Imagine if all of your everyday appliances were connected to the internet. Your smartphone and computer already are, but what if your other home appliances were, too? While this may sound like something from a science fiction novel, it could be coming true, thanks to the Internet of Things. Soon, your refrigerator, your washer and dryer, your dishwasher, your clocks, your television, and all other appliances could be able to connect to the internet. You could have a smart air conditioner, a smart air purifier, and more.
This connection of all of the home appliances puts households one step closer to home automation. As home automation progresses, it is incredibly possible that virtually everything in your home could be done via a simple voice command, or even by the push of a button. While some things, such as setting a timer for a lamp, would be very simple and cheap, there are some more complex processes, such as surveillance systems, which could prove to be a sizable investment in order to achieve full home automation.
Home Automation Technologies
For those who are interested in upgrading their home to become fully automated, it is imperative to do the necessary research beforehand. One of the most important things is a communication protocol. There are dozens of protocols to choose from, so it is important to choose the right one. Oftentimes, it is best to choose just one communication protocol, or to find one system that can handle multiple communication hubs.
X10 is one of the original communication protocols. It started in the 1970s, and it has made the crossover from being wired to now being wireless. Even though X10 is not known to be incredibly high quality, it is a good, inexpensive option for those watching costs.
ZigBee is an incredibly efficient protocol, and it was created by members of the IEEE. They created this to be a great communication protocol option, and it helps all devices to communicate equally at low power. Thread, which is essentially an updated version of ZigBee, can connect up to 250 devices on one cloud network.
Z-Wave is owned by Sigma Designs, which makes all of the chips necessary for all Z-Wave capable communication protocols. Z-Wave devices are wireless, so they are a great, high tech option.
Insteon combines the best of all communication protocol worlds. It is both wired, and wireless, so there is a definite level of security with this system. Insteon has a nice back up system, so that if one of the appliances connected fails, another appliance can potentially step in to do its job. Additionally, Insteon is compatible with X10.
Wi-Fi is by far the most widely known of these options, and more and more manufacturers are creating everyday appliances to connect to Wi-Fi. It is incredibly well-known, and millions of people know how to use it. Even though it may not be the most popular option for home automation, it is still a very viable, efficient option.