Smart Home – A Gift Or A Menace?

Definition A smart home is a home which runs automatically. It is the latest trend in the home improvement market which involves technological advances to improve security and add comfort to the lives of human beings.

History Smart home has been an interesting topic of writing for several years, but was implemented practically in the early 20th Century with the introduction of electricity into the home, and the rapid advancement of information technology. In the late 1800s, remote control devices began to emerge. For example, in 1898 Nikola Tesla gave an idea of making the vessels and vehiclescontrollable by remote control. Electrical home appliances came into picture between 1915 and 1920. During the World's Fairs of the 1930s, ideas similar to smart home systems were originated. In 1966 Jim Sutherland, an engineer working for Westinghouse Electric, developed a home automation system called "ECHO IV" which was a private project and never commercialized. During 1960's, American hobbyists built first "wired homes". The term "smart house" was first coined by the American Association of House-builders in 1984. Despite interest in smart home technology, by the end of the 1990s there was not a widespread uptake - with such systems and were still considered the sphere of techno-savvy or the rich.

Components: The two main components of a smart home are the controlling system i.e. Central Processing Unit (CPU) and a user friendly device such as a trigger or remote. The Central Processing Unit is installed at the central place inside the home with which user can communicate through remotes or other handheld or palm devices. A user can communicate with controlling system from any remote location anytime via internet.


· A smart home consists of security cameras and motion sensors that can easily detect any unwanted motion in the absence of home owner and also generates an alarm.

· You can watch live feeds directly with the use of the internet.

· You can manage the temperature of your home and can turn on and of sprinklers at specified time of the day.

· These houses are energy saving houses. Thus, you can monitor the electricity demands within your home and accordingly plan to lower your electric bill and limit electric output on various items.

· It offers a large variety of entertainment and luxurious features such as home theatre system, smart refrigerators to help you in making your shopping list, and many more.

· You can make your house friendlier for the children or elderly by making operations simpler and smooth.


· It is quite expensive technology and is out of reach of an average home-owner.

· Complicated technology. Traditional people feel uncomfortable in using home automation technology.

· Risk of hacking increases. Once the central controlling system of your home is hacked, the intruder can easily control your house. It is very difficult to identify that your automation system has been hacked.