What is Home Automation?

You might have heard the term ‘Home Automation’ but are you sure what it means exactly? If it was something that you wanted to do – what exactly is in offer from the home automation industry? Home automation or having a ‘smart home’ is also known as domotics. It is, essentially, building automation systems for your home. It involves the automation of things like lighting, heating, air conditioning, ventilation and security features. For Home Automation Companies, visit http://digitalinteriors.co.uk/

It can also apply to your home appliances like washer/dryers, ovens or refrigerators and freezers. These appliances can be controlled by Wi-Fi and can be controlled remotely when you are not even in the house. This system is often referred to as the ‘Internet of Things’. This is the inter-networking of physical devices that are embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity so that the objects can collect and exchange data with each other. The result hoped for is that there is more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems for improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit to reduced human intervention.

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The automation system works by having a series of switches and sensors that are connected to a central hub, often referred to as a ‘gateway’. The system is then controlled with a user interface that works either with a wall-mounted box or mobile phone software. Most often it is all connected via internet cloud services. Confused? Well, don’t worry because if you want to find out more about what is available for your home then for Home Automation Companies, visit http://digitalinteriors.co.uk/.

So where did it all begin? The first home automation ideas began with labour saving devices. In the 1900’s and the introduction of electric power distribution, it was possible to obtain, for the first time in history, self-contained electric or gas powered home appliances. Washing machines appeared in 1904, water heaters in 1889 and then refrigerators, sewing machines, clothes dryers and then dishwashers.

The first home automation network technology appeared in 1975 with X10. It involved communication between electronic devices using electric power transmission wiring for signalling and control. The signal involved quick bursts of digital data via radio frequency and is still widely used today. Soon it was added to with the X10 timer and wall switch module.

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The concept of having a network of smart devices was being considered as early as 1982. The first internet connected machine was actually a coke machine at the Carnegie Mellon University. It was able to report on its inventory and tell whether newly loaded drinks were cold. It was thought that the Internet of Things would transform daily life. There would be instant inventory control and the way you interacted with an object could be based on immediate needs.

It has been predicted that there will be 20.8 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020. That’s an awful lot of devices connected to the internet! The Internet of Things is thought to be the next stage in the information revolution and is deemed important enough for the British government to set aside £40,000 000 towards research into it.