7 devices with which you can start building your “smart home”

7 devices with which you can start building your “smart home”


    We note immediately that the system described below allow any more or less educated person to build your house automated entry-level spending at a minimum of money and effort. And all the above devices are distinguished above all the simplicity of installation and use, and not for its outstanding performance.

    All of them can be easily replaced by a similar, it all depends on your preferences, availability of devices for sale, well, from a few technical factors. In addition, we do not update here, where you can buy the device mentioned in the article, that you have to do already own, if this need arises.

    “Smart” home surveillance system

    The first thing that comes to mind when you reflect on the home automation is to ensure the safety of their homes and families. Especially, if you see your home as stuffed with “smart” (and not) electronics space.

    Therefore it is very important to know what is going on inside your home and its immediate surroundings, including when you yourself are somewhere outside the home.

    There are many companies that offer “smart” cameras that can monitor your home in your absence, including company iSmartAlarm, which most recently at the 2014 CEDIA show presented its new camera ICamera.

    It has a resolution of 1280×720, but also has and night vision function. Further, it naturally includes motion sensors and sound. An interesting fact is that the camera can be used on its own, without the need to incorporate into a single system of “smart home”.

    The main advantage of the camera compared to the competition is the storage function. ICamera has a port USB, allowing you to connect a local repository of information, for example, powerful terabyte drive. This camera is worth $ 149, which corresponds to the middle of the price range for such devices.

    Or, alternatively, you can use a “smart” HD-camera from company Withings, which is soon to appear on the market. This camera not only looks good and has all the necessary sensors monitor the environment, but also lets you see what’s happening in your home from anywhere.

    The system has the function of a live recording, and you can see what is happening in the house through a mobile app, you can also zoom in to see details. The camera has a function of sending automatic alerts if the house is something different from the usual order. Camera price – 200 euros.

    Here are a few options:

    • GeckoEye
    • iSensor HD

    “Smart” control of environment

    To ensure safety in the home of one of surveillance cameras is not enough – if they wanted to, they could not cover all the space and ensure all events. Therefore, control and security necessary to use different kinds of sensors, good choice they are now very wide.

    For example, the security system Notion, which uses small multifunctional sensor that offers exceptional capacity for work. With its help you can know how much fuel is in the tank with propane when your child came home from school, do you have any water leaks, what the temperature in the refrigerator, do not touch anyone your safe, and the like.

    The system consists of a hub, which controls all sensors and is connected to the Internet via WiFi, multifunctional sensors that can detect 8 different actions and mobile application for the iOS and Android.

    The system includes light sensors, temperature, proximity, accelerometer and gyroscope to control the opening of doors and windows, water leaks probe and a piezoelectric transducer. Each sensor can detect several different events, so the system would be more accurately respond to the situation and thereby provides protection against the erroneous operation. The sensors operate up to two years without battery replacement.

    Price of the device is still unknown, as the project is at the stage of obtaining financing for the production.

    Alternative systems of environment control:

    “Smart” lighting

    It seemed a simple thing – lighting. But think about how many times you have to get up to turn on a particular lamp, how many times have you thought about how nice it would be to be able to dip a little light here and add it there.

    In the market there are a few systems (plus a few will be in the near future) that allow you to control the light using a smartphone, but one of the first and deserved credible buyers is Philips Hue. Since then, this system appeared on the market, it has grown and changed greatly, but the original system allows you to manage your mobile application 50 bulbs that are combined into a wireless network.

    The system includes a bridge that unites the lamp into a single network and the application for a smartphone (or tablet) that allows you to do many things, such as setting certain regimes within which the individual light bulbs change the tone and effect lighting. The system has a number of preset modes: Concentration, Energy, Reading and Relaxation. They differ in different settings controlled LED-lamps Philips Hue.

    System Philips Hue allows even change the color of light, or include a special mode in the event of your long absence, to give the impression that someone’s home is.

    And all these settings, you can select directly from your favorite couch.

    There is such a system, frankly, is not cheap. The initial set of base controller and three llamas costs about $ 300, each additional lamp – $ 80.

    This is a similar system, characterized in that it allows you to control the lights with your voice. It’s about a chuck for light bulbs, called Vocca, which acts as an intermediary between an ordinary light bulb and no less than a conventional cartridge.

    Smart gadget has a voice recognition function: hearing passphrase, it enables or disables lighting. Voice control – not new, but it Vocca implemented as simple and convenient as possible: The device does not require additional hardware and does not require any configuration.

    There is also a modification Vocca Pro, allows you to change the passphrase and control lights from your smartphone. For communication in this case, a Bluetooth.

    Here are also a few alternatives:

    • WigWag

    “Smart” heating

    Just as in the case of “intelligent” lighting, there are many possible solutions, some of which can do more than others. And you have to decide what you want from your heating system, in addition to control it with your smartphone or tablet.

    You should also consider what type of heating system or boiler you used to find a solution that will work with them. What is not so obvious as it seems. For example, popular in the United States NEST thermostat only recently started to be sold in Europe.

    One of the very user-friendly systems is Honeywell Evohome, which is connected to the heating boiler and radiators to room, allowing him to control 12 individual zones with a center console or via a mobile app.

    Each zone can have multiple radiators, and you can set their own parameters for each of them. Honeywell Evohome system comes with several pre-defined settings that allow you to, for example, reduce the temperature of the house when you are not at home all day.

    Cost Starter Kit Evohome, which allows you to connect it to your boiler and water heater will be more than $ 400, and each sensor for the battery will set you back in about 80 dollars each. Frankly, very expensive, especially when compared to competing solutions, but it’s worth it. Installation of the system it is better also to professionals, it will take less time and ultimately will save you a lot of nerves.

    As a simpler option may be to consider the thermostat ZEN, the production of which is currently being collected on the site Indiegogo. This device does not even have the display: all the information is displayed by a group of LEDs, and is controlled by the thermostat by pressing the edges of the front panel.

    Nevertheless, it looks stylish ZEN and basic functions – control of heating, cooling and ventilation – it performs very well. To the thermostat can be connected by means of an application for iOS or Android. It allows not only to regulate the temperature and mode of operation, but also to schedule.

    Of course, all this can be done remotely via the Internet. Until the thermostat maintains a protocol ZigBee, to connect to the Wi-Fi network requires the use of a hub.

    The estimated cost of the thermostat is $ 150.

    From the available options seems to be the most preferred following devices:

    • Ecobee3

    “Smart” power supply

    If you treat people who periodically begin to worry about, and you turned off the iron before leaving the house, or start to think, why so increased the cost of electricity and that this can be done, the system that remotely control the connected network devices to help you cope with these disturbances.

    Now these systems began to appear on the market in more and more, and their main function is the ability to turn off electrical outlets from afar and, thus, turn off unused equipment.

    “Smart” socket D-Link Smart Plug – a simple, easy-to-use device. You just have to plug it into a standard wall outlet, press the WPS button on your router and click on the Smart Plug. And your “smart” socket already in the network.

    Controlling with the application mydlink Home, which exists in versions for iOS and Android and is available free of charge. The application allows not only enable or disable the device, but also to schedule it on / off at a certain time, which is very convenient when leaving for a long time. The suggested retail price of D-Link Smart Plug – $ 39.99.


    “Smart” home equipment

    Start to build a “smart house” with security systems, lighting and heating – this is a correct step, but if your budget is exhausted on this, you can extend your few may consider the use of “smart” home appliances.

    Today you can buy a lot of different kinds of devices that are controlled by a smartphone, and one of the leaders here are Korean companies Samsung and LG. But we will not only represent these manufacturers.

    For example, a humidifier Holmes HCN3888C-U is a massive outdoor unit is controlled by a smartphone. Built-in liquid container has an impressive volume of 15 liters, allowing one refill provides up to 60 hours. Replaceable filters allows novelty to keep the air clean.

    For remote control of the humidifier system is used WeMo and its application for Android or iOS, with which you can adjust the work schedule and find out the current value of the humidity. Also, the firmware monitors the status of the filter and the amount of water in the tank.

    Humidifier can also specify rules of interaction with other WeMo-devices. Novelty should go on sale in October this year. Its price – $ 199.

    The “intelligent” washing machine Samsung WW9000 has a 5-inch LCD-display on the front panel, with which you can control the temperature, speed, rinse options and lots of other options. But the main thing is that this machine has the function of Smart Control, which lets you control the unit remotely using a smartphone.

    With your phone you can control the wash cycle, run or stop it, you can be notified of the time remaining before the end of the wash, or that the process is complete. WW9000 has two containers with detergent and softener inside the drum, but they are hidden, and the machine itself decides how and when to add the powder. Incidentally, this is a useful feature that lets you save fuel these materials.

    As far as such a device is useful to our customers, hard to judge, but it is possible for those who already have everything else …

    Price of device – about $ 2,700.

    “Smart” entertainment system

    “Smart House” will not be staffed until the end without the music system and some ability to control the music throughout the house is even more important than the ability to control heating and lighting.

    The most famous is probably the company that produces wireless speakers multi-class, is Sonos, but among the alternatives presented and well-known companies such as Denon and LG. Among them, there are even companies that produce speakers, built-in shower heads, for example, Kohler.

    System wireless hifi-speakers Sonos and related audio components available in various shapes, sizes and power output of the PLAY: 1 to PLAYBAR, which can be combined in any way, so you can get the sound you want, and the place where you need it.

    Each of these speakers, no matter what room it is located, can be controlled by any smartphone or tablet, the application is installed Sonos Controller. With the help of the same application, you can transfer music to the speakers from any online music service, for example, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer and Rdio.

    The application allows you to view your own music catalog and play tracks from it, to transfer music to a particular room or broadcast it in all areas at the same time. And all this, as has already been mentioned several times above, without getting up from your favorite couch.

    Price Sonos PLAY: 1 – $ 199, Sonos S5 Speaker System – $ 399.

    Here are also a few alternatives:

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