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The smart home: A powerful new application for electronics

The smart home is a new trend representing a concept that is quickly developing with an enormous electronic technology content (see Figure 1):

“The wireless smart home system lets the residents control the lighting and security system wirelessly from the comfort of their smartphones. The fully automated home has a password protected door, smartphone controlled lights and smart alert system to prevent residents from flood and zombies.” (Source: Setu Kathawate)

Figure 1

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The System (left) and Circuit (right) Diagram of a wireless smart home system (Source: Source: Setu Kathawate)

The System (left) and Circuit (right) Diagram of a wireless smart home system (Source: Source: Setu Kathawate)

Electronics technology is contributing to the comfort and entertainment of people living in a smart home as stated in an Industrial Summit that took place in China with the participation of the STMicroelectronics Company (see Figure 2):

“The Industrial Summit is also a great place to learn about the ST Motor Control and Industrial Competence Center, in Shenzhen, that specializes in solutions for home appliances and the development of industrial applications. We will also showcase a smart home with smart appliances running real-world applications thanks to our power devices or motor control systems . One particularly exciting demo takes the form of an intelligent mirror capable of displaying information from the Internet. We will also be showcasing our new STKNX transceiver, the biggest revolution in smart building, and we will be using this Summit to develop relationships with partners looking to popularize this protocol in the region, automating all the smart appliances of a home or building with this communication protocol.” (Source: ST blog)

Figure 2

The block diagram of 'The STKNX is a transceiver device for KNX TP communication. The small package and few external components enable the very compact KNX nodes design. The simple interface to the μC allows easy replacement of physical layer discrete components implementations. The STKNX device features two integrated voltage regulators for external use in the application: the selectable 3.3 V / 5 V - 20 mA linear regulator and the adjustable 1 V to 12 V - 150 mA high-efficiency DC/DC step down switching converter.' (Source: ST.com)

The block diagram of “The STKNX is a transceiver device for KNX TP communication. The small package and few external components enable the very compact KNX nodes design. The simple interface to the μC allows easy replacement of physical layer discrete components implementations. The STKNX device features two integrated voltage regulators for external use in the application: the selectable 3.3 V / 5 V – 20 mA linear regulator and the adjustable 1 V to 12 V – 150 mA high-efficiency DC/DC step down switching converter.” (Source: ST.com)

What do you think about the smart home? Do you believe such a type of home can effectively increase the comfort of people living inside it? Would you buy a smart home for the reason that you could control it by remote in many different ways? Have you ever experienced staying in a smart home?

4 comments on “The smart home: A powerful new application for electronics

  1. DaveR1234
    June 5, 2019

    The smart home has been predicted for years, but thankfully it doesn't have legs.   The problem with this 'solution' is there is no problem.  When I want to turn on a light in a room, it's because I'm in the room and it's dark.  I don't need my phone, I simply flip the switch on the wall and there's light.  The issue I have with these new 'solutions' is maintenance; when my switch fails, I go to Home Depot and buy another switch that has a standard mounting yoke made by a dozen suppliers.  With a 'smart switch' the part I need was probably made by a supplier who has been out of business for a year and not available.

    I know of many instances of central switching systems (Lithonia, for example) that failed and original parts are not available, resulting in multi thousand dollar repairs. 

    Another example is a 3-way/4-way switch system that didn't require the usual 3/4 conductor wiring between switches.  Surprise, these new electronic switches lasted the expected (China quality) one year and no replacements are on the shelf.

    KISS!

  2. Steve Taranovich
    June 5, 2019

    @DaveR1234—I hear you and agree with you. But remember that when the electro-mechanical light switch first came out, there were the same concerns. Time will bring more competitors to this market as well and reliability will improve.

  3. MelBrandle
    June 13, 2019

    I saw an ad about smart homes and it actually got me thinking whether or not mankind is ready for this major change. The guy in the ad had his smart home voice-activated and it was all a breeze initially. He switched on the TV, heater, stovetop and more all at the sound of his voice commands. The second part of the ad showed that he got into an accident and somehow lost his voice. He couldn't even enter his home because his main door didn't recognize his raspy voice. He then stood in the pouring rain for hours before his spouse came home and opened the door with her voice.

  4. EdwardThirlwall
    July 31, 2019

    It's interesting to think of a smart home system as nothing more than a connected bunch of wires. Technically that's really what it is, but it represents so much more than that don't you think! This new connectivity of the Home System is a force to be reckoned with in the world of convenience and efficiency don't you know! I'm excited to see what else can come out of this technology!

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