Publication Name: m2mnow.biz
Date: May 2015
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The interesting paradigm about the smart home, says RR Bipin, is that while most consumers do not have an awareness of the smart home, once familiarised with its benefits, their interest levels peak instantly.
With the proliferation of the internet and related technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), home automation is becoming a norm primarily to improve safety and reduce the cost of heating and lighting. The added charm is the element of convenience offered by smart homes, enabling you to remotely access various units within your home.
There are numerous applications that come under the ambit of a smart home. The list of devices that are remotely controlled includes pretty much everything including audio systems, curtains, television, kitchen appliances, garage doors, sprinklers, gateways and smart meter. Additionally, smart homes have the potential to be greener and cheaper: water and energy-monitoring tools, and programmes to optimise energy consumption, helping users to lower water and energy usage, which could, in turn, lower bills and reduce our carbon footprint.
Security is another major focus of smart home systems. Advanced smart security systems can notify you remotely if there has been an intrusion, detect vehicles approaching your home, automatically lock your doors, and provide room-by-room surveillance.
Currently, less than 1% of homes employ full smart home technology. But research firm IHS Technology predicts that by 2018 45 million smart home devices will have been installed. A recent study by Microsoft researchers determined that the top four barriers to wider adoption of smart homes are the issues associated with linking disparate systems, poor manageability, high cost of ownership, and difficulty of integrating security systems.
A strong impetus from smart home product manufacturers and concerns related to security and energy savings have gained prime importance in manufactures. There are numerous standards and open source protocols out there including ZigBee, Home Gateway Initiative, OSGI Alliance and Eclipse Smart Home that are gaining prominence. There are also a host of innovative wireless technologies across different sectors, which include security control & access control, entertainment control and HVAC control.
All of these would converge on open smart home platforms that provide the backbone for the devices to communicate to the cloud, make run time decisions, raise alerts and alarms for users and provide analytics data to improve efficiencies. Additionally the platform should have the ability to quickly adapt to the needs of various communities based on availability of telecom networks, regional customer preferences and price points.
At Tata Elxsi we offer our customers a comprehensive portfolio of services that enable them to develop all the components of a smart home implementation including devices, gateways, connectivity solutions, cloud infrastructure, analytics, management consoles and consumer interfaces.
The author is Mr RR Bipin, VP New Business, Product Engineering Business, Tata Elxsi.