Smart home refers to a house in which a number of interconnected devices and home appliances are performing certain actions in order to save money, time, and energy. The global smart home market is forecast to reach a value of more than 40 billion U.S. dollars by 2020. The U.S. has the highest smart home penetration rate, followed by Japan and Germany.
The system enabling smart homes is called home automation and has already been in use for decades in its basic form. Some examples include programming a microwave for a specific time and temperature or opening an automated garage door with a remote control. The present-day home automation systems are, however, much more advanced. They permit the integration of various smart devices and appliances and their control through a central panel, sometimes accessible remotely via the Internet. This is related to the Internet of Things (IoT) – a vast network of smart objects which work together in collecting and analyzing data and autonomously performing certain actions.
An early example of such technology is the security alarm, which uses sensors to detect movement in the house and the opening or breaking of doors and windows. A smart home can integrate the security alarm into a more complex system, in which other actions are performed, such as blocking exits or providing access to surveillance footage via the Internet. The smart home security market is forecast to grow to 18 billion U.S. dollars worldwide in size by 2020. Next to smart home security devices, energy management and home entertainment are other important segments of the smart home market.
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