Smart Home Concepts of Tomorrow
Welcome the Blockchain At Home
We’re all familiar with the IoT, or “Internet of Things”, and most of us can appreciate blockchain technology and develop interest in cryptocurrencies, but until now, it’s been hard to find a concise and relatable explanation of how the two together create an entirely new product that benefits consumers. Several competing tech companies are developing unique blockchain platforms, sensitive to permission-based commands. Noopur Davis, author of Blockchain for the Connected Home: Combining Security and Flexibility,brings clarity to this concept when describing Comcast’s emerging product related to home security devices.
Protecting Our Privacy
“The approach we’ve developed puts customers in control of their digital homes by providing them a tool to easily grant, revoke, and tailor access to any IoT device in a way that is safe, private and highly resistant to tampering.”
The IoT allows us to connect just about anything in our homes and offices via bluetooth, WiFi, and apps, and today’s connected-home platforms have come a long way from their humble beginnings as simple security systems. From thermostats to kitchen appliances, the IoT already determines how we manageour “smart” homes. However, blockchain technology enhances and expands those same capabilities with a powerful, flexible, and secure platform. Shared ledger technology supports sensitive transactions where privacy and reliability are critical.
Be it granting the kids access via an app to the front door but not the thermostat controls, or allowing the neighbor to enter the garage but not the whole house, blockchain’s decentralized technology for a smart home ensures that access granted from any location, as long as the house is connected to the internet, remains secure. In another smart home scenario, blockchain becomes a flexible platform. This platform supports a great variety of appliances, each with their own specific commands and functions. Imagine ultra-connected homes friends and family are sharing without having to hand over complete control. Now, imagine revoking that same access as easily as you granted it by touching a button on your app.
Previously, operations were through a central server of which you, the owner, were in charge. However, the risk of these central servers being hacked has become more commonplace. Blockchain technology would replace the central server with a decentralized and encrypted system that included a verification process.
Smart homes can also play a very important role in energy conservation. According to calculations by the Fraunhofer Institute, smart homes can save up to 40 percent in heating and air conditioning costs. Did you forget to turn down the thermostat when you left for work? There’s an app for that. There are also businesses that focus on the future of building innovations and green solutions.
Arloid Automation is a Building Automation System (BAS) in the Near Zero Energy Building(NZEB) movement. Arloid explains how their technology applies to energy conservation.
“Our system suggests a lot of ways of energy saving. It turns off the light in the kitchen or bathroom, if you have failed to do it, cuts off power from all your electric appliances at your command by mobile phone if you leaving home for work have failed to unplug your iron or heater, or when you are away, the system converts the house into a low power mode.”
Arloid technology is also capable of detecting and stopping potentially dangerous gas and water leaks. It closes valves at the source of the problem. While these measures initially help reduce the amount of water wasted within the home, it can also prevent damaged property and loss of life.
Green Solutions for Sustainability
We’re already experiencing progress in first-world countries when it comes to innovative building design and smart-home technology. We could do more, but it is progress, and since those nations consume the most energy, the world has much to gain by them adopting and utilizing green solutions.