Market trends Smart home and Building Introduction (LC)

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Market trends: smart home and building

The smart consumer & buildings market can be divided in those areas with specific trends:



Protection against intrusion, fire, flood, etc.

The usual meaning of security is to protect the house against external intrusion but more and more insurance companies are requesting systems that can prevent from or alert to accidental fire or flood. Again those sensors will not only warn the people inside the house with an alarm but could also get connected to the network to make sure all relevant services and people are informed. For intrusion detection cameras are required in a large number of security applications. For example, EBV Elektronik helps its customers to swiftly implement more straightforward camera applications by offering not only the relevant microcontrollers and FPGAs but also a complete system with CMOS sensor and communications solutions. Camera modules in which the CMOS sensor and optics are perfectly harmonised and ready-assembled are also offered in specific cases. This can also include wide-angle cameras to be implemented in a passive infrared (PIR) sensor, to confirm the intrusion. 


Air conditioning

A classic example of home automation in action

In cases where there is not necessarily any immediate need for air conditioning, the system only switches the unit on at times when electricity is available at a more affordable tariff. This allows consumers to save money and, at the same time, alleviates the more extreme peak demand periods for energy suppliers. This allows consumers to save money and, at the same time, alleviates the more extreme peak demand periods for energy suppliers. 
The overall ventilation of a home can be regulated with the help of a control system that uses humidity and CO2 sensors to measure air quality throughout the house, thereby minimising energy consumption, particularly for heating and cooling. 

Home lighting

Choose the ambience you want to enjoy at home

The lights in a house, or individual rooms, can be set to pre-defined mood settings, just like in a theatre. Home automation systems provide the necessary control environment for this functionality. For example, the lighting can be controlled using a tablet, which allows the user to set the various mood settings, such as 'TV', 'family meal/everyday' or 'candlelit dinner,' at the press of a button. Even in cases where central lighting control is not possible, individual lamps and/or plug sockets can be controlled remotely. This removes the need for wired-in switches and allows users to keep switches in a location that is more convenient for them. For example, the light switch in a child's bedroom could be moved to a higher position as the child gets taller, thereby ensuring it can always be reached when needed. Lately these switches can even be built with energy harvesting solutions, like using energy from the button press, to avoid using a battery.

Rolling shutters

Newest technology for a common domestic element

If a suitable control system is used, all of the roller shutters for a property can be opened and closed simultaneously. This function is useful not only for day-to-day living but also for giving potential intruders the impression that the home is occupied when actually you are away on vacation. A further aspect is the use of sensors, which allows the roller shutters to open and close automatically based on the level of sunlight in order to reduce unnecessary warming and, in the winter months, make strategic use of radiant heat from the sun. It goes without saying that EBV Elektronik provides its customers with support for both electronics design and motor control in this area.

Smart home

Personalised domestic engineering

Smart homes are used to control a number of key functions, including air conditioning, lighting, roller shutters, alarms, door-locking mechanisms and individual appliances, from a single networked system. The networking is implemented within the framework of a home automation system. The trend here is to be able to control every object from the TV while you are at home and with your smart phone or tablet if you are on the way. Regarding mobility, the data and controls will need to transit via the cloud.

Door bell

Convenience electronics at your service

A doorbell has the potential to be much more than a simple pair of low-voltage wires connected to a bell. In essence, the doorbell is a switch in the form of a button, and the state of this switch can also be identified by a home automation system. For example, if the occupant is not at home, the 'chime' can be re-directed to a smart phone, which in turn is both connected to the intercom and displays images sent from a camera mounted on the door. Of course, this communication could also be directed via the home network, for example to a tablet in the living room or a PC in the study.

Home display

Specialised displays for the smart homes

Even if we can control the smart home network with smart phones or tablets, many players are offering a home display. In some cases a home display is an obligation when associated with a Smart Meter in order to inform people about their power consumption. Such Home displays will allow control of the entire smart home incorporating touch screen functions and in the future, low cost gesture recognition. 


Key element in the future of home automation

As seen above, cloud is a key element in the future of home automation. Cloud players come from various areas. ICT or Telecom operators are in the ‘game’ of course, offering special IOT services and even dedicated software targeting Android, IOS and other systems. For example you will be able to create your own scenario: ‘By detecting Door bell, call my cell phone and link with the door bell’. The ultimate solution could be a Wi-Fi module embedding specific software that will include all the cloud services and all the costs bearing in mind a high level of security.


Allowing interaction of several devices

In case of a scenario allowing devices from different suppliers to interact, all the objects will need to communicate with each other, generally via a ‘Gateway’. Unfortunately systems from various providers often use different communication protocols and media. We still find proprietary wireless communications that are always cheaper or lower power than standardised ones, generally requiring more software.