The Internet of Things
The Smart Home is the gateway to the Internet of Things
Most of the end-nodes on the internet today are people using PCs, laptops and smart phones. However this is rapidly changing as more devices in the home are connecting to the internet, building the Smart Home, and starting to shift the balance away from people towards connected things.
These devices are usually sensors, controllers, actuators or combinations that together, can be considered as “Sentrollers”. For instance: a thermostat senses the temperature, compares this with a desired temperature and activates a heater or air conditioner, controlling, essentially “sentrolling”, the temperature.
The Smart Home will also accelerate the use of sentrollers beyond the home: in building automation, for the smart grid, and from there in logistical, industrial and agricultural applications.
MSOs in the driving seat
Multi-Service Operators (MSOs) are driving the Smart Home applications already through their service offerings, like security, energy management and home care. The number of devices connecting to the internet is steadily growing by several millions per week – a quiet revolution going on.
The wireless access technology for the Smart Home is ZigBee, the open worldwide IEEE standard, equivalent to WiFi. WiFi guarantees reliable high data rate connectivity for content sharing and distribution. ZigBee, with its low power and meshing capabilities is ideally suited as access technology for “sentrollers” processing low data rate communication packets from these wireless devices on life-long batteries.
Just like WiFi was a real milestone starting the use of internet at home, the Internet of Things with ZigBee has started at home as well, enabling the next wave in the technology revolution.
Industry analysts predict factors of 100 things for 1 person when the Internet of People transforms into the Internet of Things. In the same way as WiFi today is synonymous for wireless internet (of People), ZigBee is becoming synonymous for the wireless Internet of Things, making it possible for “any-Thing” to seamlessly connect to the Internet without worries about power or battery life.