With technology and devices progressing rapidly and increasingly handy new home products, equipment, and controls are arriving year or year; chances are these terms have become very familiar – Smart Home Systems, Connected Home Living, and Home Automation.
But what precisely do these terms mean? In most people’s minds, the three terms have become interchangeable. But they mean particular things and apply to different devices and functionalities.
Below we will look at what each term means, what devices and equipment fall under which category, and give you an idea of what you expect in the future from Home Automation, Connected Home, and Smart Home Living.
What is a Connected Home?
A Connected Home is a technological home management system that enables all connected devices, iOS and Android apps, and services in the home to run and interconnect with each other. These systems can be used so that one device’s sensors affect another’s actions.
For example, a garage door is opened via a remote, or your heating system can be switched on via an app on your phone. Or else a notification might appear on your phone if a sensor has noticed you haven’t used your door locks before retiring for the night.
What is a Connected Device?
A Connected Device is any piece of equipment that has been set up to a central internet system and can connect with other devices on the same network.
The most common examples of Connected Devices are smartphones, laptops, and computers. However, other devices such as music players, security cameras, and media devices are increasingly being optimised for connectivity.
Connected Home Functions and Devices:
• Connected Security Systems
• Connected Entertainment in different rooms
• Connected Multi-Room Music
What is a Smart Home?
A smart home system is a system that has been set up to control your household appliances either by remote, voice commands or by programming them to complete specific tasks at a specific time.
Smart Home Devices include smart kitchen appliances such as refrigerators and electronic smart home products such as intelligent light switches, smart speakers, smart air conditioning, or smart CCTV.
Smart Home hubs or universal remotes can be used as a centralised control centre for smart home devices and will even allow smart devices to communicate data to other units on the same network!
Examples of Smart Home Hubs you might be familiar with include Alexa, Google Assistant, and Google Home Hub.
What is Smart Technology?
Smart technology stands for “Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology”, and as the name indicates, Smart Devices use data analysis, machine learning, and AI to operate.
Whereas previously devices such as security cameras, light systems, and coffee makers would need to be operated, programmed, and controlled by a person each time they wanted them to work.
Smart devices can be controlled by remote or voice automation to function and make everyday life easier. The categories of connected and smart devices can be merged in many people’s minds.
Smart Home Devices and Functions:
• Smart Security Systems
• Smart Entertainment Systems
• Smart Multi-Room Music
• Smart Lighting
• Smart CCTV
• Smart Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
What is Home Automation?
The subsequent development is home automation which develops and uses Smart Home practices in further developed and more complex ways.
Home automation can be incredibly time and energy-saving. For example, your home automation system can switch your heating controls on and off, so they are only operating when needed.
It can also be used to automate the actions of air conditioning, house lights, and ventilation systems with little to no effort needed on your part!
What are Home Automated Devices?
Whereas Smart Devices still need to be controlled via voice commands or remote control, your automated devices in your home can communicate with and activate each other without you needing to do anything at all!
Appliances, heating, and security systems can all be switched on, operated, and directed by the data provided by other devices on your automated home system.
For example, suppose there has been a high amount of electricity triggered by your solar panels in the middle of the day. In that case, this could trigger the switching on of your washing machine as the automated system has judged that it is the most energy-efficient time to wash your clothes!
Automated Home Functions and Device
• Automated Security System
• Entertainment and Media Systems
• Automated smart lighting
• Automated Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
• Automated Security and CCTV Systems
• Automated garden watering and sprinklers.
Looking to the Future: Will All Homes Become Automated?
The majority of us have connected homes and make use of connected devices in our lives every day. Smart Devices and Smart Home Systems are also becoming increasingly popular, with people seeking the ease and timesaving benefits such equipment offers.
But how quickly will our homes become wholly automated and what home automation developments can homeowners expect to see in the future?
While automated homes are not yet an everyday circumstance, automated home devices are becoming immensely popular very quickly. Homeowners naturally gravitate to time and effort-saving functions such as automated heating, security systems, and air conditioning.
But the extent to which homes become automated in the future will depend primarily on personal preference, comfort levels, and techno-literacy.
Some people may feel uncomfortable with having many household decisions taken out of their hands and controlled by AI. In contrast, others will embrace every chance to integrate helpful technology into their lives.