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Wireless technologies

19 September 2014 By In Blogs

Since the advent of Information and Communication Technology (I.C.T), various innovations have been developed with an aim of making the work of human beings become easier. Among the technological innovations that have been invented include the use of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, RFID and other wireless technological innovations. As a result of an increase in technological innovations, it is now possible for various individuals in different settings to adopt numerous levels of smartness not only at work environments but also at their homes as well. In order to make homes comfortable, individuals have adopted smart homes with technological abilities that make the residents to be in a better position of intelligently interacting with their inhibitors. The contemporary smart home has therefore envisaged the use of all the relevant technologies that are capable of among other abilities transferring of data remotely, controlling and sensing. Being a Mobile Computing and Communications Expert, there are various wireless technological applications that I will indicate for use in a smart home by a family comprising of a grandmother, a father, a mother, 2 teenagers and a dog (Al-Qutayri 2008).

The use of Bluetooth in a Smart Home

In the above family setting, the use of Bluetooth can come abundantly. Bluetooth refers to a universal radio interface which has the capability of enabling the communication of numerous electronic devices like sensors and mobile phones using short range radio networks. Bluetooth can be used in the smart home by the teenagers in the development of different applications like for instance in enabling the youth to share files between their smart phones, sharing of internet files and even playing musing using Bluetooth connections on the phones and woofers. Apart from that, parents and their teenagers in the smart homes can use Bluetooth by embedding a range of appliances in their smart home with the Bluetooth radio transceivers while still using the same technology in communicating with their home server that can be accessed by the home users.

 On the other hand, the use Bluetooth in a smart home like the one mentioned above is the creation of Bluetooth sensor networks that will be capable of tracking the wellbeing of the grandmother in the home. However, precautions should be taken in the smart home using Bluetooth technology since research conducted has indeed pointed out the fact that the use of this technology actually presents security vulnerability. This is due to the fact that the security of the devices which are connected to Bluetooth can at times be compromised by adversaries. Solutions should therefore be affected to harden not only the security but also the privacy of the communication that is Bluetooth-based in the smart home.  

The use of Zigbee in a Smart home

In the above mentioned family, the use of the Zigbee can also come in handy like for instance when building automation in the metering, security, access control and in lighting control in the smart home. The “Zigbee Networking Topologies can as well be used in the smart home for the above family through either residential or light commercial control in the Lighting Control, HAVC, security and access control. To add on that, the teenagers in the smart home can use the Zigbee topologies in connecting personal computers together with their associated peripherals like for instance keyboards, mouse and joysticks. Zigbee technologies can also offer the users in the smart home with remote control abilities and in the monitoring of patients or old people like in this case, the grandmother.

The use of RFID systems in the family’s smart home

In the smart home, RFID systems can be used by having each and every single object being connected towards the Home Area Network or the HAN using an identifier that is unique and a virtual wireless address. This is quite beneficial in the smart home since it can be used in the storage of an updated database that contains information regarding the location of various items within the smart home. Alternatively, the smart home occupants will be capable of inquiring from the smart home details regarding a particular item that they may be searching like for example the car keys or even the car keys. The RFID systems that also be successfully utilized in the family’s smart house by ensuring that the RFID tags are attached to every smart home user and then eventually, the RFID readers can be deployed at different locations within the home so as to aid in the identification of each user in the family’s smart home.

The above information can be so vital in the family because it can be used in adapting a variety of services in the family’s smart home basing on the preferences of the users. However, it should also be noted that there are limitations which are associated with the use of the RFID technology in smart homes. For instance, it should be noted by all and sundry that the readability or accessibility of the RFID tags is usually so difficult near a sheet of metal and even near water. As if that is not enough, it is also noteworthy to realize the fact that the body of human beings normally comprises of liquids thus making it difficult for scanning of the RFID tags that are attached to the human beings. In such difficult circumstances, research is still being undertaken to enhance the readability of such RFID tags in such complex situations (Carettoni, 2007).

The use of the GPS/GPRS as a Wireless technology in Smart Homes

These are technologies which have revolutionized mobile communications in order to not only present new types of services but to also enhance the rates of transmissions as well. The GSM technology or the cellular network is normally dependent on the reuse of the frequency. One of the most effective services offered by the GSM/GPRS wireless technology that can best be utilized in the family’s smart home is the short message service (SMS) application. The SMS refers to a text message through which its contents can be appropriately processed using the relevant program so as to execute the commands for both the controlling and monitoring of the operations in the smart homes. The ability of the home dwellers to not only control but also access the smart home is easily enabled through the basic use of the GSM network.

The Use of Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) in the Smart Home    

Wi-Fi is a common word which implies the wireless communication standard meant for the WLAN or the Wireless Local Area Networks. The teenagers in the family s well as their parents will be able to access the internet network in their home and move around without any form of restrictions using either the ad hoc or infrastructure topology in wireless devices. It can be clearly noted that the use of wireless technology is vital in smart homes due to numerous reasons. For instance, wireless technologies have been used by some firms like the Phillips Corporation in order to provide dwellers in the smart homes with home entertainment systems.

The use of Smart Sensors in Smart homes

A sensor refers to a tool which converts biological or physical quantity into electrical quantity which is subsequently sent towards the microcontroller for enhanced control and processing. The smart home of this family should therefore be embedded with advanced capabilities of processing that are capable of relaying remote processing through a computing device that is located in some other locations. These inventions will have the ability of keeping the privacy of the smart home inhabitants through a range of various functions like supporting of the elderly people like the grandmother in this family and also the turning off and on of the “garden sprinkler system” at specified intervals.

In a family setting stipulated above, the use of smart sensors e.g. a light sensor will come in handy especially when it comes to the opening and closing of relevant actuators in the differentiation of day and night. Non-conventional sensor types which include those for posture, biosensors, heartbeat and location can make it possible to monitor the ever changing conditions of health oriented individuals like the elderly grandmother in the family case study. The biosensors of the grandmother in this e.g. iris face and finger print recognition can be greatly used in granting or presenting access to the home thus making it possible for the smart home to be well adapted to the needs of the grandmother (Darianian, 2008).      

It is important to note that the level of intelligence and sophistication which needs to be used when interacting with the wireless devices is normally dependant on the levels, type and complexity of device and its performance. The intelligence level can be enhanced greatly once the wireless devices are capable of exchanging information and perfectly sharing information and decision making processes. Generally, wireless applications and tools are beneficial in that once they have been connected in the network of smart homes; such devices have the ability of actually operating in ways that are both sophisticated and intelligent. They could enable the switching on and off of the lights in different houses within the smart home.

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