Smart House – the house of Future

History of development. Building Automation System (BMS) and "smart house" systems. Multiroom: how it works and ways to establish. The price of smart house. Excursion to the most expensive smart house in the world. Smart House - friend of elders.

Рубрика Программирование, компьютеры и кибернетика
Вид контрольная работа
Язык английский
Дата добавления 18.10.2011
Размер файла 26,8 K

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Smart House - the house of Future

Yelena Samar

Student ID: 100035178

BUS 270d Management Information Systems

Individual Assignment

  • Table of contents


History of development

BMS and “smart house” systems

How Smart House works


The price of smart house

Excursion to the most expensive smart house in the world

Smart House-friend of elders

Case #1

Case #2


Works cited page

  • Introduction

smart house multiroom elder

Imagine a businessman giving clear instructions over mobile phone on the way to his car. He tells someone to water the grass in front of his house, to make a coffee by 7 pm, to set temperature in the house 20.6 °С and relative humidity on the level of 70%, to turn on the light in the yard and hall and to prepare immediate information about inbox mail. After 73 seconds he sits in his car and he is sure that by the time he will get home all the directions will be done in details. And this someone, who was assigned to do all these things, is not his wife or housemaid it is central computer in his house. Described situation is not a new fantastic novel by famous writer. It is reality. Sometimes this called “smart house” or “intelligent home”. But this is not fully true. Smart house is not just “two wires” connected together to the motion sensor. It is the conception, which allows us to collaborate a lot of devices into one coordinated organism.

However, what is written above is not the whole capacities of smart house. Currently smart houses are also used in order to help elder people. Some of these houses are built and programmed so that that they just help to elders to find things, and control if they have forgotten to turn off something. Others are used for more valuable purposes. They are using systems which help to prevent deaths from falling, or systems that help to avoid deaths caused by heart attacks. Before looking at these cases, lets explore what the smart house is and how it works.

History of development

The idea of creating smart house first appeared in USA. Rich and successful Americans started equipping their houses with electronic devices in 1950th.

Intelligent Buildings first appeared as a complex solution. The base of these buildings was cable structured networks. The system allowed using one cable for several purposes, such as: phone line, computer network, security systems and etc. Later, this system was developed into multiplex system, which allowed transferring different data through one cable at the same time. The speed of the cable system development was so fast that by the end of house building the system became old.

Because of the development in this sphere seemed more than very profitable, organizations spent huge amount of money on this. As a result, the idea of smart house appeared.

In 1978, the first companies who used this idea were X10 USA and Leviton. They developed technology for controlling home appliances by using home wires. In X10 system the role of receivers play devices and appliances, and remote controls or keypads play the role of transmitters. Nowadays, X10 is considered as an old system, because it was created for controlling lighting devices and supported only six commands of charge control. However it was not enough create smart house. In the attempts to find the solution a lot of companies joined into EIA (Electronics Industry Alliance). This group developed CEBus (Consumer Electronic Bus) standard, which was approved in 1992. Now this standard is open, and every company can produce equipment which uses CEBus protocol. The main advantage of CEBus, comparing to X10, is the speed of data exchange, which achieves 10 kbt/sec, not depending on the type of medium.

One of the first smart houses was built in Japan. It is a house of Ken Sakamura, an associate professor at the Univesity of Tokiyo's department of information science. He called his brainchild TRON ( The Real-time Operating system Nucleus). He designed this house as an experimental project. He developed with the time: used new technologies, added new gadgets. The sensors opened the windows when there was a pleasant breeze from the sea, and closed them when there was a storm. If the radio played very loud, system automatically closed the windows, so the sound will not disturb neighbors. These principles nowadays are as a base systems, which exist in every smart house. (Gilmore)

Nowadays wires are not so popular. So more modern systems operate by using radiowaves, wi-fi or cell phone signals. The two most popular and practical radio networks are ZigBee and Z-Wave. These networks are referred to the mesh networks. The principle of mesh networks is that the message sent from remote control or control panel have more than one way to get to its destination.

Z-Wave uses a Source Routing Algorithm to determine the fastest way for messages. There is a code in each Z-Wave device. When it is plugged into the system, the network controller reads the code, analyzes it, recognizes, determines its location and adds to its network. After the command was sent, controller, with the help of algorithm makes a decision how to send a message.

ZigBee's name says it all for itself. By using this technology the messages are sent on the zigzag path like bees, finding the best way to receiver. ZigBee has one advantage comparing to Z-Wave. If a company wants to built a ZigBee-compatible product, it does not need to pay any licensing fees. (“How Smart Homes Work: Smart Home Software and Technology.”)

BMS and “smart house” systems

Electronic systems are divided into two categories. The first category refers to building management systems. BMS are the systems which control building's mechanical and electrical equipment, such as lightening, ventilation, climate control and etc. All the controls are implemented by the central computer. As a rule these systems use centralized control. Usually these systems are used in offices and big industrial firms.

However “BMS” as a term is relatively new and its concept was introduced in 1970. The term really existed since the introduction of complex electronic devices that are capable of collecting data for the purpose of managing services such as power, lighting, heating and etc. Early terms of BMS were BAS (Building Automation System) and EMS (Energy Management System). BMS was something very new, which allowed changing analog signals to digital. By this change signals could be sent to longer distances.

Before BMS, different electromechanical systems were used in controlling building. Usually there were panels with manual switches or lamp indicators. Also alarms were used to help workers finding failures. The progress in signal communication technology allowed the evolution from hard home wires to very fast IP based cable.

BMS systems usually include:

· Power systems (electric power system)

· Illumination system

· HVAC system ( Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning)

· Security and observation system

· Magnetic card and access system

· Fire alarm system.

Generally the systems work in the following way. A lot of sensors are connected to the central system. These sensors collect different information. Some sensors collect the data about the temperature in the house and outside as well. Others gather information about the level of the light in each room. There are even sensors which control the speed of air in the airshaft. After collecting all the data from the detectors, system analyzes them and makes a decision depending on the settings installed by the operator. In its decision it usually decides where to allocate this or other electricity power.

In the emergency conditions the system automatically stops all the processes in the damaged area. The operator who is looking after the system is immediately informed about the problem, by the special indicator on the screen. System also shows precise location and automatically calls repair force.

Even though these systems are expensive, they compensate all the money paid for them by the economy of the energy and electricity. For example if in winter it is warmer than usually the system automatically changes the temperature in the rooms. Operator also can program the system so, that during the night heating system will be off, and just an hour before all employees come to their work places it warms the rooms up. The use of BMS saves money not only for energy and electricity but also for the hiring a lot of workers. The firm does not need a lot of specialists to control the whole complex. It needs just one operator who will be near the controlling computer to watch over the system.

But as all other systems BMS has its own disadvantages. It is impossible to add more and more new devices without affecting working speed of the system. The more devices you connect to the central computer, the slower it will work. That's why usually these systems are used to control big and anthropogenic constructions. For home usage more comfortable the systems of the second category.

These systems are called “smart houses”. They are very popular in the living buildings where on the first place there is a comfort: in apartments, in big office centers, in houses. But the most popular in using “smart house” systems are cottages. Controlling temperature, light and atmosphere in 4 staged house is very difficult. Automatics here is a very useful helper. It is irreplaceable in the apartment with more than 3-4 rooms. “Smart house” allows you to feel comfortable wherever you are. Comfort is achieved by not doing some process manually, which can be done automatically. For example by the time owner of the house comes home, the system automatically regulates the lighting, warms up the dinner and fills the bath. But this does not mean that from now on the person is a hostage of the system. When needed he can control everything by using remote controls, or controlling panels built-in the walls. Also you can control stability through smart phone, lap top or PC.

The system is also able to control effective usage of resources. When sensor detects enough light in the room it automatically turns off all the lights that are not needed now. Motion detector will turn on the light when you enter the bathroom or cellar, and timer will turn it off after some time if it will not detect any motion for set period of time.

Smart house can have decentralized system or system which is controlled by one central computer. The former means that system does not have any central point where all signals are gathered and analyzed. In this case all devices are connected to one common line. With the help of this line all devices communicate with each other. To think, all switches in “smart house” are the elements of the system. In a common house without this system, the switch just closes the contact. While in “smart house”, pushing on the button sends a signal to a lamp and there it is decides whether to make light brighter or vice versa to make more romantic atmosphere. In the second case, when “smart house” has centralized system, all the detectors send the data to the central computer. This computer processes everything, analyzes and then makes a decision. “Smart house” feels and analyzes everything what is happening in the house and outside of it, and corresponds to it respectively. The only disadvantage of this system for this moment is that it is very expensive and not each of us can afford it. (“Building Management System”.)

How Smart House works

X10, ZigBee and Z-Wave just provide the technology for smart house communication. Manufactures made alliances with these systems to produce products that will support the technology. For example cameras, with their help person can watch every sector of his house. Video door phone will help you to see who is knocking on your door without standing up from the sofa. You just need to turn on special channel on TV and that is it. From the same position just with a help of remote control you can open the door.

Motion sensors. Motion sensors can really help you in saving electricity. When sensor does not detect any motion in the room, it automatically turns off the light and all unnecessary devices. Sensors are developed so much that they even can distinguish pets from thefts. But if you have smart house thefts will not be to enter it, because every smart house has security system. When you leave home you turn on the security mode or you can program your system to turn on security mode right after when the door closes after you.

Devices through which you can control all the processes in house:

· Remote control

· Keypad

· Computer (even if you are in the office, by using internet you can see what is happening in your home)

· Mobile phone

· Wall panels.

One more good thing about smart houses is that you can have as many or as little devices as you want. Everything is up to the owner of the house. But person should be very careful, if he uses devices that work on the same system, no matter it is from different manufacturers or from one manufacturer, it is ok. But if he wants devices that work on different systems he will need bridging device.


To increase the sense of comfort, designers came with an idea of multiroom. Multiroom system- is a system of transferring audio or/and video signal from one or several sources, which are situated in one room, to the acoustic systems and TVs in every point of the house. The access to the system can be from any room. As was mentioned before, each room is equipped with an built-in wall sensor panel, which has all the controls in itself. If you want to change the song you can just come to this panel and change it, without going to the room where the source is. Moreover if you have remote control, you can change it even from the coach.

Installing this system helps not only to decrease expenses for expensive equipment. It also solves the problem of installing this in the rooms where it is impossible.

For example if you want to listen to your favorite music while taking a shower, without multiroom you will need to put speakers there, isolate all wires and etc. But if you use multi room this is not problem anymore. Speakers are waterproof and built-in ceiling. And if you have waterproof TV you can even watch videos while lying in the bath.

By using this system you can create special atmosphere in each room, or in the house as a whole. You can vary the music in each room or groups of rooms. By putting favorite pleasant music on the background you create your own comfort. And everything is controlled by panels on the wall or by remote control.

Multirooms exist not only as a part of smart house but also as a separate system, which can be installed in usual apartment. Some people call multiroom as a “smart house for non rich”. The main difference between “smart house” and multiroom is that you can use all the abilities of this room right after installation and you have all necessary conditions into its future development. It means that you can buy the simplest multiroom system at the beginning and the year by year develop it by adding new devices and improving old ones.

Multiroom system in not just-in house system. It can be also applied in the garden. So when you want to sit outside of the house you still can control what do you want to listen to.

Sometimes multirooms developed to the system that allows you not only for transferring audio or/and video signals, but also for communicating from room to room. From living room you can video call to your wife in kitchen and ask what is for dinner today. Also this system is used to see who came to your house. When visitor rings the door bell the camera turns on automatically, so that from your sofa you can see who is your guest.

Despite this system looks very complicated it is very easy to use. Wall panels have very simple interface which can be understood by anyone. (“Multiroom Systems.”; “Что Такое Multiroom? [What is Multiroom?].”)

The price of smart house

As you decide what devices to put n your house, the price also varies. “One builder estimates that his clients spend between $10 000 and $250 000 for sophisticated systems. If you build the smart home gradually, starting with a basic lighting system, it might only be a few hundred dollars. A more sophisticated system will be tens of thousands of dollars, and elements of home theater systems raise the cost of a system about 50 percent.” (“How Smart Homes Work: Setting up a Smart Home.”)

As an example of how the smart house can look like I want to make a small excursion to the house of one of the most well-known person in the IS sphere - Bill Gates.

Excursion to the most expensive smart house in the world

On the one of the banks of Washington lake (suburb of Medina, Washington) there is a beautiful house. The price of this house is $55 000 000. Why is it so expensive? Because this is a house of the Microsoft king Bill Gates. It looks like 4 floor building, but in fact there are 8 floors, 4 of them are under ground. Economically this project is reasonable because in USA you pay taxes for the area which is on the ground, and do not pay for underground area. More than 3500 sq meters include twelve rooms, 24 bathrooms, basin, home cinema, library, dance room and picture gallery.

The underground part of the building is also supplied with daylight. For this purpose there was built 84 kilometer long cable made of optical fiber. On the 4th floor there is an energy supply system. Even if the electricity in the district will go down Mr. Gates still will be able to watch TV. The security of Microsoft's king is provided by skillfully hidden cameras (there are about 50 of them). There are also 2 cameras that detect the car number when it enters the gates or passes by.

Everyone who is inside the house has a pin with RFID ( Radio Frequency Identification). If you want to enter the house you need to get such pin from the security, which is not so easy. And after you receive this pin you will have access only to some rooms. For other rooms doors will be closed for you. Identification of the RFID gives for Mr. Gates great opportunity to show his hospitability. Because with this pins he can program that your favorite music or sound effect will follow you in every room of the house, the illumination will be set according to your preferences and even the smell in the room will be your favorite rose or chocolate.

Guests of the house can enjoy the beautiful paintings of famous painters such as Van Gogh or Rembrandt. These paintings are shown on the plasma panels. They can also visit picture gallery where Gates keeps some original paintings. But for very rare and valuable paintings access is limited. If the guest turn offs the route, the system will immediately detect it, by reading information from RFID pin and will inform the host with a very loud sound signal.

Even the grass and bushes in front of his house have their own watering system. Each bush is watered with a set amount of water with set pressure.

For building this house Bill Gates spent 7 years. The best US building company did everything to implement the dream of their famous client. The result is a perfect system, which is controlled by hundreds of computers, by three professional securities and one engineer. Systems of water cleaning provide house with clean water, air-conditioners make the air in the house fresh, vacuum cleaner robots clean the house.

Some people will say, what if something will go wrong? The whole house then will be in chaos. But smart projectors of this house predicted this thing too. If something will happen with a system (which is unlikely to happen) each device has its equivalent manual control.

Of course the secret project of Bill Gate's house know only he and two more people who helped him to develop this idea. They signed the document which declares that they will never open this secret to anyone. (“Экскурсия в самый дорогой «умный дом» в мире [Excursion to the Most Expensive “Smart Home” in the World].”)

Smart House-friend of elders

We looked at all gadgets and systems, that are usually present at Smart houses. Some houses may have all of them some may have just some. If talk about houses designed for aged generation, they are pretty much the same. Everything is done in order to achieve comfort of the elder inhabitant of the house. However, the main emphasis is made on the making life of aged people easier and safer. Let's look at the first case, where Smart house helps people with memory disorders.

Case #1

According to BBC news, in 2000 year a new gadget was developed to be a part of a smart house technology. Elders are usually tended to forget things. How many times your grandma asked you if you have seen her glasses or bag? Now you have the solution. Engineers created a house adapted to elderly people and also for people with developing dementia.

The idea of such house first came to Professor Jane Gillard of Dementia Voice after she saw a house developed for people with disabilities. Her main purpose was to make a comfortable house for people whose main problem is forgetfulness. "The design philosophy is to emulate what a good live-in carer would do", she says."We're not wanting the house to take control of people's lives but to enable them to live safer and more securely in their own homes for longer."

These houses are fitted with a wall sensory panel. Unlike in typical smart houses, on this panel every function has a picture. This was made because aged people, as a rule, do not remember all these names, and it is more difficult for them to read than to see the picture. For example if you forgot where did you put your keys, you need just to press the button with a picture of a keys. Special chip in the keys will send a sound signal to inform you where they are.

One of such houses is in Gloucester. The system is pretty easy. All the switches in the house are fitted with bright lighting stripes, so that elders can easily see and find them. In the kitchen cupboards are without doors. This was made in order for aged people to see what they have in them in case if they forget where they keep things. One interesting thing is that the electric kettle is made of metal. Some elders (usually with dementia) put electric kettle on the hob.

There are also sensors in the bath. These sensors detect when the bath is full and send signal to the inhabitant. If person does not turn off the tap, system automatically stops water feed. There are also detectors which control the temperature of the water. In during the night your grandfather wants to drink water and gets up, the floor on his way will be illuminated. This is because in the bed there are special sensors which detect when you are in bed and when you get up. After these sensors sense that you stood up, they automatically send signals to the illumination system. Illumination system, by-turn, with a help of its detectors, turns on the light where it is needed.

BBC interviewed an old lady, Margaret Morgan. She is 73 years old. Every year she is getting older and her memory gets worth. She is also suffers from developing dementia. She really liked the idea of such house. "It would maintain my independence," she said. The thing that impressed her the most was a wall panel.

Designers estimate that buying this house will be more profitable than paying to the carer, who will help and look after elders. (“Smart house unveiled.”)

Case #2

Smart houses improve the quality of life of elders. In these smart houses the main goal is to take care of them. The whole system is programmed so that every signal is recorded in the service center.

Around the whole house there are infrared detectors which detect presence in the room. They are called motion detectors. There are detectors even on the chairs and on the bed, which called pressure sensors. When person enters the room, sensor sends the data to the lamp shaped gateway. This gateway is usually placed in a special room with other controllers. Then gateway gathers the data and sends it to the telecare center. What if, person falls down because of heart attack or any other reason? Then sensors try to find him in all parts of the house. Even the pressure sensors are looking for the inhabitant. Because person is on the floor sensors do not detect him. After some time (usually time programmed by the owner) gateway sends all the data plus an emergency message to telecare service. From there operator immediately calls the doctor. Several minutes later doctor is in the house.

This system prevented a lot of people from death. It was developed by Australian specialists, and became very popular. ("Chapter 4/ Ethical issues facing the use of technologies for the aged community.")


Comparing these two cases, I want to say that there are no main differences there. Both of these houses are taking care of their hosts. The thing I want to mention here is that I think that the systems used in the second case is more useful for the society. Why? Because this system can really help to people who tend to have health problems, which cause fallings. I myself would prefer my grandmother to have such system in her house. Because two years ago she was at home alone, and in the kitchen she slipped in the kitchen and fell on the floor. As everyone was at their work, she tried to creep till phone to call us. After we called to the doctor, they took her to hospital. The diagnosis was a breakage of the hip. Doctor said that if she did not have to creep towards the ph ne she would have only fracture. So I on my experience feel how this house can be useful for aged community.

Another thing I found between these two cases is that, the opinions about smart houses among elder people differ. For example, interviewed woman, Margaret Morgan (Case #1), said that the system will help her to maintain her independence. Whereas in the second case there was raised the problem, that some patients are worrying about their privacy. They do not feel comfortable in the house which is watching them. Some of the elder people are afraid of this technology. The fact that their house can think and may make its own decisions scares them. They are afraid that now on their children forget about them, leaving their elders with a “almighty house”. But I think that this problem can be solved as, children will let their old parents know that they are needed, and they will never forget about them.

Smart house, multiroom and all these technologies will not change your way of life, they will change your quality of life. People, including elders, will start loving their house for his understanding them from one touch. In USA and Europe some people already enjoy their new intelligent houses, and they do not regret that they spent money on it.

Works cited page:

1. "Chapter 4/ Ethical issues facing the use of technologies for the aged community." Management Information Systems. Ed. Kenneth C. Laudon and Jane P. Laudon. 11th ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2010 149-150. Print. E

2. “Smart house unveiled.” BBC news. Daniel Sandford. © MMIII. Web. 10.04.2011

3. “Building Management System.” Wikipedia. n.p., 22 Feb 2011. Web. 27.03.2011

4. “How Smart Homes Work: Smart Home Software and Technology.” TLC. Discovery Communications, LLC, 2011. Web. 27.03.2011

5. Gilmore, Elaine V. “U.S., Japan, Europe: The World's Smartest Houses.” Popular Science (Sept 1999): n. pag. Web. 27.03.2011

6. “How Smart Homes Work: Smart Home Software and Technology.” TLC. Discovery Communications, LLC, 2011. Web. 27.03.2011

7. “How Smart Homes Work: Setting up a Smart Home.” TLC. Discovery Communications, LLC, 2011. Web. 27.03.2011

8. “Экскурсия в самый дорогой «умный дом» в мире [Excursion to the Most Expensive “Smart Home” in the World].” Hi-Techome. n.p., 2009. Web. 27.03.2011

9. “Multiroom Systems.” Black Point., Reitingi,, Get Clicky, n.d. Web. 27.03.2011

10. “Что Такое Multiroom? [What is Multiroom?].” Multiroom. Multiroom, 2007. Web. 27.03.2011

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