Smart home, Internet of Things (IoT), language assistants, smart sockets. We encounter these terms more and more on the Internet and in our daily life. Even for someone with a deep interest in technology, keeping track of the tech jungle isn't all that easy given the abundance of possibilities. For this reason, we want to give beginners a little help, and in the following article, we'll explain the basic terminology of the smart home topic and what to consider when getting started.
What does smart home mean?
The clear answer: the smart home. Admittedly, the 1:1 translation doesn't really help at this point. A smart home is an umbrella term for all the connected technological measures on your own four walls to improve comfort and (energy) efficiency. For example, this includes the networking of standard household appliances such as washing machines, heaters, blinds and lights.
This topic has long been stuck on simple "smart" sockets. More and more automation is entering everyday life. After the laundry is done, the washing machine will display a notification on the TV: Pie in the sky? No, now. Automatically open roller shutters at a certain time or turn off the heat as soon as you leave the house? This is also no longer part of pure utopia.
What are the standards?
As is the case with technological progress, a common standard was not used from the beginning. Companies develop products and use them to try to dominate the market—often at the expense of customers. Who wants to rely on eight different standards from different companies to build a connected home? Should be the least.
Most homes have WiFi. So why not use the technology that everyone already has in their own four walls? Amazon, Google and Apple's voice assistants in particular rely on Wi-Fi.
Most people should also be familiar with this standard. Bluetooth was developed as a simple and energy-efficient point-to-point connection. Many people currently use Bluetooth with speakers or head phones. Our access solutions also rely on Bluetooth.
How does the control work?
Many newcomers are also interested in the possibilities of smart home control. Manufacturers often provide detailed instructions or a separate app to set up the appropriate product. Therefore, most of the control is via mobile devices such as smart phones or tablets. However, more and more manufacturers are also integrating control options for voice assistants, further adding to the convenience. Turning off the lights with one simple sentence is now more convenient than finding an app on your smart phone, opening it, and turning the lights off.
The preset routines work better and run entirely on their own later. An example of this is blinds that open automatically at specific times or the linked process of certain smart home actions, such as turning off lights, turning off the heat, and locking doors simultaneously with a single command.