How Smart Homes Work

Home Design Topics

Any device in your home that uses electricity can be put on your home network and at your command. Whether you give that command by voice, remote control, tablet or smartphone, the home reacts. Most applications relate to lighting, home security, home theater and entertainment, and thermostat regulation.

The idea of a smart home might make you think of George Jetson and his futuristic abode or maybe Bill Gates, who spent more than $100 million building his smart home [source: Lev-Ram ]. Once a draw for the tech-savvy or the wealthy, smart homes and home automation are becoming more common.

What used to be a quirky industry that churned out hard-to-use and frilly products is finally maturing into a full-blown consumer trend. Instead of start-up companies, more established tech organizations are launching new smart home products. Sales of automation systems could grow to around $9.5 billion by 2015 [source: Berg Insight ]. By 2017, that number could balloon to $44 billion [source: CNN ].

Much of this is due to the jaw-dropping success of smartphones and tablet computers. These ultra-portable computers are everywhere, and their constant Internet connections means they can be configured to control myriad other online devices. It’s all about the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things is a phrase that refers to the objects and products that are interconnected and identifiable through digital networks. This web-like sprawl of products is getting bigger and better every day. All of the electronics in your home are fair game for this tech revolution, from your fridge to your furnace.

On the next page, we’ll take a look at the technology in a smart home.

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<a data-track-gtm="Byline" href="molly-edmonds-author.htm"> Molly Edmonds </a> &amp; <a data-track-gtm="Byline" href="about-author.htm#chandler"> Nathan Chandler </a> "How Smart Homes Work" 25 March 2008.<br />HowStuffWorks.com. &lt;http://home.howstuffworks.com/smart-home.htm&gt; 19 September 2016″ href=»#»>Citation & Date