IoT and What It Means for a Smart Home

By Cassandra 04 December 2017, 9:12

Smart devices improve many aspects of our daily lives, from Internet-connected toasters to smart cities and advanced manufacturing. Internet of Things (IoT) devices communicate and transmit information between each other through the Internet, and without any human involvement. Sounds cool, right?

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IoT is the future, whether we want it or not, and everything including your home appliances and kids' toys will connect to the Internet. IoT projects include smart appliances, wearable electronics such as watches or fitness gadgets (this is reality and not some James Bond movie!), Smart Home devices, and are present in many other sectors of the economy. For example, in the public sector, headlines are dominated by infrastructure projects like sensors in roads that help manage traffic or smart meters used by utilities to save energy (1).

Joshua New, policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation said:

"You can pretty much ‘sensorize’ and connect everything". (1)

In fact, sensors play a large part in IoT technologies, measuring air quality, pressure, humidity, light, motion, and temperature.

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Smart devices use various ways, or protocols, to communicate and analyze data. Wi-Fi is one of the most popular kinds of network connections/communication protocols, but it’s not the only one. Other examples of protocols are KNX, Z-Wave, ZigBee, Thread, Infrared, Ethernet, and Bluetooth. Smart devices can have one or several protocols. Some protocols are more energy efficient, others are more stable, and others are more secure. The ideal technology will combine all these feature. It is unknown which protocol will win at the end, as each manufacturer is promoting its own (2).

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Some protocols such as Z-Wave, ZigBee, and Thread are suitable for Smart Home devices because they are designed to stay connected even if the Wi-Fi goes down. According to Do it for me Solutions, a home automation blog:

"There is a difference being connected and being Internet connected. The hidden bane of many, but not all, IoT and home automation solutions is that you are not simply buying a product that you can plug and use. Many products require a service provided by the manufacturer or third party to work or to be useful. Some products now require you to have a smartphone and an Internet connection to even set them up for the first time. Basic functions must work without complexity and that means without requiring an Internet connection when there is a choice between two devices, one which requires an always-on Internet and one does not, the simpler approach is preferred. (3)

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There are many problems with Internet dependence nowadays. Wi-Fi connections can be unstable due to weather conditions, aging technology, such as an outdated router at home, overloaded servers, etc. Your Internet-dependent home security will go down when the Wi-Fi goes down. Furthermore, experts say that:

"Anything connected to the Internet is hackable".

Oomi Smart Home system offers a better solution with multiple integrated communication protocols like Z-Wave and a local area network. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi options are also available to connect to a Smart phone. Oomi protects all communications with banking grade AES 128-bit encryption so your information stays private.

To learn more about Oomi, visit https://www.oomi.com or to learn more about a Smart Home, check out next week’s blog.

References:

  1. http://www.govtech.com/network/Practical-Uses-of-the-Internet-of-Things-in-Government-Are-Everywhere.html, accessed November 2017
  2. https://www.iotforall.com/smart-home-protocols/, accessed November 2017
  3. https://www.doitforme.solutions/blog/2017/1/12/its-time-to-pull-the-plug-on-your-smart-home, accessed November 2017
IoT and What It Means for a Smart Home
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