“Ok Google, what is a smart device?” You might think I’m being facetious, but the rate of technological change has meant that some of us are using smart devices without any knowledge of what a smart device is. To complicate matters, much of the terminology around smart homes are used interchangeably, making it harder to gain a deep understanding for the uninitiated.
In today’s blog post, we will take a look at two terms in smart home technology that are often used incorrectly – smart device and connected home.
What is a Smart Device?
While the term ‘smart device’ has been used liberally to describe any device with a Wi-Fi connection, purists will tell you that a smart device should help you overcome a specific problem. Whilst there is a wild array of smart devices available out there, recent years has seen a concentration by manufacturers on solving common household problems with smart devices. Some popular examples of smart devices include Alexa, Ring, Google Home and Noke.
A unifying feature of all smart devices is that they are usually extremely user-friendly. And while many now support integration with other devices, a true smart device should be able to be used on its own. As such, most smart devices are designed to be easy to set up, making them a popular choice for DIY enthusiasts passion for automation.
What is a Connected Home?
While many homeowners are now using smart devices to help control things like their lighting or door lock, few can say that they have a truly connected home. This is because most people use each of these smart devices in isolation.
A connected home, on the other hand, integrates all of these individual smart devices into one system via a communication protocol such as ZigBee or Z-Wave. Doing so allows your smart devices to work in unison. One example would be using your Google Home to turn on your coffee machine in the morning. Both smart devices have communicated over your chosen protocol to achieve your desired outcome.
The main hurdle for consumers looking to establish a smart or connected home is know-how. And while there are more plug-and-play solutions on the market every day, we recommend you use a specialist installer to help make sure your system makes your life easier, not harder!
That’s a brief introduction to the world of smart homes. If you’re thinking about kitting out your home with some smart home locking products, why not check out our new Smart Home Personal Shopper service. Simply tell us about your home, upload a few photos and we will let you know what products we think will work best for your home and budget. Too easy!