IoT in the smart home - The connectivity in everyday life

IoT im Smart Home
IoT im Smart Home

A technology in two worlds: Within Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things (IoT) has been used to connect machines, systems, goods and people directly to each other for some time now. This enables the self-organization and automation of industrial processes, and production workflows are more efficient and less expensive. But it is also impossible to imagine the private environment without the Internet of Things. Home appliances, motion detectors, lighting - using IoT in the smart home allows you to conveniently use your security, heating or air conditioning technology as well as entertainment equipment. In the field of e-health, grandcentrix is involved in a pioneering solution. The focus is on the energy-efficient use of narrowband IoT - especially in patient monitoring.

How IoT works in the smart home

Smart tracking, smart metering, smart locks, smart lighting, e-health - IoT in the smart home is already realizing intelligent building automation (smart homes & smart buildings) in numerous application areas of private life. With ever smaller, more powerful and less expensive microprocessors, the objects and the environment of everyday life can be transformed into smart objects (intelligent objects) at relatively low cost. In this spectrum, the connected devices are also called smart devices. By communicating via the Internet of Things, smart devices can perform their tasks in a fully automated manner. At the same time, they immediately contact the user as well as connected services when certain events occur - for example, when the alarm system is triggered.

Lighting, roller shutters, motion sensors, underfloor heating, vacuum cleaner robot, alarm system - each connected IoT device is given a unique identity (address) in the Internet of Things and is equipped with electronic intelligence via the specific firmware. Switching lamps and light switches on or off, activating sockets, regulating the room climate, closing roller shutters - often the smart household devices can be operated via voice assistant. After all, smart devices - or IoT devices - communicate not only via WiFi and Bluetooth, but also via mobile communications standards such as UMTS, LTE or narrowband IoT.

Thus, in addition to Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things has already become very widespread in many areas of everyday life. In the 21st century, business and society are equal beneficiaries of digitization. IThereby, especially the new network services with high building penetration and sustainable energy efficiency provide the IoT in smart home systems with a practical scope of application in both daily life and household.

Smart Metering

Smart Metering allows remote monitoring of the smart home - in the form of connected meters for electricity, water or even gas with automatic heating and temperature control. With the use of smart metering, in the morning the pre-programmed temperature in the bathroom can rise by exactly 3°C and the first walk of the day will not be a tremor. “Smart meters” are even capable of identifying power guzzlers. Thus, IoT in the smart home can lead to a significant reduction in consumption. Important note: The smart meter obligation has been in effect in Germany since 2015. By 2032, every German household must have electricity meters that are either smart or modern. That is, either connected to the Internet (smart) or equipped with a display (modern).

Smart Lighting

Smart Lighting is the term used to describe intelligent lighting within the household, which uses “smart bulbs” (intelligent bulbs) to maintain the lamps. Smart Lighting can be controlled using a remote control or motion detector. With smart light switches and sockets, the brightness, color and color temperature of the lighting can also be automatically regulated via IoT in the smart home - or directly on demand via voice assistant.

Smart Tracking

Smart Tracking ensures the digital identification of goods and merchandise, including their tracking in logistics processes - for example, in parcel shipping. Smart Tracking uses RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. RFID systems consist of transponders and connected readers. The transponder is a radio tag that is attached to the smart objects. Thus, the goods and commodities can be wirelessly detected and read with a reader. Via IoT device, the captured data sends itself automatically in the Internet of Things for further processing by other communication partners.

Stable IoT in the Smart Home and Smart Buildings

IoT in the smart home provides you with the basic digital infrastructure for building automation. In the chosen network standard, any smart home technologies can be integrated and due to their location as well as time independent control you don’t have to change any of your habits. Only life becomes easier and safer. The aspect of energy efficiency deserves special attention. When many Smart Homes, Smart Buildings and Smart Objects communicate via the same Internet node, a multitude of IoT devices also consume ever-increasing amounts of energy.

Various scientists and companies are already working on solutions to reduce energy consumption for IoT in the smart home. In this context, alternative energy sources should make data management of the increasing data volumes more efficient. Another approach is selecting the appropriate network standard for your specific application area. Case study: e-health. In collaboration with Herford-based Stiegelmeyer - a leading global manufacturer of hospital and care beds - and Device Insight, grandcentrix has already established an innovative solution for healthcare in the Narrowband-IoT network service.

Narrowband-IoT for smart e-health solutions

Whether it’s a health card, an e-prescription or a digital vaccination card - smart objects take a wide variety of forms in the healthcare system. Thereby, special conditions arise for e-health in inpatient use: For example, the local telematics infrastructure must unite a large number of IoT devices in order to meet the major requirements in hospitals and nursing homes. Good building penetration with high network coverage and energy efficiency are crucial in this application scenario. **In combined expertise of grandcentrix and Device Insight, we have developed a smart out-of-bed system for Stiegelmeyer based on Narrowband IoT.

» Download our Whitepaper Narrowband IoT for Smart Products