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Home automation can include the scheduling and automatic operation of water sprinkling, heating and air conditioning, window coverings, security systems, lighting, and food preparation appliances. Home automation may also allow vital home functions to be controlled remotely from anywhere in the world using a computer connected to the Internet. Besides the functions already mentioned, remote control can be extended to telephones and answering machines, fax machines, amateur radios and other communications equipment, and home robot s such as automatic vacuum cleaners.
The fundamental components of a well-designed home automation system include a computer (or computers) with the appropriate programming, the various devices and systems to be controlled, interconnecting cables or wireless links, a high-speed Internet connection, and an emergency backup power source for the computer, its peripherals, and the essential home systems.
THE INTERNET OF THINGS: (IoT) Simply put, this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of.
On a broader scale, the IoT can be applied to things like transportation networks: "smart cities" which can help us reduce waste and improve efficiency for things such as energy use; this helping us understand and improve how we work and live. Take a look at the visual below to see what something like that can look like.
The reality is that the IoT allows for virtually endless opportunities and connections to take place, many of which we can't even think of or fully understand the impact of today. It's not hard to see how and why the IoT is such a hot topic today; it certainly opens the door to a lot of opportunities but also to many challenges. Security is a big issue that is oftentimes brought up. With billions of devices being connected together, what can people do to make sure that their information stays secure? Will someone be able to hack into your toaster and thereby get access to your entire network? The IoT also opens up companies all over the world to more security threats. Then we have the issue of privacy and data sharing. This is a hot-button topic even today, so one can only imagine how the conversation and concerns will escalate when we are talking about many billions of devices being connected in the years to come.