The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to all physical devices in different parts of the globe that are now connected to the internet, all sharing and collecting data. These devices wouldn’t usually be generally expected to have an internet connection. The arrival of super-cheap computer chips and the presence of wireless networks everywhere make billions of physical devices around the world to be connected to the internet.
It’s now possible to turn anything as small as a pill or as big as an airplane into a part of the IoT. Devices get an additional level of digital intelligence when they are connected and added with sensors, allowing them to communicate real-time data without human intervention. The merging of digital and physical universes is made possible with the Internet of Things.
Understanding the Internet of Things
All physical objects can be transformed into an IoT device, provided that it can be connected to the internet to communicate information or to be controlled. A lightbulb can be transformed into an IoT device when it can be switched on using a smartphone app. The same thing with a smart thermostat, a motion sensor in your office, or a connected streetlight.
An IoT device could be as simple as your child’s toy or as complicated as a driverless monster truck. Some large objects may themselves consist of thousands of smaller IoT components. A modern jet engine is filled with thousands of smaller IoT components, including sensors collecting and transmitting data back to ensure it is operating smoothly. At an even larger scale, smart cities projects are deploying sensors all over regions to help us understand and control the environment.
PCs and smartphones are not generally considered IoT devices since the term IoT only applies for devices that generally not expected to connect to the internet and can communicate with the network without involving a human being. However, smartwatches and fitness bands and other wearable devices might be counted as an IoT device.
How big is the IoT?
IoT is prominent as the number of connected things already exceeded the number of connected people in the world. And the Internet of Things is expected to get bigger every year. IDC, a tech analyst company, predicts that there will be 41.6 billion connected IoT devices or things in total by 2025. The company also suggests automotive and industrial equipment represent the most significant opportunity for connected things. It also sees the robust adoption of wearable devices and smart homes in the near term.
Gartner, another tech analyst, expects 5.8 billion devices in the enterprise and automotive sectors in 2020, up nearly a quarter of 2019. The highest user of IoT will be utilities, owing to the continuing rise of smart meters. The second most top user of IoT devices will be security devices, in the form of web cameras and intruder detection. The fastest-growing sector will be building automation, such as connected lighting. The second fastest will be automotive for connected cars and healthcare for monitoring of chronic diseases.
Home automation works in a variety of ways, depending on the technology being utilized and the type of automation. The first home automation industry-standard helps devices connect primarily via radio frequency, power line wiring, and wireless-based protocols. Today, industry standards mostly rely more on modern wireless technology, such as mesh-networking. Home automation systems use wireless technology, radio waves, and electricity to send messages to and from devices.
Central Control: It is a home automation system that manages everything in your home. It provides you the ability to control your thermostat, lights, washer, dryer, phone, and more. The central control home automation system is most common in upscale private residences and very popular with home automation security systems.
Typically, this type of home automation runs through a wall-mounted terminal, which is also commonly utilized for home security systems. It also can be accessed by a computer, tablet, smartphone, or remote control device.
The central control system allows you to easily access all the different aspects of your home from your shower to your home security network through one convenient system. Central control systems are known for their high quality.
This system is not for everyone, though, as it’s a relatively high end, which in turn means expensive and requires professional installation. Also, this system is very inclusive, as you typically limited to the devices that pair with it. In the event you want to buy a new washing machine, your option would be limited to the ones that work with that system.
App-Based: This home automation system technology uses your home network for communicating with the Cloud. In the last few years, cloud technology has become an integral part of the Internet of Things. App-based smart devices typically work by connecting your home automation devices to your home Wi-Fi. You can access your connected devices through the apps on your smart device.
You can coordinate with your smart home devices once you have done creating a personalized account with these apps. You and your smart home devices should be connected to the Internet to communicate back and forth from anywhere with most of these cloud-based home automation devices.
Some app-based home automation technology allows you to connect your smart device directly through Bluetooth. The same with cloud-based home automation, you need to make a personal account on the app. However, unlike cloud-based apps, you need to be in the area of these home automation devices for them to work.
App-based home automation makes having a smart home accessible to the general population. Since the devices for app-based home automation are generally affordable, easy to install, use, and update, so many homeowners are creating DIY smart homes. App-based smart home technology is currently such a huge market with new devices continually coming out.
The only disadvantage with smart homes running off cloud-based home automation is the need to use several different apps. However, this inconvenience may end soon as more smart home tech distributors offer various devices that can be accessed through their one app. Additionally, more developers are designing devices that can function more like the Central Control systems.
Home automation allows you to control devices in your home from a mobile device wherever you may be in the word. The term is commonly used in remotely programmable devices, such as thermostats and sprinkler systems. But it’s becoming more common in almost everything inside the homes, such as heating and cooling systems, electrical outlets, appliances, and even lights. You can hook up nearly everything in your home to a remotely controllable network. Home automation can also be linked to your home security systems, such as your alarm system, windows, doors, some detectors, locks, and surveillance cameras.
Main Characteristics of Home Automation
Automation. One main characteristic of home automation is automation itself. The term refers to the power to program and schedule events that may include time-related commands for the devices on the network. You can schedule when your lights to be turned on and turned off at specific times each day. The programming can also include non-scheduled events, such as automatically turning on all the lights in your home when your home security system is triggered.
There are a variety of possibilities of home automation scheduling, and understanding them can help you come up with many useful and creative solutions to live a better life. For instance, your home has a west-facing window that lets too much light to get during noon; you can connect your motorized blinds into a smart outlet and program it to close at noon daily.
Remote control monitoring and access are the other main characteristics of home automation. Smartphones and tablets allow homeowners to connect to their home networks while they are away. You can view and control the home automation system and any connected devices with the use of any Internet-connected device wherever you may be in the world.
Monitoring apps offer information about your home, from the current status to a detailed history of what has taken place. You can check whether your lights are on, whether windows and doors are locked, what the real-time temperature of your home and much more. Want to pull up real-time video feeds of your home while you’re away? Include your security cameras as part of your home automation system to see what’s going on in your home remotely.
Even simple notifications are vital to performing necessary actions. You can program your system to send you an email or a text message whenever your home security system detects a potential issue, from fire alarms to motion detector warnings. If you are a parent and want to know when your child returns home, you can program your system to notify you when a child enters your home.
You can also reprogram the scheduling, lock and unlock doors, adjust the lights, reset the thermostat anytime and virtually anywhere you want. As more smart devices and appliances made available on the market, the possibilities for home automation are limitless.
Security systems are strategically installed to perform specific tasks when a secured area is breached. How security systems work in the event of an intrusion depends on the type of system a homeowner is deploying.
Professionally Monitored Security Systems: If an alarm company professionally monitored your security system, they are notified when a security issue occurs in your home. Along with the high-decibel or loud alarm that sounds, the monitoring company is notified. A professional security expert might communicate with the homeowner through the control panel if it’s installed for 2-Way Voice communication, or will contact the emergency contact number provided on the account.
These types of security systems transmit information with the monitoring company in one of several methods, including:
- Over home phone lines, which continue to operate during power outages via the backup battery.
- Wirelessly via cellular radio frequencies such as mobile phones use, also working during power outages with the backup battery.
- Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), typically doesn’t work in a power interruption.
- Via the Internet, which also typically doesn’t work in a power outage.
If an actual emergency takes place, the monitoring company will alert the appropriate local emergency response personnel. This includes paramedics, firefighters, and police. The monitoring company will also maintain communication with you until the relevant emergency response teams arrive at your home.
Monitored systems enable the homeowners (or designees) to be alerted by text message and email when a security breach takes place.
Non-monitored Security Systems: There are a range of DIY security systems available on the market today that do not include professionally monitored services. If a home intrusion takes place, and this type of security system is installed, a high-decibel or loud alarm sounds (provided one is deployed). Contacting appropriate emergency response personnel must be done by the homeowner by dialing the proper emergency number, typically 911.
Depending on the chosen provider, these types of systems may or may not allow for email notifications or text messages to be sent to the homeowner if there’s a security breach.
What are the advantages of having a home security system?
When compared to homes with professionally monitored systems, homes without security systems installed are up to three times more likely to be burglarized, several studies show. It’s because burglars are opportunistic by nature and always prefer easy targets. Homes without security systems installed are high on the burglars’ list.
When you have a home security system monitored by a home security system company, and advertise this by putting window stickers and planting yard signs, you’re letting burglars know the likelihood of failure and be caught.
Another advantage is that the homeowner can conveniently manage their house remotely. With this, you can typically manage your security system from virtually anywhere in the world via a web-enabled device, monitor all activities in your home, as well as use a panic button to trigger an instant response from your professional monitoring company.
Finally, most home insurance companies offer big discounts-up to 20 percent when you have a home security system installed.
Home security systems are designed to secure entry points, such as doors and windows, as well as interior space containing valuables like computers, art, coin collections, and guns. They work the same regardless of the size of the home, or the number of windows and doors or interior rooms a homeowner decides to secure. The only real difference in home security systems is in the number of security components installed all over the home and monitored by the controller known as the control panel.
Security System Explained
The simplest definition of any security system is in its name. It’s a method or means by which something is protected through a system of interworking devices and components.
In this article, we’re specifically discussing home security systems, which are integrated electronic devices’ networks functioning together with a central control panel to secure against home intruders.
Typically, the home security system includes:
- Control panel, which is the central controller of a home security system
- Window and Door sensors
- Interior and exterior motion sensors
- Wireless or wired security cameras
- High-decibel alarm or siren
- Window stickers and yard signs
Security System Makes Your Home Safer
Home security systems can secure entry points into a home through sensors that communicate with a command center or control panel placed in a strategic location somewhere in the home.
The sensors are usually installed in doors that lead to and from inside the house as well as easily accessible windows, especially any that open, particularly those at ground level. Motion sensors can secure open spaces inside of homes.
Control Panel: It’s the computer capable to arm and disarm the security systems, communicate with each installed component, sound the alarm when a security zone is breached, and notify with an alarm monitoring company.
They usually feature a touchpad for smooth interaction and programming. It’s where passcodes are entered to activate and deactivate the system. It can work on voice commands and can be programmed to work with key fobs, which are wireless remote controls.
Window and Door Sensors: Sensors for windows and doors are composed of two parts set up adjacent to each other. One part of the device is deployed on the window or door and the other on the window sill or door frame. When a window or door is closed, the two parts of the sensor are joined together, making a security circuit.
When the security system is connected at the control panel, these sensors work with it by reporting that the point of entry is protected. Should a monitored window or door suddenly be opened, the security circuit is broken, and the control panel interprets it as a breach of a protected zone. A loud alarm is sounded, and in most cases, the alarm monitoring business is notified.
Motion Sensors: These security components, when activated, secure a given space by making an invisible area that can’t be breached without sounding an alarm. These typically installed in rooms containing valuables, as well as zones less frequented in bigger homes.
Surveillance Cameras: Available in wireless and wired configurations, they can be installed in different methods as part of an overall home security system.
Typical uses include monitoring:
- Distant or challenging to see spaces of your property
- Remote buildings such as garages, workshops, and barns
- Entry points, both interiors, and exteriors, such as front doors and garage doors
Computers, smartphones, and tablets can be used to accessed surveillance cameras. Homeowners who are out of town can still monitor what’s going on in their property through remote access to their surveillance cameras. These surveillance cameras are also useful to watch for deliveries and other service personnel like caregivers and landscapers. They can also be helpful to monitor the arrival of children after school and record any security breaches. They can be witnesses of a home invasion, including a clear look at the burglars and perhaps even the details of the vehicle they drove.
High-decibel Alarm: Produce loud sound enough for neighbors to hear, home security loud alarms serve multiple purposes:
- They alert the people inside the house of any problems that are happening.
- They’re usually enough to send a burglar running
- They notify nearby people of the situation.
Window Stickers and Yard Sign: At first look, these items might appear like nothing more than marketing tools for alarm businesses, but they play essential roles in the home security. When you placed a security businesses’ sticker in a front window and planted their sign in your front and back yard, you’re telling burglars your home is professionally secured and not a wise decision for an attempted burglary. They are effective at conveying this strong message and should be used as recommended by the security company.