Of home automation, IoT and Ethernet over power lines….

clip_image002Home Automation isn’t just about your house. In fact it is as much automating the world around you as it is anything. That is why the initial step I’ve advocated is to make sure you network is stable. The wave is coming and it is a Tsunami. Analysts project 30 billion IoT devices in the world by 2020. That is but five year from now and will represent more than IoT devices per person in the world.

So it’s about automating your life. Making it easier for you to move through your day and accomplish your goals. When I was a kid I used to shovel snow off our driveway with a snow shovel. When I became an adult one of the first things I bought was a snow blower. Why? Because it takes less time to clear my driveway.

Life automation is about embracing the potential of the technology you can build on and leverage. It is about making your cellular device something you cannot put down. Because it connects you to clip_image004everything. It is important to remember that the goal of home automation is ultimately to integrate your home into your digital life.

The average home automation project will generate about 25 connections or IoT devices. The home automation project fits clearly into my Stayable IoT category. Stayable in that the devices don’t move but they connect to your portable device.

Now as our little helpful buddy here points out there are a number of other devices that are going to creep into and make your home more Automated. Personal presence devices represent and exploding market. What once was the purview of 2500 dollar devices is now becoming much more affordable. Jibo, a personal presence device and Canary a home security device will allow you to log in remotely and see what is going on in your home. These devices require bandwidth on your network as well.

One of the considerations for home networking is the advancements recently in the concepts of Ethernet over power lines. In this model you connect a device (translator) to your power grid in your house. That device preforms a transmission of Ethernet signals over home power wiring. This allows you to the multiple network segments mentioned in yesterday’s blog. Where you segregate your network into segments based on devices and need.

clip_image006Video surveillance can consume a lot of bandwidth. It can also be frustrating when you are remote and it takes 1-2 minutes to load the screen. Ethernet over Power lines (sometimes called POE) allows you to create a separate or standalone connection framework for video feeds. That way you are not limited to the devices connecting over Wi-Fi. You simply plug the device into the wall and it is connected to your network. You will need to buy a bridge that connects to the wall plug near your internet connection and it will consume one of your internet connections Ethernet ports.

I have used several of these products in particular in setting up my home video feed. I have an external feed and an internal feed. I am using the excellent device Canary. The Canary had iOS and Android software that allows you to view moments captured by the Canary Camera. It is motion sensitive so if you have dogs there will be many triggers but it is very effective. I can connect to a live feed or the Canary system actually saves motion based moments in the cloud. So even if someone breaks into your house and then breaks the camera, you still have the cloud based video to give to the police.

I segmented my network with an Ethernet over power connection and that is what I run the Canaries on. Even on a cell phone with LTE the video responds very quickly. It also allows you to manage the number of feeds you have in your house. Http://www.canary.com if you are interested.


IASA Fellow