The Connected House: It measures, analyzes and acts automatically

The Connected House: It measures, analyzes and acts automatically

Smart Home stands for networked and intelligent living. Objectives: to improve living comfort, optimize energy efficiency and safety.

"Honey! Have you turned off the coffee machine? "Questions like these are a thing of the past in the smart home. The smart apartment knows the answer. Smart Home is the generic term for a range of innovative technologies for networking all electronic devices in the home environment. The goals: Improving the quality of living, increasing safety and optimizing energy efficiency. The Smarthome opens up considerable environmental, social and economic potential.

Smart Home - more than a collection of smart devices

Smart Home, Smart Living and eHome are common names for technologies that improve all areas living and improving the quality of life for the residents. At the latest, the perfect individual regulation of the indoor climate with simultaneous ideal energy efficiency makes even skeptics sit up and take notice. With the help of intelligent instruments, buildings will become more efficient, more economical, safer and more comfortable. The term "Smart Home" covers the following areas:

  • Comfort: Household Appliance Automation
  • Safety: Fire and Burglary Protection and Prevention
  • Energy Management: Smart Metering
  • Connected Consumer Electronics: Communication and Entertainment
  • Health and Wellness: telemedicine devices

To a maximum extent, all devices and systems in the house or apartment are networked with each other and communicate with each other. Location and needs of the inhabitants are known. The status of each device can be accessed and changed via a central switchboard. Home technology is constantly learning and regulating and strives to satisfy the needs of the residents. The connection is made via bus systems (wireless, powerline or via cable) or direct radio connection, and access is via the in-house WLAN network and / or the Internet. This means that the homeowner can view and access all electronic processes in-house from anywhere using a smartphone or tablet PC. Apps (software programs) visually visualize the status and enable convenient operation. Smart home technology opens up solutions for global challenges in the areas of security, communication, health, aging society, scarcity of resources and climate protection. Continuous measurements are the basis for making automated decisions and achieving target conditions.

Sensors measure the actual state: Basis for the Smarthome

Knowledge of the current actual state is the necessary basis for automated decisions and the individually desired target state manufacture. Various sensors take over this task and measure among other things:

  • the temperature
  • the humidity
  • the pressure
  • the brightness
  • the room air / smoke
  • movements in the rooms
  • the whereabouts of the People outside the premises

Through learning processes, the smart home knows the individual needs of the residents, for example, measures the room temperature and adjusts it at any time. If someone opens the window in a room, the heater switches off the radiator automatically. In strong sunlight, the roller shutter automatically shuts down. At dusk, the outdoor lighting turns on automatically. All processes in the house, where the occupants have gone from switch to switch, can be automated and optimized. Will there be an unscheduled business dinner in the evening? Using the smartphone, the SmartHome is informed on the go, the radiator is turned on later and energy saved. Collecting, evaluating, and translating information into automated actions - this is the area of ​​home automation, a subset of the smart home.

Intelligent and Automated Control of Home and Home Appliances

In home automation, the primary goals are to increase home comfort and safety. The automation offers possibilities in the areas:

  • Light: inter-room lighting programs
  • Room climate: automatic switching of radiators
  • Shading: automatic closing of shutters
  • Safety: motion sensors
  • Comfortable control of household appliances
  • Smoke detectors : Call on emergency call and message on the mobile phone
  • control air conditioning, TV and light by voice

The deposit of various lighting programs, for example, leads to the automatic shutdown of the lights after leaving the house. The programs allow the control of lighting in individual rooms and across flats. A roller shutter control serves the field of energy efficiency and also offers a safety plus. Intelligent systems learn from the behavioral patterns of the inhabitants and adjust the regulation of their own accord. Venetian blinds move up or down depending on the amount of light or the time of day. Intelligent home automation simulates residents' presence, providing intrusion prevention: the system turns lights on and off in different rooms, temporarily turns on the stereo and turns the TV on and off to deter potential intruders.

In SmartHome are the individual Use a smartphone or tablet PC to control and control components from the sofa, the office, or during a walk in the forest. The range of possibilities is endless. In the morning the alarm rings and automatically the coffee machine starts - or rather, only if the water supply of the shower is turned off? In addition to improving living comfort, energy efficiency is an important part of the Smarthome.

Energy-efficient Living with Smart Metering - Optimum Use of Own Energy

Smart metering is gaining in importance, particularly due to the diversification of electricity generation and the associated remote controllability. The smart meter is an "intelligent meter" that measures the consumption and time of use of water, electricity and gas in real time. Taking into account the availability and the current electricity prices, energy-efficient living is guaranteed - an important factor in 2014. For example, the system starts the washing machine if the photovoltaic system on the roof produces sufficient electricity or if the energy price is just cheap. The goal of smart metering is the automated interactive regulation of power consumption, depending on:

  • the current energy demand and
  • energy prices and availability

The building services relieves electricity providers and distributes peak times better. This results in ecological and economic benefits. The homeowner is sure to make the best of his own energy.

Connected consumer electronics

Consumer electronics are also part of the smart home. For example, the music is stored in a central location and playable by different devices in the house. At the same time, it is possible to network all speakers in an apartment, even taking into account the distance and latency (transmission delay). The realization takes place for example by means of DLNA certified components over the WLAN net. If desired, the same music can be played throughout the house and the next song can be selected from the smartphone in the bathtub or the laptop at the desk. If the son turns up his music again too loud, a keystroke or voice command in the kitchen is sufficient and the corresponding socket is switched off. Various educational measures are conceivable - everything is a question of configuration! Smart TVs are connected to the Internet and are increasingly conquering the market. Games, access to an online video library or even the control of smart home automation - all this is possible with the Smart TV. In addition to consumer electronics, the field of telemedicine is full of exciting approaches and help for the aging population, chronically ill people and people with disabilities.

Smart Home and Telemedicine

Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) is developing into another important area with enormous potential for the future. These are assistance systems for the elderly and certain patient groups. The goal: to give the residents the opportunity to live as long as possible in their usual home. The Smarthome for the chronically ill aims to minimize hospitalization without compromising the quality of the therapy. The possibilities are manifold and include, among others:

  • bedside monitoring
  • reminder functions for taking tablets for example
  • transferring biodata to the attending physician
  • a smart tub and fall detector in the floor
  • Telegymnastics
  • Air Quality / Humidity Control
  • Memory Training
  • Smart Furniture

With telemedicine, the exchange of medical data over long distances, for the diagnosis of selected diseases the visit to the doctor is not necessary. This saves time and money for patients and relatives. The challenges of an aging society require new solutions. Thanks to telemedicine, the patient and doctor are in close contact, without time-consuming office visits. Medical sensors continuously record the actual state and transmit it digitally to the attending physician. Especially in chronic diseases, telemedicine is a promising means to increase the quality of life of those affected. In the Smart Home, the focus is on the monitoring of vital signs. Assistance systems for specific medical conditions already exist, including:

  • Voice Control
  • Robot Assist
  • Reminder Systems

Voice Control allows you to turn lights on or off, control the TV, control the heater, or open doors. This can be beneficial for certain diseases. Robot assistance systems start with such simple solutions as self-contained vacuum cleaners to robots that help you get up or go to bed. For example, people with dementia forget to drink enough. Reminder systems with sensors on cups and glasses represent a solution here. In addition to the futuristic approaches, low-priced entry-level systems for more security are already available.

The affordable introduction to the Smarthome

The intelligent instruments for smoke and motion detectors, door and door Window sensors do not have to be expensive and expensive. Solutions that inform residents of smoke emissions via SMS or alarm when unauthorized people gain access to the home are available for as little as € 300. For example, RWE offers basic equipment for intelligent technology: door and window sensors, smoke detectors and the control center, which informs the owner in case of emergency. Such a package from RWE provides an increased sense of security during a holiday trip.

The SmartHome - what is imaginable becomes reality

The development of the networked apartment is still in its infancy. However, since Google has spent $ 3.2 billion for the purchase of the thermostat and smoke detector manufacturer Nest Labs, the importance of the industry in the future can be guessed. In the coming years many new products, not only from RWE, will appear on the market. Some of them are playthings, other luxuries and some of them are interesting for those who are interested in safety, comfort and energy efficiency. Science fiction fantasies will become reality in 2014. The smoke detector in the Smart Home no longer beeps on its own, but immediately establishes contact with the owner of the apartment and the fire brigade - this ensures quick help. Movements on the property or in the house inform the owner. Live images of the surveillance cameras enable the smartphone to control the situation on site. Currently the topics privacy and privacy are very popular with skeptics. The systems for home control and thus manufacturers will have an overview of who, when and how long at home and what the people are doing there. When the stove is switched on and who drinks how much coffee. Data security will be a big issue. If potential burglars get data on the behavior patterns of the residents, undisturbed burglary is no problem. The coming years will bring many advancements - and some approaches will prevail. The homeowner decides for himself what is measured and stored. What is stored in digital form can always fall into the hands of unauthorized third parties.

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