As we have already explored the practicability of home automation, it’s time we discuss about where exactly a smart home lies in the connected world of a smart city. The existence of smart home is not limited to the convenience and efficiency levels. Rather, it stands to grease the wheels of a smart city in the near future.
Substantially speaking, the connection between smart home and smart city involves multitudinous applications in diverse sectors. But there is one name that defines this connection unanimously and that’s ‘big data’. What’s so ‘big’ about the ‘big data’? Let’s move on to know more about it.
Smart Home For Elderly And Disabled
Before we move on to big data, it’s important to pay heed to significance of smart home in lives of elderly and disabled. Because there is a strong connection between big data and smart home for elderly and disabled.
Home automation for older adults and physically or mentally challenged people is referred as ‘assistive domotics’. Assistive domotics resembles the same technology and devices employed in home automation for security, energy conservation and entertainment. The difference is that it is tailor-made to fit the needs, safety and security of the elderly and disabled with intricacy and detailed apprehension.
There are two types of assistive home automation systems: Embedded Health Systems and Private Health Networks.
Embedded Health Systems – Microprocessors and sensors are incorporated into furniture, home appliances, and clothing which help in collecting data that is further used to analyse diagnostic diseases and identify health risks.
Private Health Networks – Wireless technology is actuated with all the connected devices to gather important data and store it in domestic health database.
Additionally, the smart home(with both systems mentioned above) for aged and people with disabilities are implemented with emergency help system, accident prevention, security systems and automated timers and alarms. All this together provides a sense of independence, confidence, and comfort to elderly and disabled. They can move around the house without anybody’s support anytime they want. They don’t have to unwillingly shift to a healthcare facility which may be expensive and not as good as home facilities. Moreover, the loved ones can take care of them 24/7 by being in contact with the household automation through their smartphones.
Due to the rising demand in assistive domotics, the industry and creators of home automation are showing considerable interest in developing a better home technology.
The Big Data
Since the genesis of intelligent technology and wireless networking, the significance of data has changed completely. Every device which operates digitally gathers data in large amount. This data is captured and amassed in the main database of a software. For example, the composite health organisations have to gather data coming from different sources on one single platform. This platform would serve them with easily accessible data whenever required. The challenge lies in picking out sensible data and transforming it into executable information which is today known as the ‘big data’.
Big data are massive data sets beyond the size of conventional database software which is used to store, handle and analyse data. The use and reference of big data depends on the sector where it is used. The big data can store information ranging from few terabytes to thousands of petabytes.
Big Data For Smart Homes
As we know that smart home is a set up of connected devices, it is understandable that these devices would gather data involving every minute detail of the house as well as the people living in. The absorption and analytics of this particular data will keep advancing as the smart home devices become more and more sophisticated. Like, the Google’s nest thermostat keeps an eye on you wherever you move in the house at what time and permanently memorises it. The future robot vacuums will know about the dimensions of the house including the flooring in every room. There are plenty of other devices arriving in future which will have the detail about every task you perform at home. All these details will accumulate together and be called big data of smart homes.
How The Smart Home Data Will Connect To Smart Cities
It is self-explanatory that a city becomes smarter when the number of smart homes increase.
At present, the use of smart home data is implemented in customer engagement by different industries. How each industry focuses on the home data solutions is given below:
The Energy Industry – This comes amongst those important sectors where big data solutions can prove to be profitable. The utilities use the smart home data to provide refined information on energy consumption and means by which they can cut down on electricity and the energy bills. This is not just important for a smart home but also for a smart city. As the city keeps gathering more information on energy consumption patterns of the smart home dwellers it is on the road to making new policies and initiatives which can conserve our natural environment, resources and provide better solutions for efficient living.
Digital Hardware Industry – The vendors of smart hardware products are showing interest in home data analytics market by providing free of cost data analytics by their devices. The best example is the Nest company offering an app to the customers(along with device) which give solutions to curb energy usage and change energy using patterns for better living. Likewise, many such devices can aid in supporting a better lifestyle in smart cities.
Health Industry –
Keeping smart home for elderly and disabled(mentioned above) in mind, the data stored at home can be used by healthcare centres to analyse any risks related to health by following the datasets of an individual. Digital health recording and real time alerts can be of great use in emergencies and other major health problems. For instance, when the hospitals have the access to a person’s data, it can send medical assistance within minutes of analysing threatening high blood pressure level in that person. With this, thousands or may be millions of lives could be saved. Conjointly, the datasets available to hospitals can keep a track on how many patients are going to visit the hospital in a given time. This gives the faculty prior arrangement facility for any kind of treatment required. Using big data for healthcare is gaining grounds in the USA while Europe is still in the midway to successfully implement the smart data analytics solutions. One more beneficial aspect is that healthcare industry can favourably become cost effective. With all points considered, the ratio of healthy population will lead to increase in healthy smart cities which is indeed first step towards progress.
Are There Any Risks Related To Big data In Smart Home?
It cannot be ignored that if the data set stored in a smart home is hacked or misused by someone it can lead to detrimental effects. The security breaches of smart home data can make the system vulnerable. For the reason, Europe has strict laws that protect consumer data. But this again prevents the utility industries from adding value services through data analytics.
Privacy and security both matters. Therefore, to fend-off possible risks related to smart home data, it is crucial for the consumers to be aware of how their data is being monitored and used. To secure your smart home use strong passwords that cannot be cracked. Reduce the exchange of sensitive information and pay attention to privacy policies.
Advantages and disadvantages in new ideas and innovations are just like two sides of a coin. But if the coin is spent carefully and wisely you’ll never have to face the disadvantages. The same thing holds good when big data is deployed to bridge the gap between smart homes and smart cities.