The smarter home enabled by cloud technology


Ottawa, ON, Canada — (METERING.COM) — May 17, 2010 – With the increasing number of web-enabled home appliances and devices, coupled with the widespread availability of broadband communications, the intelligence and with it the complexity in the new smarter home is being moved out from the home onto the network.

This network, more precisely the internet cloud, is in contrast to previous attempts to enable the “smart home,” where the intelligence was based on centralized control through a home server or gateway, and it enables the provision of centralized services. Many of the devices in the home today can already connect individually to services in the internet, even though each may use different application protocols and APIs. Putting the intelligence into services in the network cloud reduces the complexity of managing software in the home devices and simplifies the interoperability of devices.

This vision is set out by IBM in a report on enabling the smart home, which has been published by the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA).

The report says that by 2013, 1.2 billion connected consumer electronics devices are expected in the more than 800 million homes with broadband connections, exposing opportunities for innovative services that build on the computational power and scalability of the cloud, along with the collective consumer knowledge. Data which is aggregated then stored within the cloud can provide dramatic new insights about consumer needs and behavior. Ultimately, this paradigm facilitates a host of possibilities, from radically improving the performance of current devices and services, to delivering benefits which have not yet even been considered.

The current smarter home services areas showing early adoption are:

  • Entertainment and convenience
  • Energy management
  • Safety and security
  • Health and wellness.

However, there is more to the smarter home than the installation of smarter devices. Device manufacturers and service providers must focus on creating instrumented, interconnected and intelligent devices that users find intuitive to use.

Further in this vision partnerships among ecosystem players will be vital as new business models emerge around service offerings. A service delivery platform in the cloud can let players move forward quickly and with confidence and lets their organization take immediate action in a cost-effective manner.