The control technologies and devices used in smart home systems
Smart home system modules can be added to your home, and you can control each through a central system like a hub or a platform, such as Amazon Echo and Alexa. There are many home automation control options, and you can choose one that you find easy to use.
Smart home systems control centers
You may have many smart home system modules in your home—lighting systems, security monitoring, etc. Each may come with their own control hub, and you can control each module using an associated app or remote.
You can also begin with a hub and start adding smart home modules that work with it. This provides centralized control for all your smart home devices.
What are hubs?
- Hubs are centralized control centers for your smart home devices.
- If you install smart home devices compatible with your hub, they can interact with each other and create a smart home.
What are some of the most popular smart home hubs?
- There are many smart home control hubs available in the market, like Wink Hub, Samsung SmartThings, Harmony Home Hub, etc.
- These hubs support one or more connectivity protocols like ZigBee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth LE, and Wi-Fi to connect to the devices so that they can communicate with the hub and with each other.
What more do you need to know about Wink, Harmony Home Hub, And Samsung SmartThings?
- Wink Hub: This lets you connect any compatible device to it, like smart TVs, lighting systems, security setup, etc., and you can control them through iOS or Android Apps. It supports many communication protocols, including Zigbee, 5GHz Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, Bluetooth, and Lutron Clear Connect. Besides providing an app interface for IOS and Android, Wink can also pair up with Alexa for voice control.
- Harmony Hub: Another such setup from Logitech, it is a great choice from the smart home entertainment systems. It can connect with your smart televisions, Blu-ray player, cable boxes, etc., and you can control the system through your iOS or Android Apps.
- Samsung SmartThings: This hub can also connect with various smart home devices and systems, like security systems, thermostats, entertainment units, lights, etc. It gives you centralized control for all your smart devices, and you can access the control interface through your smartphones or laptops. Samsung supports ZigBee, Z-Wave, and IP. You can use the associated app on your mobile devices, or you can use Alexa to interact with the system.
Are there any other central control technologies?
While a hub uses a hardware setup for controlling smart devices, there are other ways to have centralized control too. We’ll look at some of them as you read on.
What is Apple’s smart home systems solution?
- The Apple HomeKit is a software framework that works on IOS 10 or later versions.
- Using it, you can connect to many HomeKit compatible devices.
- Once you configure and set up HomeKit, you can find many smart systems that work with the HomeKit label to build your smart home.
- The interface app for this smart home system works on Apple devices like iPhone, iPad, HomePod, etc.
How can Google help you?
- Google Home is another one of the smart home systems.
- You can connect entertainment units, thermostats, lighting, etc.
- You can control them using a Google Android App, or you can talk to it using the Google intelligent personal assistant, called Google Assistant.
- Google Assistant also helps you find any information you want, and it is good at this.
What is Amazon doing in the middle of all this?
There is the Amazon Echo and Alexa. With all the major tech companies trying to come up with smart home automation systems, it is the world’s largest online retailer Amazon, that first came up with a popular voice assistant paired with a speaker system that can do many things besides providing good audio output.
- Set up your Amazon Echo and your Alexa smart assistant. You can then talk to Alexa to control the Echo speaker, to play particular songs, etc.
- Alexa can also interact with other smart devices.
- Many smart device developers now provide Alexa skill sets that let Alexa and Echo discover other devices and systems to work with them.
- Ask Alexa to find your devices and then connect to them.
- It can control your speakers, TVs, security devices, lighting, your smart locks, video doorbells, thermostats, robot vacuum cleaners, and more.
- Many smart home hubs themselves provide Alexa skill sets so that like your apps on smartphones, Alexa becomes one more interface.
Whether you use smart home hubs or other technologies like Apple HomeKit, Google Home, or Amazon Echo and Alexa, your smart home setup is just going to get better in the future. What’s more, all these smart home systems provide you with different choices in price and configuration.
You can mix and match or select a single smart home ecosystem to fit your needs and your budget.