Prof. J. Walter - Informationstechnik, Mikrocomputertechnik, Digitale Medien State of Technology
Hochschule Karlsruhe Logo Bachelor-Thesis
IOT for Home Automation by Browser
Winter Semester 2018/2019
Ong Kai Li (65631)

2.3 State of Technology

Home Automation
Nowadays, home automation technology is constantly improving its flexibility and updating its features to satisfy the needs of people today. In the existing home automation system, there are some product which is existed in the market and have different types of wireless deployments. There are a few types of control for the smart home products such as cloud-based control, local control, router-controller based control, and others. The existing product have been divided into a few categories according to its type of communication and its function.
Cloud-based Control Local-based Control

Table 2.3.1 : Comparison of Cloud-based control and Local-based control
1. Cloud-based Control
Nowadays, most of the smart home products have their cloud control support for their devices and it required to use internet connection to operate the system. The cloud server not only enable user to store and manage user's data and information, it also enables user to get the status of the appliances as well. There are some cloud servers in home automation such as Google Cloud Platform, ThingerIO, AmazonRTOS, Thingspeak, aREST Dashboard, and so on.

(a) Home Appliances Voice Control -
(i) Google Home Assistant :
It can control over all home devices including TVs, lights, applliances, plugs, thermostats and more using Google Home. The signal lights above the Google Home Assistant will show user whether it is listening or not when user say : "Ok Google". It will connect to its Google Assistant cloud for manage the command of Google Home. It is also compatible for cloud of Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa.

Figure 2.3.1 : Google Home Assistant

(ii) Amazon Alexa - Echo :
User can use Alexa to control smart devices such as Cameras, door locks, entertainment systems, lighting, and thermostats. User can either connect device control cloud to Alexa with Smart Home Skill API, using Zigbee to connect locally, or connect directly using Amazon-managed hardware module and cloud service which provided with the Alexa Connect Kit.

Figure 2.3.2 : Amazon Alexa Echo

Google Home Assistant vs Amazon Alexa-Echo:
Both are always listening via their built-in microphones that can hear voice input from a moderate distance. The Echo wakes up with the command "Alexa" or user can change to their own command whereas Google Home will listen for either "Ok Google" or " Hey Google". Both product can work with other smart home devices such as Nest, Honeywell, SmartThings, Philips Hue, and others.


(b) Climate Control Automation -
(i) Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Link :
It can remove pollutants from air and be an air cooler or air heater. User can monitor through "Dyson Link App" and see the live air quality metrics. The system will react to the indoor air quality. Its "Dyson Link App" will connect to the "Dyson Cloud" to get the data of air quality.

Figure 2.3.3 : Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Link

(ii) Tado° Smart Thermostat :
The tado° Smart Thermostat uses user phones' location to control the heating process of the thermostat to ensure no energy is wasted. User can control the thermostat by schedules in the app too. This system has several integration possibilities, such as Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa Echo, Google Home and IFTTT. It compatible to these clouds.

Figure 2.3.4 : Tado° Smart Thermostat

(c) Home Security Automation-
(i) Door Access Control -
Ring Doorbell :
It can allow user to hear and speak to guests from smartphones, tablets or PC. This system will require the Internet connectivity to connect and send push notifications to user's device. By connecting to Ring's cloud, it ensures the doorbell can manage the data and can reach user's smartphone and tablet whether they are at home or away. It also can use Amazon Alexa to control it.

Figure 2.3.5 : Ring Doorbell

(ii) Fire Alarm Automation - HomematicIP Smoke Alarm :
It is a smoke and carbon dioxide detection and can inform user directly via apps. It is compatible to the clouds such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa. With this product, it will also have an access point modem to connect user to its system.

Figure 2.3.6 : HomematicIP Smoke Alarm

(d) Kitchen Appliances Automation-
Bosch Home Connect Refrigirator :
It can control temperature and let user knows the contents in refrigerator through "Home Connect" apps.
(ii) Bosch Home Connect Oven :
User can control settings of oven according to food recipe in the "Home Connect" database.

(iii) Bosch Home Connect Coffee Maker Machine :
User can choose favourite coffee or set an appointment to make coffee by using "Home Connect" apps.

(iv) Bosch Home Connect Cooker Hob and Cooker Hood :
User can check the condition of filter from "Home Connect" apps.

(v) Bosch Home Connect Dishwasher :
User can get the information of their plate washing process through "Home Connect" apps.


(e) Laundry Appliances Automation-
(i) Bosch Home Connect Washing Machine :
User can control the program of washing machine via "Home Connect" apps.

(ii) Bosch Home Connect Dryer :
User can control the dryer via "Home Connect" apps.


(f) MyFritz! -
MyFritz! - Fritz!Dect 301 :
With the MyFritz!App, it's also a cloud control which easier for the user to control their smart home devices such as Fritz!Dect 301. Fritz!Dect301 is a digital enhanced cordless telecommunication (DECT) device which has a smart radiator controller for the home network. It can automatically and accurately controls the room temperature and save the energy. However, it is also a local control when it need to be controlled by Browser.


Pros Cons
  • Remote Control:
    With the cloud-based control, users able to control devices outside their home.
  • Delay:
    Since the messages required to pass through the internet cloud before the devices receive it, it will take more time for the devices to receive and execute the command.
  • Updated with new features:
    The system will always be updated with new features. This system can have more features such as voice control, routines, IFTTT, and other features as it connected to the internet.
  • Can't work without internet:
    The data or messages will not received by devices if there are no internet connection.
  • Table 2.3.2 : The pros and cons of cloud-based control devices.

    2. Local Control
    Apart from cloud server control, there are also some devices which do not need cloud control to operate. It can connect the devices via IP address or Wi-Fi. The local control will always have faster response to the devices. Furthermore, user can also use Z-Wave or Zigbee to enable it to connect to their devices for total local access.

    (a) Lighting Control Automation-
    Philips Hue Wireless Dimming Kit :
    Philips Hue is a ZigBee-based lighting control. It can control the lights in house and save more energy. iConnectHue is an app for user which can work with every light source that connects to the Philips Hue bridge.

    Figure 2.3.7 : Philips Hue - Wireless Dimming Kit


    Pros Cons
  • Faster Response:
    The informations do not need to pass through cloud and then received by the devices. It will send the data and messages directly to user's devices.
  • Cannot control appliances remotely:
    It is a shorter distance communication compare to cloud-based control. User will not be able to control devices outside the range of the communication.
  • Reliability:
    This device can always operate eventhough there are no internet connection.
  • Less Function:
    Since most of the devices nowadays are connected to its cloud, these local control devices will have less function such as voice control, IFTTT and so on.
  • Table 2.3.3: The pros and cons of local control devices.


      With Support of Prof. J. Walter Winter Semester 2018/2019