Introduction to Mobile Smart Home
Can daily chores be any easier for people? The short answer is “yes, they can”. In fact, they are becoming easier every year.
Smart home technology was first implemented as early as 1975. Since then, it has become a common instrument in millions of houses across the globe. In the US, for example, 48.4% of households will be automated by 2025. How can it change our lives, and what trends should we expect?
Today, we’re going to figure it out.
In this post, we unravel smart home technology and how it works on mobile devices.
Smart Home: Trends and Statistics
What exactly do we mean by “a smart home”? Under the smart home umbrella, there are interconnected gadgets (IoT) and related services used for home automation.
Here are some stats that demonstrate the industry’s development and what’s waiting ahead (Statista):
- In 2022, the projected market revenue is expected to reach 115,7 billion USD;
- The niche will grow steadily at a 13.3% CAGR from 2022 to 2026. It will result in a market volume of 207,809 billion USD in four years;
- Such market growth causes the expansion of household penetration. In 2022, the smart home’s penetration will be around 14%, and it can reach 25% by the end of 2026;
- On the global level, the US market has the biggest potential for the niche, having a market size of 33,659 million USD.
What’s the secret to smart home’s popularity?
IoT is not just some fancy trend. There are several factors that equally impact the growing popularity of smart household devices. Here are the main ones.
1. Rapid technological evolution. Hardware and software potentials are developing every year. Current advancements differ from the ones we’ve known before, which inevitably affects customer expectations and market transformations.
2. Emerging cloud computing opportunities. Cloud infrastructure, essential for IoT solutions, is more accessible than ever. Smart home providers can benefit from flexible service options offered by popular cloud platforms, such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, etc.
3. Obligatory environmental standards. Several developed countries include smart home solutions in their eco-protection measures, for example, the UK (smart meters). It’s become an essential part of the national program.
What Are the Key Elements of a Smart Home Solution?
Any smart home system contains three elements for smooth operation: hubs, sensors, and actuators. Let’s examine them in more detail.
1. A hub or mobile app
This is a control center that monitors available smart devices in a house and processes their data. A hub is like the brain of any smart home infrastructure. It has a powerful backend part (server side) to connect all devices and a frontend part (client side) usually in the form of a mobile app.
Through hubs, users manage a smart home ecosystem, either manually, or by setting up automatic responses to various circumstances (for example, adjusting air conditioning in response to the weather outside).
These devices collect information about the environment: temperature, movements, humidity, and others to transfer it directly to the hub. Sensors are like the eyes and ears of an IoT ecosystem.
This term refers to myriads of IoT devices available on the market, such as smartwatches, TVs, thermostats, refrigerators, etc. Actuators receive commands from the hub and change their status or parameters.
HomeKit: Apple’s Smart Home Platform
HomeKit, first announced within the iOS 8 update in 2014, ties together smart home gadgets and all types of Apple devices (iPhones, iPads, etc.).
Smart home manufacturers have to follow specific requirements to receive HomeKit certification. It was especially challenging back in the day when Apple demanded a hardware security chip in every device. But in 2017, a new software-based solution made things easier and opened doors to more smart home tools in the HomeKit ecosystem.
The idea behind HomeKit is to enable users to control their homes within Apple infrastructure using the pre-installed Home app. Of course, not all devices are now compatible with HomeKit, so one has to download a separate app for such products.
The Home app
Home was released two years after HomeKit, with the iOS 10 update. It allows users to control their homes and keep things in order in different ways: manually, by setting up automatic actions for specific devices, or by creating “scenes” for several devices at once. The scene feature, in particular, is one of the biggest Home’s advantages.
For example, the “Good Night” scene may include locking doors, turning the lights off, or turning night lights on if some motion is detected. All of it happens automatically with no additional human intervention. Similarly, users can create scenes for mornings, for when they get back or leave home, etc.
There are no SmartKit alternatives for Android devices, but there are several powerful options available for both iOS and Android.
In our original blog post, we review popular smart home platforms and share our expertise. Follow to read in full.