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Smart home automation and the Internet of Things are two concepts that are tightly interwoven. You can’t have smart home automation without the Internet of Things, and one of the primary vehicles of the Internet of Things is home appliances and devices. But let’s be honest: people often feel about the “Internet of Things” the same way they do about “The Cloud” – they’re both vague, intangible buzzwords that don’t mean much. In this blog, we shed some light on the technology that makes the Internet of Things possible.
In the most basic sense, the Internet of Things refers to any device that can connect to the internet. Seems simple enough, but the scope of this technology is huge. Everything from your refrigerator to your wristwatch to your mousetraps can be part of the Internet of Things. In fact, some analysts believe that by 2020, the Internet of Things will include 20 billion devices.
Depending on your home, the answer could be nothing. But many people are embracing Z-Wave technology as the backbone of their connected homes. In those cases, Z-Wave powers the Internet of Things, making it possible for all of the devices to connect to the internet and each other.
It all boils down to how these connections between devices form. It’s common to assume that the Internet of Things is all connected via Wi-Fi. After all, that’s how you usually connect your phone and computer to the internet, so why not use the same method for your other home devices? Here’s the problem with that approach: Wi-Fi is a power-hungry system that will drain batteries in just weeks. If you have a window sensor set up for home security, you don’t want to have to swap out the batteries ten times a year.
Fortunately, there’s an alternative: Z-Wave. Z-Wave is a technology that uses a certain radio frequency to communicate with other devices. One of the best features about Z-Wave products is that they require very little power. That same window sensor that would be drained when using Wi-Fi could run smoothly for two or more years without every needing the battery changed. Combine that with Z-Wave’s superior encryption for smart home security, and the shift away from Wi-Fi is a no-brainer.
SEE ALSO: What is Z-Wave and Why Should I Use It?
So when you install a smart device such as a water leak sensor or alarm siren in your home, it can use a Z-Wave signal to connect to the internet, giving you access to notifications and information via your smartphone or tablet.
If you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, “Okay, but how do I actually make my home part of the Internet of Things?” then fear not: we’ve got that covered too. Just head over to this post on DIY smart home automation. It will walk you through the steps you need to take to get full connectivity to the Internet of Things throughout every room of your home.
Are you ready to start adding smart devices to your home? Check out our Z-Wave products to get started with door sensors, water leak detectors, smart on/off plugs, and more!