The use of technology has become a part and parcel of our lives. It influences our everyday living positively by making it simpler and convenient. The development of devices such as mobile phones and computers led to our dependence on technology to communicate with our friends and store information such as messages, photos, movies, and music. The internet is a medium that devices use to simplify our daily tasks. It gives us the ability to look for any information, store our own data in the cloud, and manage information in a better way. Smartphones allow us to connect to the internet without using a computer, while still providing the same but enhanced functionalities. A major aspect is how smartphones can connect and interact with other devices. For example, they can be connected to a car’s speakers, allowing us to play our own music. They are many applications as such. A field that is gaining traction in the recent years is home automation. The prime focus of this technology is to control household equipment such as lights, fan, AC, door, oven, TV, and others automatically when one is at or away from home. Home automation systems not only aim to reduce human efforts but also foster energy efficiency and time-saving. The techniques employed by home automation systems include Arduino, android application, web pages, and GSM.
The applications of home automation systems are numerous. Smart lighting systems help detect the presence of occupants in the room and adjust the lighting as required. Smart locks grant or deny access to visitors. Smart security cameras allow monitoring of homes when residents are away. Smart motion sensors identify the difference between residents, visitors, and thieves, and inform authorities if something suspicious is detected. Smart refrigerators keep track of expiration dates and create a shopping list when we’re running low on items. Smart heating and cooling systems adjust automatically based on our entering and leaving the home and the temperature outside.
The home automation market is growing at a rapid pace. The development of innovative and energy efficient automated systems, the growth in the IoT industry, the increasing consumer awareness of the benefits of home automation systems, the increasing availability of smart home devices, the growth of the construction industry and the rise in demand for energy efficiency in smart homes are having a positive influence on the growth of the market. Nonetheless, stringent government regulations and high initial investments in home automation negatively affect the market growth.
Several players in the field are contributing to the growth of the market. Fluent Home, a leading provider of home automation and home security systems recently announced the launch of six new products designed to integrate with the Fluent Home Smart Security System. The products include Arlo 100% wireless HD video, router limits internet controls, Rachio automated sprinklers, 2GIG automated LED light bulbs, 2GIG automated light switch, and Amazon echo voice control. They are a great addition to the company’s line of products and customers can now control everything from their sprinkler system to their exterior and interior lighting from one in-home panel and smartphone app. In March 2018, ABB, a Swiss engineering firm showcased its smart homes, buildings and mobility products at the Lights + Building 2018 held in Frankfurt, Germany. One of the products that was showcased is AC wallbox, a new electric vehicle charging solution for homes and businesses. REACT 2 is ABB’s new high-voltage solar energy storage solution, that delivers 90% energy self-reliance for homeowners. When integrated with ABB-free, the company’s home automation system, homeowners can increase control over their electricity usage, thus avoiding high consumption peaks. ABB also introduced the new ClimaECO for commercial buildings to improve energy efficiency by up to 30%. ABB-secure@home is another new intrusion and alarm system for homes, which combines with ABB’s existing home automation solution and door entry system.
With home automation, we can centrally manage our home, sync basic household tasks with our needs, and simplify overall management via our smartphones or other devices.