Home microserver. Software. Smart house.
What’s the use of Smart Home for?
The concept of “smart home” did not appear yesterday or even the day before yesterday. Automated and automatic control of the household was born in the minds of people in the late XIX century, when the real horsepower came to replace the steel machines in mass order.
And it was then that man thought, but it is possible to combine all the household appliances in a single system and manage them as the soul would like. You want to turn on the light in the shower on the second floor with the switch in the shed, and you want to turn on the heating system just by phone call.
In the minds of dreamers were drawn idyllic pictures of how a person, coming home, enjoys comfort, and all household chores are carried out by themselves.
These aspirations have been embodied, including, and in numerous artworks, from the inimitable Charlie Chaplin and ending with bold works of science fiction writers. And in many ways they have anticipated the future development of home appliances and their integration into unified systems. But the story did not go quite the way it was seen by many.
In the current difficult conditions, the “smart home” should perform about the next set of functions, not always mandatory, but not limited to their frames. Let’s start with the simplest. Light management.
A smart home should include lighting when it is dark and it registers the presence of a person. And during daylight hours and when there is no one in the room, electricity should be saved, so the system should not burn the bulb in vain. The next function, which is relatively easy to implement, is climate control indoors.
Depending on the temperature, the smart home includes either heating or air conditioning. Ideally, it also controls humidity, which is especially important in winter, when the humidity in our climate is very bad.
A smart house, it is quite reasonable to load also with various security functions. It should be able to recognize its owner and scare away strangers, including light, appliances and in every way imitating the presence of the owners at the facility.
By the way, getting information about the location of his master, a decent smart house, by his arrival home will have time to bring the microclimate to a given state. And in between, when the house is empty, the house will try to save energy, be it gas or electricity, to the maximum.
What else? Perhaps, the clever house should be able to operate household appliances, preferably without unnecessary movement of the tenants. So, it is possible that to control the TV, music center and automatic vacuum cleaner you could use a single remote control or do without any remote controls, using voice control or gestures.
And at the same time, some owners would like to be able to get some historical statistics. For example, how the temperature in the closet changed during the year or how the water consumption and the light switched on in the bathroom on the second floor correlate.
But such bold ideas as automatic cooking of breakfasts, lunches or dinners, bed cleaning, ironing and folding clothes and other domestic unskilled labor, it seems so far and remain the fantasies of writers. Although from time to time someone tries to solve these problems, but in the masses they do not go. And are unlikely to go until the market does not appear a comprehensive solution to solve the problem without headaches at once, entirely.
Even the automated refrigerators ordering foodstuffs with delivery, as they are consumed, somehow did not take root. After all, not only the refrigerator itself is important, but also the entire infrastructure around it. Products in the package and with tags, delivery service, and at the same time and guesser wishes of the owners, who suddenly wanted to fry shrimp for dinner tomorrow, not tired of broccoli.
Methods of implementing the Smart House concept
Technically, it’s simple. Each smart home is divided into a central controller that stores and processes event logic, sensors that actually generate events, and a variety of executive devices that process the central controller’s orders.
In fact, this is the smart home system. In some cases, if desired, an interface for communication with the user can also be added. This can be a remote control or remote controls, a program on the phone or tablet, or even a separate workstation, as in the Star Track series.
Sensors and actuators can be varied. Sensors can include any device that can measure something, from the level of light to the location of the head of the family in the outdoor space.
The latter is not a typical sensor, but it can still generate certain events to which the central controller can respond. Everything is boring, uninteresting and predictable. However, everything is similar with actuators.
They can switch something, for example, power supply, spin something up, for example, a coolant regulator or press something, such as a garage gate opener button. Generally speaking, all the actions carried out by the actuators are performed by a person in one way or another.
But as a central controller can be either a universal computer, equipped with interfaces for interaction with the periphery of a smart home, or generally a separate narrowly specialized device, designed only and exclusively for these tasks. But even such a device is nothing but a computer.
It is at this stage that I want to immediately notice that sensors and actuators must somehow communicate with the central controller. They have to connect to it, this time, and send data streams in a way that is understandable to all parties, that’s two.
From a physical organization point of view, there are two main options available: a wired connection and a wireless connection over a radio link. We don’t look at exotics such as optical communication or data and commands on punch cards by pneumatic mail.
By the way, the radio channel can be implemented on a wide range of radio frequencies, although equipment manufacturers are still trying to limit themselves to unlicensed frequencies available to the civilian population.