Connected home brings more comfort and security

A connected home is networked to enable the interconnection and interoperability of multiple devices, services and apps, ranging from communications and entertainment to healthcare, security and home automation. These services and apps are delivered over multiple interlinked and integrated devices, sensors, tools and platforms. Connected, real-time, smart and contextual experiences are provided for the household inhabitants, and individuals are enabled to control and monitor the home remotely as well as within it.

Smart shades

The technologies behind the connected home can be grouped in the categories of networking, that includes familiar home networking technologies such as Multimedia over Coax Alliance, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, as well as 3G and LTE. They are usually complemented with low-power consumption networking standards, for devices and sensors that require low bandwidth and consume very little power, such as thermostats.

The category of media and entertainment covers integrated entertainment systems within the household and includes accessing and sharing digital content across different devices.

The technologies for home security/monitoring and home automation, cover a variety of services that focus on monitoring and protecting the home, as well as the remote and automated control of doors, windows, blinds, locks, heating/air conditioning, lighting, home appliances, and more.

Energy management allows people to track, control and monitor their gas/electricity consumption.

The fitness and wellness segment has strong and quickly developed ecosystems that range from devices to sports wares to apps, which integrate seamlessly with each other to create a strong customer experience.

Z-wave devices

If you have been shopping for a top smart home kit, you have probably noticed a Z-Wave logo on many of the boxes of your connected devices. So, what exactly is a Z-Wave?

Z-Wave was born from an idea by a Danish company Zensys in 1999. It is a wireless protocol that essentially focuses on connectivity within the smart home.

You may have seen the phrase “Z-Wave Plus” being used for the latest smart home devices. Essentially, it was a major upgrade to the platform that went live a few years back. If you are buying a Z-Wave product nowadays, it is most likely that it will be in fact a Z-Wave Plus.

Let us for a moment get technical. Z-Wave operates on the 800-900MHz radio frequency range, but doesn’t really suffer from any major interference issues. Unlike Wi-Fi, where devices have to connect to a central hub (usually a router, or another access point), Z-Wave devices all link up together, to form a mesh network. There is usually one central hub that does connect to the internet, but the devices themselves don’t have Wi-Fi at all. They just use Z-Wave connectivity to talk to the hub. On this mesh network you can have up to 232 nodes, which means 232 devices.

Smart windows

Smart windows

Windows are an important part of any home. Nowadays you can make them more energy efficient, and integrate them in your smart home, using some new high technology options.

Low-emissivity glass reflects back the solar energy from the sun, and helps keeping your home cooler in the summer. It also reflects infrared radiation within home, keeping it warmer in the winter and blocks UV rays, protecting your home furnishings from a sunlight damage.

It really seems like magic, but you can choose a Dual action self-cleaning glass, that keeps your windows clean, as it first breaks down organic compounds (dirt) that might have been stuck to the glass, then allows water to easily rinse them.

There is also a choice of smart window films that offer an option for light/privacy control of our homes. Through the application of a voltage, they can be adjusted from clear to fully opaque. Most commonly, a voltage applied to the film causes it to be clear. By varying it, the amount of opacity can be infinitely adjusted. But the buyers need to remember that keeping the windows transparent requires the equivalent of power needed for a 450 lumen LED bulb for every two square meters of the film.

Smart shades and window curtains

Smart curtains can be open or closed just by pushing a button or touching your tablet or phone screen. You can program them according to the outside natural lighting, or specific time of the day.

As the burglars of nowadays are becoming smarter and more resourceful, your home probably needs some smartening up. The smart curtain can be programmed to open and close in certain intervals, to imitate a presence, even though there is no one at home.

Smart curtains and shades can also work with other smart devices. They can connect to the exit and entrance module of any of them, including the smart phone or a smart home thermostat, to let us say open and close, depending on the home temperature. Connecting them to the smart thermostat can impressively decrease the amount of your energy usage. The shade can close during the hottest part of the summer days, or open in the cold winter days in order to keep your home warm with the help of a sunlight.

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