Home Automation System

The comfort of the home and the Society are helped by the “things” which surround them. These things are connected to each other, either directly or indirectly via the internet of things. Having full access to controlling these devices remotely with reasonable precision within the network when required is a key element in the home automation process. Many aspects of home automation needs to be developed so as to enhance it. This research gives a solution to having a precise and direct control and automatic detection of current state of devices with the use of micro-controller via an android application. It also gives a practical implementation of home automation using Wi-Fi in comparison to other technologies.

INTRODUCTION Home Automation

Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology that connects all things and the internet in smart spaces by the implementation of intelligence with sensing devices. This technology has been applied to different fields in most walks of life like industries, health, home etc. It is very difficult to wholly define Internet of Things (IoT), defined as a network of physical objects that have been incorporated with sensors, RFIDs, triggers, firmware and internet capability to enable them to interact with operators, and other connected devices to reach common goals.

These things also have some ability to transfer data/information over a network without the interference of either human or computers. Entities that can be termed as thing in the internet of things range from specific capabilities of being assigned some IP address and also has the ability to achieve data transfer over a network. The idea of IoT was given birth to from the confluence of technologies that had been in existence for decades. These technologies include; electromechanical systems, the internet and wireless technologies. To use the idea of IoT to develop home automation has become a thing to desire and have implemented. As with every technology, home automation is in its developmental stages and as such requires a lot of researches and inputs from industries, academia and professionals alike.

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The Application of Wifi Technology in Smart Home

Internet of Things

Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology that connects all things and the internet in smart spaces by the implementation of intelligence with sensing devices. This technology has been applied to different fields in most walks of life like industries, health, home etc [1].

It was also defined as a network of physical objects that have been incorporated with sensors, RFIDs, triggers, firmware and internet capability to enable them to interact with operators, and other connected devices to reach common goals. It has been a hotspot in both academia and industry since it was proposed by Kevin Ashton in 1999. As a coinage that is envisioned to involve all things in the world, IoT can never be an isolated kingdom. It has extensible and compatible features, and is always ready to absorb advantages in every aspect of information domains. Its positive significance will never be appreciated until there is a complete formation of cyberspace, where human beings, computers, and smart objects are interconnected. This process can be regarded as the integration of IoT and existing network systems including cloud computing, the Internet, smart phones, and social and industrial networks [2].

Home Automation

Home automation happen to be a great idea in the field of computing, this becomes a greatly important and interesting when the concept of internet of things is used to achieve this implementation. Home automation aims to provide improved, convenient, comfortable, energy efficient, and security to the residents through the automation of home appliances, household activities [3]. Particularly, home automation can provide increased quality-of-life for persons who under normal circumstance would require close care or institutional care, such as the elderly or disabled. As the technology of Internet of Things (IoTs) matures, home automation has been accelerating its penetration into average households in recent years. Lured by this huge market, many companies have made significant investment in home automation products. Google, Samsung, Apple, for example, have unveiled their respective home automation platforms or products [4].

Features of home automation

One of the main features of home automation is the concept of automation. This happens when devices on a network can be programmed and controlled according to specified scheduled events. Commands being programmed that require timed/scheduled triggering or those are not scheduled but happen on ad-hoc basis. Lives become easy with automation since physical interference is not involved in the whole process. Once this interference is not there, things like time, energy, resources and things alike are either saved or less consumed.

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Overview and Comparative Analysis Of Smart Home Systems

In the home, automation may range from the turning of lights, opening/closing of doors, air conditioner regulation, coffee maker control, sprinkler system monitoring and a host of other household chores. The other concept involved in the features of home automation is remote access and monitoring, to have some degree of monitoring has been in existence with limited possibilities, but to be fully in control and truly have an automated environment and controlled remotely came into prominence with the emergence of smart-phones and smart devices [5]. If done correctly, an ideal home automation system, can make use of any Internet ready device to access and control the system and all devices within the network. Security status, current temperature of the home and other factors may be controlled with this concept.

Real life feel of the system and the environment is demystified with the inclusion of real-time audio-visual devices. Recently, wireless systems like ZigBee, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth have become common in home networking [6].

Advantages of Home Automation

In home automation systems, the use of wireless technologies gives several advantages which gives it an upper hand compared to a wired network.

• Reduced installation cost:

In this use of implementation, installation costs are significantly reduced because cables are not required. Solutions that require cabling, tend to be expensive due to the fact that cables, cable connectors, cable laying accessories and others including labour must be paid to achieve this.

• System scalability and easy extension:

Creating a wireless network is of great advantage when expansion is required, the only task is to give room for more nodes. This makes deployment of wireless technology for home automation a one-time investment.

• Aesthetical benefits:

Apart from ranging wide coverage, automation has the beauty of having things in the network working around the environment without external forces. as a device’s exact physical location is no longer crucial for a connection.

Table 1 below gives a comparison of the various technologies used for this purpose;
TABLE 1: COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF TECHNOLOGIES USED IN HOME AUTOMATION.

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smart blind

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From table 1 above, it can be seen that Wi-Fi based technology used for home automation is the most comfortable choice because it consumes less power, remotely controlled, cheap to install and configure as compared to the rest and its only drawback is the interference from other Wi-Fi devices close to it which this paper intend to solve.

Disadvantages of Home Automation

Technologies are developed to improve and enhance lives and the environment, this does not mean that any technology developed does not have some draw backs. Home automation is not left out in this phenomenon, some disadvantages or draw backs related to it are;

• Facilities and installation costs:

Smart Home is dependent on the cost of equipment’s you intend to install and how you want to deploy it. Complication level determines how high or low the cost of the system installation will be. With the gradual growth in the number of home automated devices in existence, cost of installation were supposed to be reduced, yet it has not reduced because of the unpopularity of the home automated devices. Currently, the technologies in use are unable to cover the entire desired home automation plan.

• System crashes due to any damage in the interconnection:

Damages are bound to occur in a copper of fibre cable connected home network. This is not the case with radio signals or the other wireless signals. The major problem with these types of connection is the problem of signal receiving.

• Human errors:

Improper handling of automation kit safely to perform basic operations, human errors may occur. Destructions of devices and other equipment’s due to this error may lead huge system failure.

• Reliability:

In very exceptional cases, the reliability of devices deployed for home automation tend to decreases. Degree of advancement and type of technology used determines the reliability of the system. At this stage of smart home, this cannot be guaranteed [14].

Components of Home Automation

As any given system, home automation system consists of different components. A basic home automation has three main components, a server, hardware interface module, and a software package. The combination of these components have capabilities to control the following in home and monitor some of the following;

  • Current Temperature and estimated humidity level

  • Motion detection

  • Fire/smoke detection

  • Status of Doors

  • Light level

  • Monitoring of life Video