All you wanted to Know about Smart Homes

By John Paul
Guest Post
  Published 05 May 2016
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Guest Post

By Mukira Gitonga

What happens if all the devices in your life could connect to the Internet? Not just computers and smartphones, but everything:clocks, garage doors, speakers, lights, doors, windows, window blinds, door bells, hot water heaters, appliances, you name it. And what if those devices could all communicate, send you information, and take your commands? Here are some possibilities for your home with Internet of Things technology

  • Your house will fend off thieves when it detects intrusion and inform you on your mobile device
  • Your house will detect potential fire threats (Carbon dioxide, smoke and methane) and shut down gas supply beforehand before any danger is imminent and inform you.
  • Your house will automatically detect you when you get inside your room and play your favorite channel or music
  • You can save on energy substantially by having lights and appliances automatically turn off when not in need
  • Your coffee maker will automatically start when your alarm rings allowing you ample time to prepare yourself for work

Smart home is what this sounds like: having the ability to control items around the house—from window shades to pet feeders—with a simple push of a button on your phone. Some activities, like setting up a lamp to turn on and off at your whim, are simple and relatively inexpensive. Others, like advanced surveillance cameras, may require a more serious investment of time and money.

Still, imagine monitoring your home using an interface on your smartphone, or even panels mounted around the house.

It's like going from usingthe Clapperto beaming up to the U.S.S. Enterprise.

Home automation is going mainstream, and not only for the European homes but also in Africa. Chimera IOT ismaking a comprehensive smart home solution that runs on as low as basic 2G internet connection.

Your house is going to get smart, no matter what. Get in on the ground floor and become the family Smart home expert. Here'sthings you need to know

Ground Floor - Smart Home Technology

Before you buy a bunch of smart homes products, it helps to understand the technologies involved in setting up and using them. These products use many different communication protocols. Some are wired, some wireless, and some are a combination. Try to stick with one protocol when buying products, orget a hub/gateway that supports multiple protocols.

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X10
This granddaddy of home automation protocols dates back to the 1970s and has gone from power line-based to wireless.X10is not known for robust speed or great communication between units on the home automation network. It is, however, typically inexpensive.

 

zigbee-logoZigBee
ZigBee isa wireless 802 standard from the IEEE, which is to say, a bunch of gearheads came up with it before an outside group (theZigBee Alliance) made up of vendors createdproductsthat use it. One of the key elements in IEEE 802.15.4 (its real name) is that it makes a mesh network so that most of the devices communicate equally. It's also very low power. (You may also hear aboutThread,a new wireless protocol that uses the same radio chips and frequency at ZigBee, and connects up to 250 devices in a home to the cloud.)

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Z-Wave
Another wireless home automation protocol,Z-Waveis owned by one company, Sigma Designs, which makes all the chips for other vendors to make Z-Wave-capable products, known as the Z-Wave Alliance.

insteonInsteon
This may be the best of all protocols because it combines a wired power line-based protocol with wireless. Both work as a mesh; all nodes on anInsteonhome automation network are peers that can communicate when in proximity. If one fails, the other mesh can take over. You can buy Insteon devices at Smarthome.com, which is run by SmartLabs, the developers of Insteon. It's compatible with X10.

Wi-Fi_Alliance_Logo

Wi-Fi
This is the networking protocol we're all used to for sharing an Internet connection among laptops, game consoles, and so much more. It's super-fast and ubiquitous. So, of course, it's inevitable that some vendors would make home automation products to take advantage of it. The other protocols use less power and bandwidth but Wi-Fi's reach can't be understated, even if it is overkill to use it to turn a lamp on and off.

 

Logo-6_Bluetooth-SmartBluetooth
A staple of every PC, smartphone, and tablet, Bluetooth is better known for connecting items at a short range like keyboards, mice, headphones, and earbuds. But a lot of new products use the Bluetooth 4.0, aka Bluetooth Low Energy, akaBluetooth Smart. It doesn't require purposeful re-connection all the time, making it a good solution for select IoT items.

Take the Stairs

Now we are done with step one which is knowledge - you can head upstairs for more

 

Mukira Gitonga and Chimera IOT are Green members at the iHub

The iHub is a community of creative problem solvers who spend their lives and abilities working on projects, business and social enterprise to make the world a better place.

iHub Green members are elite developers and designers, Startup founders and entrepreneurs

Chimera Smart Homes - http://chimera-inc.io/

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