The Internet of Things (IoT) is defined by Wikipedia as “the network of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other items – embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data.” How can this be applied to your home’s daily needs?
This could be your car sending a reminder that it needs servicing after passing 40,000 miles. This could be a wearable ECG monitor sending data about your heart to your doctor. This could be a sensor attached to your cat’s collar that will help you find her if she’s stuck up a tree. All these devices can communicate wirelessly over the Internet with smart phones so they are considered smart devices.
When it is applied to your home, IoT primarily involves home automation. What was once done physically and consciously can now be done automatically as you have programmed it. Imagine the lights turning on or off in your living room as you enter or leave.
It could be your coffee machine starting to brew the moment your alarm clock goes off. Your house’s air conditioning can be turned off remotely even though you are sitting in a plane about to fly away for a two-week vacation. When a fire alarm in your house goes off both you and the fire department are alerted.
There are now thousands of smart devices available for the home. For those designed to control major appliances and utilities such as water, electricity and gas, work with a licensed electrician who is knowledgeable about home automation to ensure safety.
The three main benefits of a home automation system using the IoT (as opposed to a wired system) are listed below.
- Installation costs are reduced because cabling is unnecessary in a wireless network.
- Scalability is much easier when needs increase or decrease.
- Architectural beauty is preserved because cables are not required.
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