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Things to Understand About the Home Automation Internet of Things

home automation, iot home automation, home automation iot solutions, developing home automation, iot home

How actually is IoT for home automation implemented? What are the key building blocks used for developing home automation IoT solutions? What are the components around which the IoT home automation is designed and developed? What are the major sensors used in building home automation IoT solutions? What are the protocols and architectures used to realize the concept? Which languages and frameworks are used in developing an IoT system for a home?

These are some questions that this post will try to answer. Let’s begin with it now. 

Key Building Blocks of IoT Home Automation 

In fact, the following building-blocks aren’t required only in the development of IoT solutions for home Automation, but they are also used to apply the technology to other industries.

  • Hardware
  • Applications
  • Communication protocols

All three above mentioned IoT building blocks for a home automation project have equal importance. A functional IoT home automation solution is the right amalgamation of these building blocks. Here hardware, for example, includes physical and tangible parts of a computer. Software includes instructions that can be stored and run by hardware and, communication protocols are a system of rules allowing two or more entities of the system to transmit information via any sort of variation of a physical quantity. Together they are required for an IoT application development for the home automation.

What Are the IoT Home Automation Applications?

IoT can be applied to a variety of applications in a home. Following are the areas where IoT technology can be used to automate a home:

  • Controlling lights 
  • Heat, ventilation and air condition
  • Air and water quality monitoring
  • Smart home appliance control
  • Smart switches and energy meters
  • Smart locks
  • Home safety and security
  • Lawn and gardening management
  • Improving infotainment delivery
  • AI-driven digital experience and
  • Natural language based assistants

The list doesn’t end here only. There may be several case-specific uses of IoT in homes.

Components Used in IoT Home Automation

Developing home automation IoT solutions would require the following components:

  • IoT sensors
  • IoT gateways
  • IoT protocols
  • IoT firmware
  • IoT cloud and databases
  • IoT middleware (if required)

There is no limit on the number of IoT sensors. In fact, new ones keep coming every now and then. Similarly, there are hundreds of gateways already available. Firmware can be written in C, Python, Node.js, or any other programming language. The Cloud is used to implement IoT applications with a high level of reliability and manageability.

20 Leading IoT Cloud Platforms

  1. AWS IoT
  2. Microsoft Azure IoT
  3. Google Cloud Platform
  4. ThingWorx IoT Platform
  5. IBM Watson
  6. Artik 
  7. Cisco IoT Cloud Connect
  8. Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  9. Salesforce IoT Cloud
  10. Datav by Bsquare
  11. Mindsphere by Siemens 
  12. Ayla Network by Ayla 
  13. Bosch IoT Suite
  14. Carriots
  15. Oracle Integrated Cloud
  16. General Electric’s Predix
  17. MBED IoT Device platform
  18. Mosaic (LTI)
  19. Mocana 
  20. Kaa

We could mention only a list of 20 platforms but more and more platforms are hitting the market.

What Are the Key Sensors Used For the Development of Home IoT Solutions?

As mentioned above, there is a long list of sensors, but all of them cannot be mentioned in this post; however, we have chosen some top sensors that have their uses in the IoT home application development.

  • Accelerometers
  • Air composition sensors
  • Humidity sensors
  • Infrared sensors
  • Lux sensors
  • Pressure sensors
  • Temperature sensors
  • Ultrasonic sensors
  • Vibrations sensors
  • Video cameras for surveillance
  • Voice/Sound sensors
  • Water level sensors

Depending on the application, two or more sensors can be used together to devise a functionality.

IoT Home Automation Protocols

Devices creating the IoT environment for home use protocols to communicate with gateways, services, and sensors. Until recently, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GSM were the only technologies to do so, but they were limited at their capacity. Now we have a number of automation protocols supporting in devising a variety of IoT functionalities for a home. Here is the list of top protocols used nowadays:

  • Bluetooth Low Energy or Bluetooth Smart: It’s an ideal wireless protocol for home IoT with mesh capabilities, security, data encryption algorithms, and a lot more.
  • Zigbee: A low cost, low power radio frequency-based, and mesh-networked protocol. Different versions of Zigbee don’t talk to each other.
  • X10: This protocol uses power-line wiring for signaling and control.
  • Insteon: It can communicate with both wireless and wired devices.
  • Z-wave: The protocols emphasis on security.
  • Wi-Fi: Wireless Local Network connectivity
  • Universal Powerline Bus (UPB). It uses existing power-lines in homes and reduces costs.
  • Thread: It’s a royalty-free protocol for smart home automation applications. It also used a 6lowpan.
  • ANT: ANT is used in building low-powered sensors with mesh distribution capabilities.
  • 6lowpan

Home Automation Architecture

The architecture supports the following considerations for home automation solutions:

  • All over security mechanisms involving multilevel authentication
  • All over data encryption, including the link layer
  • Flexible and configurable access and authorization control
  • Powerful cloud infrastructure
  • Network agnostic with built-in feedback loops
  • A configurable cloud-based rules engine
  • API endpoints
  • Data scalability
  • NoSQL databases

Home Automation Gateways

When developing the home automation, a standalone product sending data to a server would not be able to perform a job with the desired productivity. They are limited by battery and protocols.  This is why data from sensors is routed through an IoT gateway.

Consider the following factors when it comes to choosing a perfect IoT home automation application gateway:

  • Communication protocols supported
  • Real-time capabilities
  • MQTT, CoAP, and HTTPS support
  • Security and configuration
  • Modularity

Home Automation Frameworks

It’s unrealistic to build automation from scratch. It’s a costlier choice if you want to do this. It is better you rely on home automation frameworks provided by professional companies.

Here we have listed some top home automation frameworks:

  • Home Assistant
  • Calaos
  • Domoticz
  • MisterHouse
  • OpenHAB:
  • OpenMoticsLinuxMCE
  • PiDome
  • Smarthomatic
Author Bio. : Sofia Coppol is a digital marketing expert in Rapidsoft Technologies which is a leading IT consulting company providing full range it services including, IoT application development, ERP software development, AI App Development, and big data app development solutions. Sharing is caring!

More on this topic: 5 Security Obstacles Every IOT Developers Need to Deal With


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