Smart Homes …A walk to Sci-NonFiction

This article is not to ridicule the underdeveloped and developing countries but to cause a stir in our minds. I had a conversation with my sister in over a “WhatsApp call” (another technological advancement) about this smart piece of technology. It took me back to a number of futuristic movies I have seen. I had to ask myself is it possible for a house to have such features? Is ScienceFiction now nonFiction?

The answer to that….will get to it shortly but let me fully divulge what this smart home is because I know you’d be wondering by now.Wikipedia  calls it home automation or domotics but that sounds boring so it is simply called smart home or smart house. It involves the control and automation of lighting, heating such as smart thermostats, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) and security as well as home appliances such as washers, ovens or refrigerators. The remote monitoring and control often uses Wi-Fi.

The system is controlled from a “gateway” (central hub), which has switches and sensors connected to it.   A wall-mounted terminal, mobile phone software, tablet computer or a web interface,  serves as the user interface. The communication is often but not always via Internet cloud services. The market value of the home automation market in 2013 was US$5.77. It is predicted to reach a whopping US$12.81 billion by the year 2020. I know right, that’s a lot of money.

Okay enough with the Wikipedia for now, let me tell you something you should know. The likes of Apple, Google, and Samsung have all got smart home foundations in place, waiting patiently for a widespread revolution of smart houses. In 2007 Apple launched Apple TV which debuted a multimedia player called frontrow. With the advent of the Apple Watch and the introduction of HomeKit, the influence of the frontrow is expected to soar. HomeKit is a framework that enables devices from different brands to work together using Siri as a spoken interface. It is still in its early days, but Elgato has already designed a suite of elegant sensors and actuators to work around the system – expect many more to follow soon.

Oops, I lost you there, I didn’t tell you about Elgato earlier, well Elgato is a brand of consumer technology products. Markus Fest founded Elgato in 1992 with its HQ in Munich, Germany. It combines seamless software with elegant hardware to create app-powered lifestyle technology defined by comfort, convenience, and control. Since I’ve brought up Elgato, its only right I talk about Eve; Eve is a family of smart-home sensors and actuators designed by the German peripherals specialist Elgato to work with Apple’s HomeKit. They include a weather sensor, a door lock, and a smart plug. All of which use Bluetooth rather than Wi-Fi to communicate, and don’t need a hub. Eve products include the Eve button, Eve degree, Eve motion, Eve door and window, Eve room, Eve energy, Eve thermo, Eve light switch.

The Eve Button Device

I get excited a lot about Eve room because of its captivating and relaxing features. For starters, it tracks the indoor climate, monitors fluctuations in air quality for a very healthy breathing. It has an air purifier turn on automatically when your air quality deteriorates. Or have a humidifier switch on before humidity levels drop too low. Coupled with connected appliances, Eve Room makes indoor climate regulation a breeze.

Eve_Lifestyle_Eve_Weather_Veranda

A typical Elgato Eve Powered Room

Just an Introduction to Smart Homes, I could write a book about this intriguing technology. Before I take a pen break, for now, I know I left a question unanswered at the beginning. The answer is NO. It is still not as portrayed in the futuristic movies, but close enough. Our Sci-Fi is gradually becoming reality.

Hope we will not be left behind.

 

Let’s create your imagination …Arkprino

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