KEY ELEMENTS In HOME AUTOMATION
Since yesterday almost unknown, home automation is becoming every day more popular in new buildings or renovations. Unfortunately owners are not always aware about the chioce of the home automation system and about all of its peculiarities and features.
Often the decision is based on the suggestion of the electrician and the owner has then to accept the choices made by someone else.
In this section our goal is to increase the knowledge of the reader about the essential characteristics a quality domotics system must have in order to make him able to distinguish and examine critically the range of solutions available on the market.
It’s not possible understand how a specific home automation system works if we can’t recognize the three basic elements which characterise it:
The “smart element” takes the essential role to perform actions (for example turn on a light or move a shutter) and constantly monitor the state of several variables and devices (for example the temperature of a room or the alarm state of a sensor).
Without the presence of this element it wouldn’t be possible for the system to control devices, gather data and information and execute commands in a independent way or in the event of user input.
For user interfaces we mean all the devices that can be used to take control over the home automation devices or get the supervision of their states. The most common are touchscreen displays, smartphones, tablets, TVs and personal computers.
Even a simple switch could be an “interface” to interwork with the home automation system but it’s not so evolved to be desirable !
Communications represent the “types of language” devices use in order to exchange informations each other. Some devices may not have too much to say, for example a light switch which could be either on or off. But there are many other devices or sub-systems which need much more data to express theirselves ! Think about the air conditioning system or the antitheft alarm system.
The more open and standardized communications are, the easier to integrate system and devices within the home automation system is.
Each home automation system present specific key elements and then its choice cannot disregard a careful analysis of both functionalities and features of these three basic elements.