Technology is with us every day to make our work easier, establishing new forms of communication, improving everyday tasks… It is working its way in our daily lives and even in our home. From some years now one talks about domotics, but do you know how the technology applied to housing has evolved over the years? In this post we will try to give a few brushstrokes of its evolution.
Domotics, inmotics… Where do we stand?
Domotics comes from the Latin «domus» which means «house», and if we look for its meaning in the dictionary we find the following: «Set of techniques aimed at automating a house, which integrate technology into security systems, energy management, welfare or communications».
Some years ago I worked on projects related to this topic, where a central controller or PLC was installed in homes. To that PLC were wired the necessary sensors and actuators for the control of lighting, blinds, watering, etc. In addition, a character line display panel was installed in the house allowing us to configure and view the status of each functionality. It evolved as far as to incorporate touch panels for configuration and notification of alarms by phone using AT commands. The different devices were connected directly to the PLC or to a bus such as AS-i, Lonworks, X-10… The explosion of domotics in general seemed imminent, but it was not so, only a small percentage of private clients opted for this. Perhaps because of the cost, together with the need of wiring and lack of knowledge of technology in general, it didn't work out as expected.
Nowadays most of the population has mobile phones or tablets and handle technology with greater ease. Protocols such as Bluetooth, zigbee, z-wave and Internet access in many homes make domotic systems to take a turn thanks to new communication possibilities. Technological giants like Amazon, Google or Xiaomi already offer devices that promise to make homes more intelligent: from the mobile phone it is already possible to control the temperature, plugs or even the watering of our garden with very intuitive applications. The communication interfaces with the devices have made a qualitative leap with machine learning algorithms and language recognition that allows us to give voice commands to our home. Everything points to the fact that there are now conditions for domotics to boom.
As for inmotics, it refers to domotics but focused on tertiary buildings such as hotels, hospitals, schools... The needs in this kind of buildings and their dimensions oblige the systems used for their automation and control to differ from those of private homes.
n this type of facilities is more common to have access control, alarm detection, lightning, etc. In addition, the automation of this type of facilities can be completed with different IoT devices that improve the user experience: use of wristbands that recognize when a client arrives home and control the lightning and music according to his preferences, automatically adjusting the temperature when he comes in, etc. It is also possible to install devices that count the degree of occupancy of the hotel restaurants and show it to the clients on their mobile devices improving, this way, waiting times per table.
Personal care facilities such as hospitals, residences and day-care centres can also benefit from systems that identify the location of people, and even receive alarm notification in case of moving away from the safe area. As for patients, the use of smart wristbands can send information such as heart rate, sleep hours, physical activity, etc. to a software platform. These data can be very useful to the personnel in charge of the care of these people, but it could even be thought that it could be a plus for the families of the people admitted.
Technology arrives imminently to our homes. Every day we will be more used to the management of our homes by different devices. In the hotel sector, energy savings and the improvement of user experience can be significant using the automation and incorporation of technology. In the care of patients it is possible to join inmotics and ehealth services that make easier the management of facilities and care of people.
The possibilities offered by technology and communications in all type of facilities are greater and more profitable every day. If you are thinking about how technology can help in homes and buildings, talk with Izertis.