Smart home: An effective technological solution for environmental problems?

In recent years, we have seen a radical change in information technology. This race for innovation was accompanied by a strong growth in our demand for natural resources such as raw materials, energy production and space. This is why the digital revolution and the ecological transition are two big issues that require a common vision.

The smart home is a solution combining the digital revolution and the ecological transition. The smart home or “connected home” is a sustainable home, energy efficient and integrated into its environment. Indeed, wired or operating by radio wave, it is a system that invests in our everyday universe using all the technologies of computing and communication, to reduce the energy consumption of our home while maintaining comfort. In other words, it is the fact that several devices are connected to each other via a central control. Nowadays, the devices are most often directly connected to the Internet, by the Wi-Fi. That’s why it’s now possible to control everything from the smartphone

This is probably the system that allows the greatest possible energy savings by optimizing the consumption related to air conditioning, heating or lighting. Thanks to automation and sensors, interconnected electrical equipment manages the energy consumption (heating, lighting, water, ventilation, etc.) as much as possible while keeping the comfort of the occupied areas under control.

For example, it is possible to configure the heating setting in each room at the desired time, configure the occupancy sensor to manage the correct room temperature, or turn off or turn on a remote heater. It is also possible to have a shutter schedule to bring in the heat of the sun in winter or avoid it in summer or manage the lighting of each room.

This system also ensures optimal home security. Indeed, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can prevent fires and accidents due to a malfunction of the heaters. Finally, presence detectors or cameras can detect intrusions into it.

However, this ecological transition is very expensive in the short term. Indeed the smart home is perceived as a luxury. The cost of this technology is calculated based on the size of the housing, the number of detectors and accessories, and the features requested. This usually requires a big investment. But it also requires a common global effort, which makes the transition complex to orchestrate: renewable energies, being, for the moment, less profitable than fossil and nuclear energies. Moreover, in the event of a power failure or malicious electronic intrusions, the entire home is likely to have harmful consequences. Finally, new technologies require non-renewable raw materials and produce tons of electronic waste.

I therefore strongly encourage individuals to adopt this system while taking into account, by buying electronic devices, risks and limits, such as digital pollution. Nevertheless, it is important to be aware of the energy impact of homes on the environment, by equipping them with interconnected and sustainable smart devices, to be able to respond as much as possible to environmental problems.

 

 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_automation

https://home.howstuffworks.com/smart-home.htm

http://internetofthingsagenda.techtarget.com/definition/smart-home-or-building

 

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Myriam Kijowski-Tran

2 thoughts on “Smart home: An effective technological solution for environmental problems?

  1. Alevtyna Chernykh says:

    Hey) Great Job))
    I agree, that today environmental problems are the top of the list. And, the ability to control the usage of the energy inside your home is the first step to reduce the consequences of the harmful overuse of electricity, gas, etc. I think, it is a good idea to adopt such smart home, which will not only help you to ease your life by opening windows, turning off the lights or turning on the TV from one device, but also it will allow you to make a little input towards solving enormous environmental issues.

  2. Viktor Paulsson says:

    As you mention, this is considered a very luxury feature. The people it addresses are probably rich persons in very well developed areas in the world. Hopefully, these people already take the environmentally issues into consideration. At first I thought that this model to some extent could have been implemented on a governmental level. When I later thought about what such investment might cost, I realized there’s most likely better ways to decrease the climate change. For instance, developed countries could invest in developing countries whom for now cannot afford to always take the environment into account. Nevertheless, I believe a solution like this definitely could be considered as common globally in the future. There’s no doubt about it’s efficiency, rather the trade-off of efficient investments currently.

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