Home Smart Home and the Internet of Things

Contributed by Michael Hausenblas

A recent study found that by 2019, some 69% of consumers will own an in-home IoT device and companies all over the place have identified the opportunities around the so called smart home. For example, Samsung's CEO announced at the Consumer Electronics Show that by 2017, 90% of all Samsung products will be IoT devices and further:

… five years from now, every single piece of Samsung hardware will be an IoT device, whether it is an air purifier or an oven.

And Samsung is not alone: Bosch, LG, Wink, Google/Nest as well as crowd-funded projects such as Webee all aim at becoming the brain behind our Home Smart Home. However, this is just the beginning, as we'll explore in this installment of the IoT series.

Nowadays, many smart home use cases target obvious areas, such as energy-related topics. But let us have a look at the kinds of data we are dealing with here, in order to appreciate the full potential. Essentially, it boils down to two kinds of sources: human-generated data, for example a message you leave for another family member vs. machine-generated data, like, say, from a heater. Some of the data will be high-volume and high-velocity, for example log files, and other data will be low-velocity and potentially unstructured such as a video snippet. Most of the machine-generated data is likely to have a dominant time dimension, that is, it will be time-series data and increasingly we're able to extract meaning from unstructured sources such as the earlier mentioned video message.

But the story doesn't end here: while many interactions are taking place within the context of the house, from interacting with the fridge or TV to environmental conditions like brightness or temperature adapting to our preferences and anticipating our needs, there are a number of other systems that interface with the house and humans alike. Exactly in this smooth and seamless integration with other IoT areas such as the connected car or smart phones we can expect to see a lot of development in the coming years. Last but not least, a house functions as one type of basic unit in the context of a smart city and hence connecting the former is vital to realize the latter.

Next time, we will wrap up the IoT blog post series with a discussion of requirements for a IoT data processing platform and will also have a look at a high-level architecture that meets these requirements. Stay tuned!

This blog post was published January 14, 2015.

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