When your custom-built home is planted on a prime piece of property that overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway in sunny southwest Florida, huge, scaling, floor-to-ceiling windows are an absolute must. They deliver phenomenal views, of course — but also allow in excessive heat from the sun. Consequently, the builder of our award-winning smart home, Voigt Brothers, makes sure to outfit every residence he builds with Lutron motorized shading. Lighting control from Lutron is also a standard feature to provide an eye-pleasing aesthetic, as is the handiwork of a reputable home systems integrator to tailor the technologies to the unique needs of the owners of each residence.
One of the things that’s great about modern Wi-Fi is how far-reaching signals from your router can be, especially if you’ve optimised the placement of your gear. But, of course, this wide coverage comes with a downside too: your Wi-Fi network probably extends to your neighbours’ homes and out onto the street, and if you don’t take steps to properly secure access to your data, any snoopers can ride on your bandwidth.
Amazon’s voice activated home automation gadget can mistake radio and TV programme for human commands- as some owners found out recently while listening to a US talkshow.To activate Echo, users need to ask the ‘assistant’ Alexa to perform a task, from playing their favourite song to dimming the lights- provided they have the correct smart home appliances to do so of course.
Earlier this month, Nest’s smart thermostat reportedly stopped working, leaving many users frustrated and their homes freezing cold. Users took their problem to social media, blaming a mysterious software bug that drained Nest’s battery, and complaining that the thermostat can’t connect to the Internet. Connectivity, of course, is the main thing in the Internet of Things (IoT).
There are a wide variety of technology platforms, or protocols, on which a smart home can be built. Each one is, essentially, its own language. Each language speaks to the various connected devices and instructs them to perform a function.Choosing a smart home protocol can be tricky business. Obviously, you want one that will support a large number of devices, as well as one that offers the best possible device interoperability (the ability for devices to talk to each other). But there are also other factors to consider, such as power consumption, bandwidth and, of course, cost.
STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, announces that its efforts to enrich the IoT development ecosystem have been further strengthened by the recent adoption of its STM32 Nucleo Development Kit by the School of Electronics Engineering and Computer Science at Peking University and for the Xiao Gang Pao IoT development system by JUMA, an IoT software platform company.The STM32 Nucleo Kit has been adopted by the School of Electronics Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), Peking University for its Electronic System Design Project. Relying on ST’s STM32F401 Nucleo (mother board), X-Nucleo-IDB04A1 (daughter board), and X-Nucleo-IKS01 (sensor board), together with the ARM® mbed(TM) online software development platform, the new course provides students with a complete toolset to develop Smart Things and IoT applications.
The government has threatened to halt subsidies for new offshore wind farms over the next four years unless the industry can slash the cost of new projects.Announcing details of the government’s energy policy “reset” this morning, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd said her department would run three auctions over the course of this parliament that would allow low carbon technologies to compete for price support contracts. However, she warned there would be “no more blank cheques” for offshore wind farms, and that future auctions would depend on developers cutting costs. “Further support will be strictly conditional on the cost reductions we have seen already accelerating. The technology needs to move quickly to cost competitiveness,” she said.
Six months into its life, the Wireless IoT Forum has made its first major public policy pronouncements, calling on regulators round the world to set aside dedicated sub-1 GHz spectrum for the internet of things.The industry body was established to distill operator requirements for IoT and machine-to-machine networks into unified frameworks which could accommodate the diverse range of technologies and business cases emerging in this area. It will also aim to act as a mouthpiece for the concerns of operators and other stakeholders, and of course spectrum availability is a critical one.
End-users and electrical installers alike are on the hunt of a high quality home automation solution that is easy to design, install and commission. Crucially, it must also be easy to operate and it must, of course, be affordable.Recognising this requirement, at the 100% Design show, held in London’s Olympia last week, ABB launched its innovative entry-level, affordable yet sophisticated home automation system during a seminar entitled ‘free@home – Making home automation easier than ever’. This new and important ABB-free@home home automation solution is aimed at electrical installers who currently have no access to the smart home or building automation world.
In recent years, home automation technology has given birth to the “Smart Home” in which internet-enabled and controlled devices are bringing a new level of comfort to the standard house. From locking doors to setting the temperature to opening the blinds for a view of the sunset, technology is transforming the home into something reminiscent of the now-quaint 1960s sci-fi cartoon, The Jetsons. Of course, we’re still waiting for our jet packs and flying cars, but the house itself is doing far more of the work than anyone thought possible just a few years ago.