Sep 18
Smart Home


Internet of Things (IoT) brings us smart homes but should we be worried about leaving our homes to be run by internet based automaton?

According to analyst firm MarketandMarkets the smart home market is expected to grow from USD 46.97 Billion in 2015 to USD 121.73 Billion by 2022. Connected or smart homes are not new but the technology is still evolving and seems to have some way to go before it matures.

With everything from security alarms, smart smoke detectors, thermostats and complete home automation systems which can be connected and controlled over the internet, the future for the connected home is practically unlimited. With a smart application on your mobile phone you can enjoy the peace of mind that everything at home is fine while you are away, or at least if not you can use the app to control appliances remotely, like turning down the heating at home while you are out shopping for example.

Of course it all gets a lot cleverer than this, but if you have access to these devices from your phone then so could dodgy hackers, and if they can find a way into your home automation system on-line, it may spell disaster. Earlier this year cybersecurity researchers at the University of Michigan were able to demonstrate that they could hack into a leading “smart home” automation system and get the PIN code to a home’s front door. So where does this leave connected homes?

Further work clearly needs to be done to develop more secure access and personal privacy across connected home systems. Not only improving authentication and data encryption methods between connected devices and platforms but also to introduce certification programs more widely. Analyst firm Gartner predict that by 2020, 85% of connected home solutions will be linked to a “certified ecosystem”.

According to Gartner, the majority of connected home customers will be using either service based or do-it-yourself (DIY) solutions. DIY means stand-alone products whereas service based solutions include cloud-based services and technical support provided by monthly subscription.

Certification programs and certified ecosystems help to ensure that devices and platforms will work seamlessly together with the required level of security. Some providers are choosing to go the route of open ecosystems with interoperability across a wide range of 3rd party devices, offering plug-and-play and more choice for consumers.

While it still has some way to go, connected homes are here to stay and with improved security and certification schemes, leaving your home to be looked after by machines will seem quite natural – and safer too!

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