoT has been visualized through movies and fictions, it is time to make it real. Through proper implementation of the features, IoT would help to save energy, secure our homes and also provide assistance during emergencies.