US Home
Automation

(Last updated: Monday Sept. 07, 2009)
Google
 

Domotics/Home Automation - A Basic Definition

Definition: - Domotics, Domotica, Smart Home Technology, the Smart House, the Electronic Home or Home Automation (HA) is an integrated automation system that is specific to the requirements of a private residence. It applies automatic techniques (mechanical or electronic) for the comfort, security, entertainment, communications, and information processing needs of it's residents.

In simplest terms it is control and monitoring of devices and information in your home. ... Now having said that, I find it a lacking definition. Many of the information I need is not just about the home but about where I’ll be and how that affects me. I use NOAA weather information to help me select my bicycle routes. I need that for alerts so that when I’m riding my bicycle I can know about the weather in the area I’m in (I rode into a Tornado warning 50 miles from my home, those winds are scary!). So I need to rework the definition to add personal automation.

In the US we often lump together the various topics of automation, security and entertainment systems as home automation. In other parts of the world it's refered to as Domotica (a combination of domotics and robotics, hmm need to work on that part of the definitions) or Domotics. I kind of like Domotics as it seems to cover a lot more than home automation. The latest term I'm seeing is Smart Home. I like Domotics better than Smart Home but who am I to argue.

For some it may be something as simple as remote or automatic control of a few lights or simple appliances. For others, security may be the central application. Still others may choose to install entertainment systems as the core of their HA. All of these topics are involved with HA.

If you venture out on the internet seeking information on HA you'll probably find information from sites on X10, Insteon, ZigBee, Z-Wave, home theater, communications and security. All too often these sites skip over information processing. Today, more than ever, information handling is a major part of our lives. Email, TXT, IM, chat, VoIP, news, Facebook, Twitter all are being updated contantly. Often much of it is garbage (Germany lost, kill the Octopus!) but some of it is not (Your monthly bill is overdue). Information processing can often filter the junk, put the useful stuff in one place and sometime can be used to automate decission making.

Since I write this in 2009 the topic of the IoT has popped up. While parts of IoT overlap HA not everything is a thing that needs to be on the internet (like where I am and what I'm doing). At the moment the IoT is too loose a definition and too insecure to just add HA to it.