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Could our homes really be Smart Homes?

January 5th, 2016 by Mandy Fazelynia

With 20 billion devices expected to be connected to the Internet of Things by 2020, our future homes are certain to be tech-heavy. But with so many solutions and services relying on a sound internet connection, is WiFi really a good choice for a Smart Home?
Smart Homes are a hot topic right now and the amount of IoT products available to consumers is at an all-time high. IoT Home Security; Interconnected Entertainment Systems; Smart Utility Meters; Connected Heating and Lighting Systems; Healthcare Devices and Services…the list goes on.
But the majority of these solutions rely on a WiFi connection which could be an obstacle if your local area isn’t lucky enough to have high speed broadband facilities.
Property websites such as Rightmove, however, enable you to view broadband availability in areas where you’re looking for a new home. But inside the home, does WiFi deliver the connectivity you need for home automation? How often do you lose a connection and have to reset your WiFi Hub or reconnect your devices manually?
The M2M industry, which is based largely on cellular connectivity, can deal with these challenges by enabling product suppliers and service providers to monitor and manage devices in the field. Connectivity (or lack-of) can be tracked, investigated, and fixed remotely, therefore removing the need for manual intervention. Device installation and configuration can also be simplified.
But what about when you first move into a new home? We’ve talked before how mobile broadband could be a temporary fix until a permanent fixed-line internet connection can be installed, but this would mean either delaying your Smart Home features or setting them up twice. If, however, you choose products which use an alternate IoT connection such as cellular data, then your Smart Home could be enabled from day one.
An example of this is Climote’s connected thermostat which transmits information by connecting to the strongest cellular connection available regardless of Mobile Network Operator (MNO). This could therefore be installed on your move day, allowing you to easily control your heating from your mobile whilst you focus on putting your furniture back together.
So it seems obvious that cellular, and other future wide-area network technology, really could offer the reliability and manageability needed for a truly Smart Home.
Communications resellers looking to offer these solutions to customers across the UK should contact Zest4 on 0161 956 3355 to find out how.
For more information on M2M solutions from Zest4, visit http://www.zest4.com/machine-to-machine.php.