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What is Domotics?
Domotics (also known as Home Automation) is the integration of technology and services to improve the quality of
7 months ago, 149 Views
The terms domotics, smart house, connected home or smart home are becoming more and more popular; but what does domotics mean and how has home automation been developed since the 1970s?
What is the definition of domotics?
The word domotics comes from the Latin 'domus' meaning house; the addition 'tics' comes from robotics, computer science, and telematics. Home automation is generally defined as the techniques and technologies that are used to automate a home and the appliances within.
The terms domotics, smart home and home automation are all popular and can be used interchangeably. They are all characterised by the integration of technology and services to improve the quality of life. Home automation is often seen as the outdated term for what we now call smart home, this is because at the end of the last century the idea was simply for automating tasks. We regard these devices as 'dumb' nowadays, because they add little value to the domotics at home; these products were exceptional for their specific task, but that was it.
The second generation of domotics got an internet connection allowing for many more possibilities, such as remotely controlling devices. Devices were also much more capable of collecting and analysing data, allowing you to take direct action on your insights and findings. Your heating is more efficient when your system can notice when you are away from home and automatically turn itself off. Products like this are now called smart devices and if you use them to automate your home, you can proudly call yourself a smart home owner.
View our range of domotics products:
Why get started with domotics?
Naturally you want to increase the comfort, safety and efficiency of your home. In the above video it is suggested that home automation is primarily intended for hotels, hospitals and care homes. This may have been true in the past, but nowadays there is a much larger demographic that can enjoy the benefits. This is due to the affordability of home automation and the improvements in its functionality.
Intelligent devices are becoming more affordable with products available for people of every budget, need, and desire. Our CEO Isabella Namèche explained in an interview, that you can transform any house step-by-step into a smart home. To do this, there are various starter kits available offering a number of entry-level products within inexpensive packages - an affordable starting point for your smart home.
The improved functionality is another reason for the growing popularity of domotics. They must be easy to install and use. Most of the devices that we sell at 50five are 'plug & play' – meaning that once connected to power they are ready to use. Some of the devices we sell in our domotics store require professional installation and therefore we have an installation service with certified installers.
How long have domotics existed?
Home automation isn’t breaking news, as a video from the seventies shows one of the first intelligent houses in the world. This house was made by the French engineer Pierre Sarda from Belgium - considered the pioneer of home automation. He built his smart home in 1974 and we see many of his inventions in modern smart homes.
Watch the French video below:
The heart of his smart home is a central computer with all kinds of buttons for various functions. Sarde uses these to automate his home life, for example, by pressing a button he can lower the shutters and switch on his robotic lawnmower from a distance. This really is the first instance of modern day home automation.
Home automation examples
Domotics is built around three pillars: comfort, safety and savings. The basic idea is to maximise the well-being of the individual in their home environment, as we saw in the video. This is still the case today - we automate our homes to increase comfort and to ensure that the indoor climate is optimal.
Some perfect examples of this would be measuring the quality of air in your home and improving upon it; increasing the indoor atmosphere by programming your lighting; or automating your heating system, so that it is always the right temperature.
With home automation you can also improve your safety. Intelligent alarm systems are becoming more and more accurate and in some cases they can even prevent burglary. They are able to do this by recognising intruders when they break in and triggering an alarm. Smart lighting can also be used to increase your safety. You can now set schedules so that it seems like you are always at home, even if you are on vacation; or you can control the lights at home with an app on your smartphone from your holiday destination. Other examples of products that can increase your safety are smart water sensors, and smoke & carbon monoxide detectors.
If improving the comfort and safety of your home wasn’t enough, you can also save money by making your home smart. If you optimise your energy consumption, by using power much more efficiently you will start to see saving in both energy and money. This is possible with the help of smart sockets, energy meters and shower heads. Some brands even offer solar panels to power connected devices, allowing you to improve your sustainability and provide further savings on energy.
Home automation also frees up time by automating less pleasant tasks. Consider, for example, automating your washing machine, dishwasher or vacuum cleaner. By automating these tasks, you will have more time for nice things that you don’t normally have time to do.
You can also use domotics for nice things, such as making the entertainment in your home smart. In order to do this, you can link the smart lighting with what is on your screen so that the colours sync up. If you connect your speakers, you will get an even better cinematic experience from the comfort of your own home. Speakers like this can be connected to your entertainment system, but there are also speakers that once connected can be used as controls for the rest of the smart devices in your smart home.
What does the future hold for domotics?
There has been a global shift to adopting the internet as part of day-to-day life and operating your household appliances is a growing part of this. As more devices are made, the more it becomes possible to optimise your house. We’ve found that domotics or smart home refers more to the possibilities of this type of house than to the house itself. It is a lifestyle that is becoming increasingly popular in a society where people become faster and busier and have less and less time to breathe.
A smart house is therefore a house where the present and the future come together, a way to relax in the our busy lives.