What is a Smart Home?

A smart home or building can encompass many factors, but usually would be assessed on the following criteria:

  • How the building is constructed and equipped:
    • Does it conserve energy? Is it energy neutral?
    • Is it designed for people (especially elderly people)?
    • Is it a Caring Home?
    • How does it interact with people in the home or building?
    • Does it anticipate their needs?
    • Is the Smart Home “fit for purpose” and what needs to be done for it to become or remain smart or get smarter?
      • The systems that are built into it.
      • How it communicates with the rest of the world and networks within the building.
      • How people communicate with the smart home using smart devices and now natural speech systems such as Alexa, Siri and Cortana
      • The equipment in the building. For example, the white goods in the kitchen and the central heating systems.
      • The way it manages its energy to save money, CO2 and for sustainability.
      • The devices that help the systems optimise energy – smart thermostats for smart home control.
      • Systems that keep the building cool – air conditioning, ventilation or blinds.
      • Systems that utilise and store renewable energy such as solar panels or batteries.
      • The entertainment systems, from simple radios to integrated wifi connected systems.
      • Smart devices and intelligent systems in the house or building which interact with it.
      • Systems and devices that help look after people in the home and keep them healthy.
      • Systems and devices that keep the home and people in it secure.

      These and many other systems are present in any smart house. The more they are integrated the more ‘Smart’ the building or home is and for this to happen interoperable systems are essential.