Smart homes

For decades, since the beginning of science fiction in literature, movies or TV shows, we are seeing ways on which people homes can become more automatic. Robots doing housework or flying cars able to park themselves are still in SF area as part of everyday housing, but many other things are not so unreachable anymore, while some of those became part of everyday life.

I am well aware that this topic does not have close connecion to Autegra, pharmacy or the work it is doing, but it is really interesting as a research topic, especially since I moved in on my own. I did not come further than smart lights, but I would like to. Possibilities that smart homes have been growing every day. Their beginnings we can find in early years of 20th century.

That was not real beginning of smart homes as we know it today but at that time, electrical vacuum cleaners, fridges, irons, washing machines, toasters and many other house objects that we find common today were giant step at the time. In 1975 X10 was created, communication protocol that sent radio signals with frequency of 120 kHz to programable switches. Those signals gave possibility to control those electrical devices, for example when and how will they work.

Since then smart homes went trough many upgrades. Today they are mostly oriented on security, comfort, and “greener” way of life. They enable mobile control, automatic lightning, controlling air temperature, notifying the homeowner with text service or e-mail about situations that are happening or with video recordings of house/apartment/yard.

Some of smart devices which can often be seen in today smart homes are:

  • Smart TV – possibility of internet connection where owner can watch movies, TV shows or music on demand, voice or gesture control
  • Smart lights – lights that can be automated, controlled with remote or voice, possibility of presence detection and controlling light level depending on the situation. Also, can be controlled considering the level of daylight in the room
  • Smart thermostats – controlling temperature in the room considering the conditions outside
  • Smart security cameras – notifying homeowners even when they are far away

Possibilities are endless – lights can wake owners up with easy increment in light level (for example, we must wake up at 7 o’clock, we can make lights go from 0 to 50% from 6am to 7am, which simulates sunrise and is considered healthy way of waking up), watering lawn when it is necessary, heating up the lunch just before owner comes from work and so on. Considering all that, like everything else in the world, smart homes have their cons. Many people are still suspicious about all technological achievements (just look at all destroying of 5G transmitters which are actual at the time of writing) or they are afraid of technology or they give up with appearance of the first problem they can’t solve. For smart homes to reach their full potential, all smart devices must be fully compatible with each other, no matter the manufacturing company, model series or time of manufacturing. Considering today’s state, specified protocols or standards are still non-existing. One more concern is data security. All smart homes are gathering data on our habits and potential breach in that system makes owners vulnerable. Turning the lights of or leaving front door unlocked are some ways of leaving our home with no security at all.

Future of smart homes is hard to predict. Considering the big economy crisis that is inevitable, caused by pandemic of COVID-19, future still should be bright. In some utopia world our home will be able to schedule meetings depending on our obligations, order drone shipments of cure for the disease we still don’t know we have, but our home does because he scanned our vital signs in the morning, adjust our shower temperature the way we like it. But, to reach that level, a lot of time, patience and financial investments is required.


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