There was a time when returning home felt like an extended working day, with all the tiresome and exhausting housework. But we all want our home to be a place that glows with comfort, rest, and safety.
This description could be an alternative smart home definition because it’s exactly what a connected house implies. It is a home that serves you, rather than making you a servant; a place where you can feel cozy and secure. But along with these qualities, you can experience even more advantages of a smart home, both for your wallet and for nature.
No wonder the concept of a smart house became so popular, and this market will grow up to $182,442 million globally by 2025. And by 2027, people worldwide are expected to spend over $200 billion on smart home gadgets, which makes this industry a highly profitable niche for forward-looking business owners.
Wish to find your place in connected house software development? We’ve prepared an extensive guide on how to turn your home into a smart home, along with some examples to inspire you for creating your own innovative solutions. Read on to dive into this modern trend of a controllable and self-service home environment.
What is a smart home?
A smart home is an intelligent home setup that connects home gadgets (so-called IoT devices) through an Internet connection into one smart home ecosystem. These devices can gather information and transfer it to a special app, or perform certain actions automatically or as directed by the owner.
That means, people don’t need to clutter their minds with every detail of their home or care about chores if their place is equipped with smart home technologies, as nearly everything in their home can be manageable or self-controlled.
That is, smart home owners can specify the perfect temperature of their room for a smart thermostat distantly to feel comfortable right after stepping over the threshold of their home, or schedule a connected kettle to boil the water at a fixed time to get a nice hot cup of tea first thing in the morning.
Nowadays, automation is often built in the original housing construction, so in the years ahead, more homes will be intelligent by default. However, it’s not wide spread as of yet, so if a customer equips his or her home with IoT devices, it can still be considered a smart home.
How does a smart home work?
In connected homes, different smart home appliances connect to a dedicated mobile application and are manageable and adaptable. Essentially, any device in your customer’s home can become smart, from switchers and doorbells to fridges and surveillance cameras.
Smart home devices gather info about the surroundings and can be prompted to action by some mechanisms or controlled via an application. Apart from the app, people can control their homes via voice assistants.
In general, there are three levels of how smart homes work on the resident’s side:
- monitoring — smart devices track motions, light, temperature, humidity, and other metrics, and transfer this data to the app,
- management — the residents of connected homes can command their devices distantly via dedicated software,
- automation — smart tech for the home can be set to function in a given period or under the influence of other factors like the reactions of other gadgets.
What are the components of a smart home?
To make a home intelligent and self-driving, you need to connect IoT-powered hardware to an ecosystem through an Internet connection.
Let’s take a closer look at the components you need to make a smart home.
Smart home products are connected to the Internet with the help of communications protocols.
You may choose one from several options according to the goals you might have:
- Wi-Fi is fast and readily available in most homes. However, separating home devices from the common traffic or connecting products with high protection requirements may be a challenge, and you may want to consider alternative options.
- Z-Wave is another popular protocol among the owners of smart homes. It focuses on low power consumption and less interference.
- ZigBee is great for those who seek an even more secure option, as it has symmetrical encryption that provides a higher protection level.
- Bluetooth can also be used for a smart home system, although it’s less commonly used for this kind of technology.
A smart home system requires a hub that allows users to interact with their devices. Usually, people tend to stick to one ecosystem and search for compatible gadgets. Most of them can be run via voice assistants, which leaves owners a choice to exploit products either through an app or voice commands.
You can choose the best smart home ecosystem for your smart home solution among the most popular options:
- Google Nest — This platform uses Google Assistant that can command smart home devices or is installed directly in them (for instance, when it comes to Google brand products such as Chromebooks). The ecosystem supports multiple users while serving them separately.
- Amazon Alexa — A popular ecosystem with the Alexa voice assistant. The Amazon smart home system allows you to easily connect new devices, group them, and set automated routine actions.
- Apple HomeKit — This ecosystem works with Siri, and is said to provide a highly protected smart house system. However, in contrast with other options, Apple HomeKit isn’t universal, and users need to have at least one device with iOS to make it work properly.
- SmartThings — A smart home ecosystem by Samsung. Although it’s considered not as user-friendly as other systems, users like it for its stability and compatibility with a variety of devices. If you want to utilize Z-Wave and ZigBee protocols, SmartThings will also be a great choice for you.
- Others: IFTTT, Logitech, Yonomi, Control4, Smart Life, etc.
Intelligent devices and appliances are hardware smart home components. Connected house developers try to turn as many home items as possible into custom and manageable ones. Today, every room can be supplied with a smart device for almost any purpose. The best smart home system usually includes intelligent lights, locks, doorbells, plugs, and thermostats.
Smart home benefits
When building a smart home, people often imagine that they turn their apartment into a sci-fi home that can serve them and allow them to get rid of monotonous housework.
We’re quite close to this image, however, an intelligent home can also bring other advantages.
- Convenience — While homeowners are away and can’t or don’t want to do housework on their own, they can brew some tea, do the cleaning, set the perfect climate, or see how their kids are doing using a single app. Also, living in a smart home means you can afford to spend time on other valuable things while keeping your home life in order and comfortable.
- Control — A smart home can be managed without a direct presence there, as every action or change can be seen and commanded via an app. So, users will have no more worries about whether they’ve locked their apartment or turned off a device: they can just check and solve it on their phone.
- Cost-efficiency — Such smart home technologies as IoT thermostats and light bulbs can save costs on utility bills, especially electricity that is used for heating, cooling, lighting, and other things that can be easily overused when not controlled.
- Sustainability — Smart house devices can make a home more eco-friendly, pretty much for the same reason as saving money. It’s fairly easy to stop using energy excessively when your home is fully automated.
- Safety — With a smart security system, every home can turn into an impregnable fortress, as advanced sensors and cameras are on guard round the clock.
Examples of smart home technologies
In a modern connected home, you can find smart home technology for nearly any task, whether it’s making coffee or keeping an eye on your pet when you’re away.
Here are some examples of technologies you can offer to your customer’s smart home ecosystem.
1. Access & security controls
Home protection devices are good at keeping a home secure, so they are often listed as top smart home solutions. Smart cameras, motion detectors, and smart video doorbells notify your users remotely when someone is approaching their home.
Smart locks give them access to the doors even if they are away, so they can open the door on someone’s request or make it lock up automatically if it was accidentally left unlocked.
Examples: Reolink Argus 3 Pro, August Smart Lock Pro, Ring Video Doorbells.
A smart home can assist you in cleaning, cooking, and storing products, if not do it itself. Smart appliances for a home can replace ordinary vacuum cleaners, instant pots, toasters, fridges, coffee machines, or even stirrers.
With the help of a smartphone, a homeowner can check and manage the temperature in the refrigerator, keep the home clean without wasting time on it, or cook a perfect dish with fully controllable appliances.
Examples: Uncommon Goods Automatic Pan Stirrer, Samsung Smart Refrigerators, Smarter Coffee Makers.
3. Climate controls
Smart technology for a home environment is becoming increasingly popular, as it helps people create and control the perfect climate in their rooms with one tap.
Such climate control appliances as thermostats, humidifiers and air purifiers also allow homeowners to track air quality on a smartphone by sending data on temperature, humidity levels, and pollution rates to a dedicated app.
Examples: Ecobee Smart Thermostats, Levoit Smart Humidifiers, Dyson Air Purifiers.
4. Energy management systems
Although a majority of connected home devices are aimed at making life easier and more comfortable, the best smart home systems also include solutions for saving resources such as electricity and water.
These systems make sure there are neither leaks in the home nor excessive energy consumption, so users can both spend less money on their bills and live more sustainably.
Examples: Flo Smart Water Monitor, Sense monitor, Sensital Energy Management System.
5. Devices for entertainment
Smart TVs and speakers are kinds of smart home devices many people are already using. By using a voice hub, homeowners can turn on their TV, music, podcasts, and other fun things. There are also alternative systems for managing entertainment devices, such as gesture control devices.
Examples: singlecue, Samsung Smart TVs, Amazon Echo.
6. Environmental alarms
Nowadays, smart homes offer an advanced security system that can detect early signs of fire and hazardous chemical air pollution. Such devices as smart fire detection and alarm systems, radon, and carbon monoxide detectors monitor air quality round the clock and send notifications to your phone when danger is detected.
Examples: Nest Protect Smoke & CO Alarm, RadonEye Home Radon Detector, Screwfix Carbon Monoxide Detectors.
7. Health care systems
The healthcare market is famous for keeping pace with the latest IoT technologies, i.e. smartwatches and fitness bands. However, you can also find solutions for a smart home such as intelligent scales that can measure not only weight but muscle and fat mass, water rate, and other indicators.
Moreover, some businesses offer full-fledged medical alert systems for a connected house.
Examples: GetSafe Medical Alert System, Fitbit Aria Air Smart Scales, Withings Blood Pressure Monitor.
8. Lighting controls
Today, smart lights are probably the basic components of modern smart home systems. They allow people to control the light remotely, set auto turn on/off, synchronize it with the time of the day, adjust the color and brightness, and more features.
Not only does this technology help people create the desired atmosphere, but smart bulbs and switches also allow them to cut spending on electricity bills.
Examples: Wyze Smart Light Bulbs, CYNC Wired Smart Switches, Brilliant Smart Dimmer Switch.
The market for smart home devices is versatile, and people can find nearly everything they need to live a more convenient and safe life.
For instance, pet owners may want to replace an old feeder with an intelligent one or complement their pet care with a smart pet camera. And if your target client is a new parent, it’s a great idea to offer him or her an advanced baby monitoring system to always keep his or her kid in view.
Examples: PetCube Play, Nanit Baby Sleep Monitor, Owlet Home Smart Automatic Pet Feeder.
Learn how to make your home smart
Although connected homes stuffed with sensors, cameras, and automated household appliances seemed to be a fantasy in the past, today these technologies are much more accessible and common. They have enabled people to make their homes help them and nearly maintain themselves, saving homeowners’ time and money while adding a new level of convenience and comfort.
If you want to learn how to develop new smart home technologies, the Eastern Peak team is ready to accompany you on the way to bringing your business to the market of connected house software. Contact us to get a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a connected home work?
A smart home is a system of intelligent devices and appliances that connect to a dedicated ecosystem through the Internet. Residents of connected homes get data gathered by these devices and command appliances using a mobile application.
What are the benefits of a connected home?
A connected house is an automated and manageable space that serves its owner and is fully under his or her control. It allows people to spend less on bills and live sustainably. Moreover, smart security systems always keep the home protected.
What are examples of smart homes?
Currently, the market offers solutions for every aspect of living in a connected house. Smart homes may include solutions for home protection such as smart cameras, locks, and even environmental alarms, automated appliances from a vacuum robot to a smart fridge, climate control devices, gadgets for entertainment and health care, energy management systems, etc.
What devices can be installed in a connected house?
Nowadays, people can equip almost every corner of their connected house with an intelligent device. Smart security systems, light bulbs, robot vacuums, and thermostats, are some of the most common smart home technology examples, although you can find even more specific items such as smart stirrers or baby cameras.