By Praneet Sah
Bedi International School, India
Are we now any closer to smarter homes? We definitely are. We’ve already seen that how we could control our appliances from anywhere and even made them smart enough to respond to their own surroundings. On a full-scale home, there would be several “things” that can work in harmony with each other to produce relevant data, which can be used for automation. After all, IoT is all about getting more and more data to analyze, in order to produce a better “automation”.
All the smartness of any house will go in vain if it cannot help the user in case of emergencies. With reliable sensors, we can actually move ahead from simply controlling our appliances to the health of humans living in that house. It would be like, allowing your choice of doctor to know your body’s state at any point in time and in the case when the “levels” go abnormal, an ambulance can be automatically sent to your home or any other relevant action may be taken by the doctor. This might seem to be a little fiction but here is the fact, we have already developed sensors that can monitor our heart rate, breathing pattern, body temperature, current location and all of this, packed into a small wrist-watch lookalike, known as smartwatch―with a little more features . Since we are capable of capturing the data, we can simply use IoT to transmit this data continuously to the choice of doctor. A number of silent deaths, heart attacks being the largest contributor, can hugely decrease since the doctors will be able to get the user’s body activity before any mishap may occur. All we now need to do is to simply bridge the gap for contact between the consumer and the doctor, for which IoT seems to be promising.
This may sound to be simple but it isn’t actually. We would need a whole network of systems that are interconnected and in an unfortunate event, failure of any one will cause all the service to crash. The Internet acts as the backbone for IoT, reliable internet connectivity, especially in countries like India and other eastern countries is still a challenge  and need to be fixed soon before we can even plan of having products based on IoT.
We can implement various aspects of automation in new houses that are yet to be built. In fact, we can totally remove the concept of physical switches. What we’ll need to do is to directly connect the lights, fans and other appliances to IoT and sensors. So, PIR sensor can be attached to the light, the temperature sensor can be attached to fans and so on. Now, these appliances can think on their own that when to start and when to stop. On top of this, a control panel can be provided in form of a mobile application which can override the state of the appliance. All that we’ll be now left would be simply power sockets, whose control would be in our smartphones; totally removing the need for physical switch. If could implement it, then our life would actually be altered in the following way:
When you’ll wake up, the smartwatch will sense it and would power ON your coffee maker, automatic removal of curtains from the window some nice music will start to play. You take a sip of coffee and are ready to leave for work. The house will automatically turn OFF every appliance and also lock itself, which would unlock only if it sees that you’re around, using the data (i.e. your coordinates) from GPS of a smartwatch that’s in your hand. Before getting back to home, you can turn ON the AC from your office for some pre-cool effect.
These are some of the ways in which IoT can change the way we live our life. With more sensors getting developed each day, we can actually get to see something totally unexpected in our smart home.
Apparently, the environment has been a major concern for past decade and IoT is a way that indirectly protects the environment while also reducing our electricity consumption. These are the two main benefits that IoT can provide to us when deployed in a house. Of course, it also makes our lives easy but that’s just an added benefit and also the selling point. As of now, there do lie a lot of hurdles in the path of IoT but as the users are learning more about its benefits, we can expect to see it in our homes soon. This would be the time when challenges to IoT sector would diminish and the ideas discussed in this paper could be implemented in our houses. Thereby allowing us to lead a smarter life with a smart home which is capable of its own to respond to environmental factors and thus saving electricity and reducing carbon footprints for us.
Download the Paper - LINK
About the Author:
Praneet Sah is a 17-year-old student in grade 12 with Science as major He develops websites, mobile applications, (a not so ethical) hacker, Microsoft Student Partner and a writer in Digit Magazine.
Copyright © 2016 by author and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License
(CC BY 4.0).http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
 Al-Nasser, K. (2014) SmartWatch. US Patent No. 8,725,842.
 Press, L., Foster, W., Wolcott, P. and McHenry, W. (2002) The Internet in India and China. First Monday, 7. http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v7i10.997