'' The Smart House That Jack built
The Smart House That Jack built

The Smart House That Jack built

This is the smart house that Jack built

Actually, that was Jack’s father who built the house in the glory 1960th. Not smart, not dumb, just a good traditional house made of bricks and wood. Jack has just inherited the house. And following the contemporary trend of proliferating smart home technologies, Jack decided to transform his family’s habitation into the intelligent abode full of those high-tech gizmos. Of course, Jack would apply 3D printing technology for construction if he needs to build a house from the ground up. And no doubt, he would embed all achievements of the smart house technology from the bottom concrete to roof while building a house from zero. And like other newbies having picked numerous advices from the Internet, Jack started pondering about the relevant IoT devices.

 

This is hardware installed everywhere
In the smart house that Jack built

 

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Falling for promises of the manuals and scripts of all those smart light switches, smart thermostats, smart door locks and whatnot, Jack faced a challenge of complexity and time consuming adjustment of the IoT devices. Setting has not been as forthcoming as expected. “Set it and forget it” experience sounds promising while the actual practice stands far from simplicity. The very reason of smart home hardware lies in the ultimate customization of every device in accordance with the preferences and needs of each particular house. This is where our Jack was getting dumb reading all those:

“you just plug in the device, open the app, completely-customize-and-setup-everything-you-didn’t-know-you-didn’t-want-to-devote-your-time-to, and voila!” Besides usability and flow of a smart home design, the subject comes to compatibility of IoT.

 

This is the hub that connects all hardware
That was installed to reside everywhere

In the smart house that Jack built

 

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The smart home ecosystem is rendered meaningless unless EwE connecting principle (Everything-with-Everything) is respected. The compatibility and the entire interconnectivity should cover all IoT devices via the wireless protocol, which is to be native and conventional regardless types and brands of the hardware. Besides, the devices responsible for security and survivability (cameras, fumigation sensors, alarm system etc.) of a smart house should keep running even if Wi-Fi goes down. Such a principle implies some kind of a consensus dominating over competition between IoT manufacturers. Even today, a common customer of smart home IoT is exposed to a cognitive overload due to the variety of OS, protocols, and technologies available on the market. Not to mention those average 500 smart home gadgets per a house that Gartner predicts by 2020. The global IoT leaders are reluctant to develop a unified solution able to make any hardware (a smartphone, a router, or a controller) acting as a central hub.      

 

This is software that safety and wise
Needless to be downloaded twice

Ruling the hub that connects all hardware
That was installed to reside everywhere

In the smart house that Jack built

 

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Jack is aware of the companies that turned the issue of Compatibility-as-a-Service into a profitable business. Their rich infrastructures with protocols, tools, programmers, and software embrace the complete smart home ecosystem. The remote web control of home systems they provide costs $50/month saving 3-5 dollars in case of a customer forgets to turn down the light or heating for example. This hardly contributes to cost efficiency of smart home solutions. Of course, the integration programs like Works With Nest, Alexa Skills or services like Microsoft Flow are good for new building projects having no tight budget constraints. Besides, our Jack doubts about their so popular voice-driven interfaces because of his wife speaking with a strong eastern European accent that makes even the most advanced AI voice assistant not relevant. Shouting “turn off the light!” in a loud voice having left the light turned on in his first-floor living room seems not too smart in the evening when his one-year-old daughter has just fallen asleep. Like it or not, but Jack accepted a smartphone as the most reliable and convenient gadget providing the remote control of his smart house.    

 

This is the gadget protruding from pocket
(Use fingertips if you need to unlock it)
Tracking software that safety and wise
Needless to be downloaded twice

Ruling the hub that connects all hardware
That was installed to reside everywhere

In the smart house that Jack built

 

05b.png

Covering a house with smart gadgets Jack kept in mind the accessibility of the system. The smartphone battery going down at the most inappropriate moment is not excluded. That is why a responsive web solution running along with a mobile app is worth to be available providing the smart home remote monitoring via PCs or laptops. Along with any other contemporary gadgets or technologies, smartphones cannot be admitted as the universal solution. Being the very manifestation of the personal computer evolution, a smartphone nevertheless is irrelevant for 300 millions of visually impaired people throughout the world. At least for the smart home full control.  The complex approach combining the screen, voice and gesture recognition, touch sensors that are to say all possible interfaces is to engender some integrated solution soon. However, in anticipation of that silver bullet the traditional mobile applications would serve to perform the sufficient smart home control. Probably the core problem of such app development is the sophistication of a single app able to fulfill the whole scope of the tasks dedicated to the smart home management.  

 

This is the app from a famous app store
With notifications comprising its core
Feeding the gadget protruding from pocket
(Use fingertips if you need to unlock it)

Tracking software that safety and wise
Needless to be downloaded twice
Ruling the hub that connects all hardware
That was installed to reside everywhere

In the smart house that Jack built

 

06b.png

Following the newest trend of turning applications into messenger-like bots developers have caught the correct method of simplification when user-gadget interactions came down to swiping and tapping. The standalone all-encompassing mobile application embracing dozens of smart home gadgets and functions seems hardly approachable. However, the existing examples show rather sufficient coverage of the main smart home management functions. This is important to create pre-set modes combining several areas of control into an automatically running flow. Such pre-adjusted modes should perform a sequence of actions with a single tapping on a smartphone to meet the timing expectations of the customers. For example the “out of home” mode would activate security cameras, lock doors, adjust economical heating and turn off the light. It should be performed instantly, at a touch, without jumping from one specialized application to another. Otherwise, it would be easier for our Jack to use the old-school wall-mounted 2-dollars light switches or manual thermostats. Meanwhile, such an option of the manual control is to remain anyway.

 

This is the savvy developers team
That can create everything, even dream
That made the app from a famous app store
With notifications comprising its core

Feeding the gadget protruding from pocket
(Use fingertips if you need to unlock it)
Tracking software that safety and wise
Needless to be downloaded twice

Ruling the hub that connects all hardware
That was installed to reside everywhere

In the smart house that Jack built

 

07b.png

Another potential positive side of mobile apps is the development maturity and thus the biggest community ever able to provide post-development maintenance, improvements, and experience sharing. The vulnerability of smart home infrastructure depends on the IoT software resistance to hacking. No one could affirm the mobile app development is obsolete in terms of safety. Every gadget is potentially hackable anyhow. However iOS and Android remain reliable enough to supersede hesitations of customers regarding some technological quackery.

Considering the usability, accessibility, and security reasons our Jack bets on mobile app technology. Who knows what technological leap is watching for a chance to appear just around the corner. Nevertheless, when the ongoing task is about providing a smart home ecosystem with a ruling hardware-software set flexible enough to be updated and expanded upon request, the smartphone with the relevant apps seems to be the right choice now. The choice of our judicious wise Jack.     

 

This is the trend of the global mobility
Powering Jack to extend usability
Hiring the savvy developers team
That can create everything, even dream

That made the app from a famous app store
With notifications comprising its core
Feeding the gadget protruding from pocket
(Use fingertips if you need to unlock it)

Tracking software that safety and wise
Needless to be downloaded twice
Ruling the hub that connects all hardware
That was installed to reside everywhere

In the smart house that Jack built...

 

08b.png

 

 

Tags: Smart HomeIntelligent HouseArtificial IntelligenceBotAugmented realityWeb technologyDevelopmentAndroidiOSIndeema

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