Automated home and small office appliances could be coming to the US in the next decade, but one expert says it is a big stretch to call it “smart home”.
The term is not yet a household word, said Andrew Smith, president and CEO of the Home and Garden Technology Association (HGTA), which represents manufacturers, installers and service providers.
In the US, the term “smart” refers to a suite of technologies designed to improve productivity, reduce clutter and protect the environment.
But when the term was coined, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) said it was intended to describe something that was smart but not quite so.HGSA says that “smart homes” are “a broad term that encompasses a range of devices, technologies and technologies-related capabilities”.
It says that the devices are connected to the internet to manage electricity usage, temperature, and other functions.
“Smart” is a vague term and includes anything that is not designed specifically for one purpose or another.
Housing companies are not necessarily interested in developing “smart devices” or building an infrastructure to manage such devices.
Homes, in general, are not connected to or connected to their internet, said Steve Kocher, chief executive of The Home Technology Group (THG), a Washington, DC-based consulting firm that specializes in building and managing large-scale home automation systems.
There are “hundreds” of different types of devices in homes, he said, adding that these include thermostats, dishwashers, light bulbs, air conditioners, washing machines, security cameras and door locks.
“These are all very connected and very connected to each other, but these devices are all connected in a very specific way,” Koccher said.
A smart home might include the “smart appliances”, he added, which include thertoelectricity, lightbulbs, air conditioning, a water heater, a fan, and a thermostat.
“But you don’t need a whole new set of smart devices.
You could put a thermo-electricity system in the same house that a standard water heater in a typical home would have,” KOCHER said.
Home automation systems, like thermostaters, are used to control and monitor the heating and cooling of homes, Kocber said.
“There is not much to do with this one, except you have a therto-electric device, a thermos-electric, a liquid-cooled water heater,” he said.
“But you could do the same thing with a refrigerator, a dishwasher, or a water pump.”
The HGTA defines smart home as “any electronic device that can provide access to and control of home appliances or services that are used by home users”.
The organization says it has no official role with Samsung, but it does represent manufacturers, installer and service suppliers, including companies like Philips and LG.
“The idea that Samsung is coming up with these new smart home systems is a pretty crazy notion,” Kucher said.