Home automation and internet of things, what’s the difference

The market of technology applied to the domestic environment in recent years is experiencing a strong expansion. Terms like “smart home”, “IOT”, “internet of things”, “domotics” and so on are now commonplace. But how many know the exact meaning of these words? The confusion concerns above all the concepts of domotics and the internet of things, while in reality there are substantial differences that are worth investigating.

In the beginning, it was home automation

The home automation is a science, composed of computer and electronic technologies, which studies automated solutions to improve the quality of life and enjoyment of the home environment as a whole.

Home automation was born and developed before the arrival of the internet, and its operation is based on the power line. The forerunner of the smart home can be considered the one exhibited in 1930 at the International Triennial Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Monza. It was called The electric house, it was designed by Gio Ponti and created by the designers and engineers of the Group 7.

The first smart home was built in 1966, thanks to the intuition of an American engineer, Jim Sutherland, who decided to install an industrial computer in his own home. It was a prototype, called Echo IV, which could manage the lights, the TV, the alarm, programming switching on and off.

Since then the development of home automation has never stopped, and today, thanks to numerous integrated and wired functionalities in the electrical system, all the appliances operating in the home can be managed. Safety, heating, air conditioning, lighting, entertainment, appliances, irrigation systems: the applications are endless. If the existing electrical system is not designed to support a home automation system, then it is necessary to undertake the necessary wiring work. The home automation system is more complex than a traditional system, and the realization must be entrusted to electricians and specialized and competent installers. The advantages of a home automation system, compared to the IoT are manifold. Meanwhile, the management of the devices is much simpler, since it takes place through a single control unit to which they are connected by cable. Through the home automation network, you can also manage non-smart accessories, such as light bulbs, boilers, appliances and so on.

The only negative aspect concerns the costs for the preparation of the plant. For this reason, it is advisable to make home automation in the building or renovation phase. On this site you can still ask for several quotes for an electrical system, just to start getting an idea of ​​the necessary budget.

IoT or internet of things

The IoT, or internet of things, is a technology that allows you to automate some domestic functions through the internet. The advantage concerns the costs to be faced since it is not necessary to intervene with wiring works.

However, it is necessary to foresee a certain investment in connected objects, that is capable of communicating with the control devices. The latter can be smartphones, voice assistants or a connected Gateway.

IoT products are gaining ever-larger slices of the market, and smart items are now a multitude. It is estimated that in 2021 there will be billions of connected devices in the world. From computers, TVs, tablets, and smartphones, we have come to light bulbs, cameras, switches, appliances and so on. Now we also have unthinkable objects, such as mirrors, showers and mixers, coffee machines and scales, and so on and so forth.

The simplicity of the connected house is therefore relative: the more connected devices are, the more complicated it will be to control them, given that communication protocols are often different from one another. So make sure, before buying a connected object, that it is compatible with the control device you will be using, be it a smartphone or a voice assistant.

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