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What is Smart Home?

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Smart home is a term for technical processes and systems in residential buildings. The focus is on comfort, security, quality of life and living, and efficient energy use. In this context, smart home serves as an umbrella term, whereby individual sub-areas can be differentiated. The sub-areas of the smart home include home automation, smart metering, automation of household appliances, networked consumer electronics and security. (Source: Wikipedia).

Although the smart home enjoys great popularity, it is repeatedly criticized. One of the main points of criticism is that the networked home is repeatedly exposed to cybercrime attacks. Conceivable consequences of a successful attack are, in the best case, the loss of personal data, but in the worst case, a burglary in modern form.

If we take a differentiated look at the topic of smart homes, these criticisms are by no means unjustified. However, there are procedures that can significantly improve security in your own smart home. These include the secure programming of the components by the manufacturers and the intended use by the user. Likewise, users are always encouraged to check the security in their own homes and improve it if necessary.

Home automation

Automation is basically understood to mean that controls are triggered automatically on the basis of events. This type of automation is not new. If you look at production facilities in large companies, you will see that automation has already been taking place there for years.

This automation is transferred to the private household through the partial aspect of home automation. Monitoring, control, regulation and optimization devices fall under the totality of this term (source: Wikipedia).

Home automation is generally intended to help increase security and comfort through intelligent algorithms. A classic example of this is the use of intelligent lighting, which can provide effective protection against burglary during the winter months. However, so that this does not have to be switched on manually, the smart home determines the appropriate time and activates the lamps to the values set by the user.

In order to have access to one’s own home automation system while on the move, it is usually connected to the Internet. This makes it possible to operate the system from your smartphone even when you are not on site.

Smart Metering

Smart metering generally refers to all processes for recording consumption in the home. This includes the electricity meter, but also other measuring devices that can be found in almost every household.

Based on this information, it is possible for one’s own smart home to make decisions regarding certain actions. For example, a specific recommendation for action can be made regarding the use of household appliances if the photovoltaic system produces enough electricity.

The smart metering subsection is intended to provide transparency for residents and ensure far-reaching insight into consumption. In this way, resources can be used efficiently if they are available in sufficient quantities. Alternatively, resources can be saved if they are consumed to an excessive degree or even wasted.

Smart metering makes it possible to adjust lifestyles in one’s own smart home so that resources can be used efficiently. The algorithms in the smart home also have access to extensive information on the basis of which decisions can be made.

Home appliance automation

In addition to lighting, household appliances can also be automated. Even though this not exactly rarely still requires human interaction at the present time, certain devices can already perform their tasks independently.

A classic example of the automation of household appliances is the intelligent vacuum robot that cleans the apartment when the resident is absent. By networking with the resident’s smartphone, it can determine at any time whether the resident is in the vicinity. Should the absence be detected, the cleaning process begins.

However, the automation of household appliances is also making inroads into other areas. Washing machines, for example, can already be programmed so that the laundry is freshly washed when people return to their homes. Working people are thus able to do their household chores during the workday without having to put up with long idle times or take a circuitous route.

Accordingly, both the location of the residents and predefined schedules are important for automation. Based on this information, the home can perform the right actions at the right time to be of help in everyday life.


By using various sensors, states can be automatically queried and processed. Water sensors report the leakage of water at the washing machine, for example, and can thus be used to avert danger.

Closely linked to the issue of security is the so-called peace-of-mind. With an efficient use of different technologies, a sense of security is conveyed without the occupant having to keep an eye on everything at all times. Technology complements human acumen and provides support precisely when we need it most.

This can be especially helpful when we are not sure who is standing in front of the door during the dark season. In order not to jeopardize our own safety, networked cameras can send an image to our own smartphone. Based on this information, an individual decision is then made as to whether the door should be opened or whether it should remain closed.

In general, it can be said that networked sensors also keep an eye on areas that we humans may neglect or not even be able to perceive directly. Another example of this is carbon monoxide sensors, which constantly monitor the air quality in the room and sound the alarm in the event of danger.

Additional information

Wikipedia: Home Automation

Wikipedia: Building Automation

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