Almost every time we leave our abode, we can’t but wonder whether we turned off the lights or iron, whether we locked the door or set up the security. Unfortunately, these routine things can slip off one’s mind. When it comes to electric domestic appliances, forgetting to power off or disable something in time is both dangerous and costly. And that’s exactly the reason why smart homes grow in popularity so rapidly.
The concept has been settling on the global technological arena for quite some time. People gained an ability to manage their living space via computer systems back in the 90s, controlling heating, air conditioning, and ventilation, as well as surveillance and automated security remotely.
Today, the progress in this niche is at its peak and a single smartphone may be enough to conveniently keep your home in order at all times. A handy smart home mobile app will help you with that.
What is a Smart Home?
The term smart home implies a whole system dedicated to managing domestic, everyday living processes. Many sci-fi movies coined similar systems as dedicated robots and virtual assistants that help a resident handle chores and use domestic devices - switch TV channels, open and close doors, fill up the bath, etc. In reality, the complex of smart home technologies really helps to make your domestic affairs more practical and resource-efficient.
Top smart home platform developers of the now can make wonders. For instance, your heating system can be managed via your phone with the help of an intelligent thermostat. Windows can be controlled via a special sensor. Your TV, microwave, and everything that needs to be plugged in to work can be turned on and off remotely via smart sockets. Lighting, temperature, locks - all that and more can be fully controlled through a single mobile device.
Smart home applications may connect either through Bluetooth or home Wi-Fi if we are talking about simple software and devices. If it is an integral network of devices that covers more than one flat, centralized smart home management units are employed.
The main technology powering modern smart home systems is called the Internet of Things (IoT). It describes a network of interconnected devices that work in real time online and, apart from implementing their direct functions, may collect data, analyze certain information, and automate all that can be automated.
The Internet of Things Phenomenon
In modern times, smartphones are essential. Everybody uses them to shop online, communicate with one another, and even acquire certain education. It is only logical that people would want to eventually control their automated homes with these omnipresent devices.
That’s why investors from all over the world are focusing a lot on the progress of the IoT and smart home app development. According to the statistics, about 20 billion IoT devices are to perform in homes globally in 2020. In 2017, the general cost of the IoT market has grown up to $1.1 trillion and reached $1.71 trillion by 2019. This explicitly indicates a high demand in this field.
As such, the market of mobile applications for smart homes also grows and expands. The variety and quality of such solutions don’t stop expanding and enhancing. There was a huge spike in IoT-focused investments in 2019, including venture investments as well.
Why it’s Time to Invest in Smart Home services?
Future development of smart homes is a thing that many investors put hopes in. That is, first of all, because this business field, despite being more than two decades old, is still fresh in its technological nature yet it is utterly relevant. Ecologists, government representatives, economists, and even social activists - everybody is all for saving resources.
Frankly speaking, we really do need to use less water, consume less electricity and waste fewer treasures of the soil. To become more resource-efficient, we need corresponding technologies to help us optimize any expenses. In such a way, automated systems for managing electricity, heat, and water consumption become all the more relevant, profitable, and demanded. Smart home mobile app design evolves along with that.
Thus, google - a smart home developer that we all know and love for certain other projects, has integrated Google Assistant embedded in the special speakers with smart home management capabilities so that you could control your house with voice. In 2018, Amazon sold a record-breaking number of Alexa devices that have similar capacities. Both have since occupied their respective market niches.
Surely, the investors are still concerned with some of the underlying risks of putting resources in such developments. Financial risks due to possible poor sales are a curse of any market related to modern technologies. The global state of things, however, remains the same - smart home software is an already fruitful and promising in the future business niche. Just take a look at the list of IoT related stocks being traded on public markets.
The important aspect of this statistics isn’t the number of devices that are to be launched within a year or financial resources companies tend to invest in the field. The most interesting fact here is the overall pace of development in the niche of smart home apps. And we will still see the major part of it all in the nearest future.
How to Develop a Smart Home App?
Considering the restless flow of information we get nowadays, it may be difficult to define some of the best smart home apps on the market right now to see a prominent example. In order to launch your own solution of such kind, you should compose a list of requirements, settle with the ultimate goal of your efforts, and decide on the scale of your development.
In this matter, software development principles differ from those employed in the development of a regular smartphone app. All in all, there are 8 major steps you should take to achieve prominent results with your smart home software.
1. Learning how smart home automation works
The first-ever automated intelligent home was introduced by Emin Mathias in the 1950s in Jackson, state of Michigan, USA. The house was called Push Button Manor, as everything inside could be controlled via remote control. Mathias never got the chance to sell his invention in that era.
Another significant attempt to automate a dwelling was made by Microsoft in 1990. The system provided a home QR-code scanner as well as a TV with a built-in programme, which was far from advanced technologies. Nevertheless, knowledge of these early efforts may help you understand the whole gist of such systems and find out what consumers may actually need nowadays.
2. How’s the market? Your idea validation
The market of smart home app design continues to grow rapidly and dramatically. The availability and demand for related technologies give a good push for business entrepreneurs to establish whole companies and launch new startups in the field. You just need to adapt to its current state and find a way to efficiently introduce your solutions in it, settling with the region and other market specifics.
3. Choose the type of app
The compatibility with a mobile OS isn’t essential here. Smart home software can be subdivided into two major types - single-purpose and multipurpose.
A single-purpose app is a piece of software intended to manage an individual smart home automation device. For instance, it can be a heating management app that helps regulate the house temperature remotely or a surveillance app connected to your security cameras.
A multipurpose app is connected to several devices at once or is integrated with a whole network of sensors, appliances, etc. You can go by the “all-in-one” route and offer an all-around management solution or a complex smart home security app that would help to check and control all the security measures in your house.
4. Decide the core features
The primary features of your software should be unique smart home capabilities. Some of the major capacities in this matter include:
- Simple & secure user registration;
- Personal user profile & cabinet;
- Access configurations;
- Adaptation capabilities;
- Dedicated menus for separate devices;
- Convenient room switching;
- Customizable notifications;
- Schedules, routine scenarios, & action groups.
5. Understand the security implementation
Security and user data protection should be paid a good chunk of attention to. Such apps process quite a lot of data, which, sometimes, makes developers shift focus to other aspects and leave security flaws. That should be avoided - all in all, we are talking about the software that is to be directly connected to one’s living space.
6. Choose the right data storage type
Any smart home accumulates loads of various data. In order to reliably store it, you can employ either cloud storage or local storage. Each option has its pros and cons. Thus, cloud-based storages are available 24/7 via any device connected to the web and can be expanded exponentially. A local server is, however, more secure, being a proprietary device, but isn’t as accessible as the cloud.
7. The smart home components to know about
In the foundation of any automated smart home system, lie several basic components that are interconnected via a home-based IoT network:
- Central node - the main device, a control panel that interconnects all hardware components on the software level & visualizes management capabilities;
- Sensors - special devices that process data in external conditions, analyzing, e.g., temperature, humidity, motion, etc.
- Actuators - motion drives that set physical things in motion (lift things up & down, close the shutters, etc.).
8. Energy consumption monitoring
Electricity tariffs tend to grow by 2% on average each year. Everyone wants to save and you should give people an opportunity to do so if you’re implementing a smart home app. So make sure your software is compatible with the energy and other resource measuring sensors.
We hope that we let you see clearly what huge potential software development for smart homes can boast. Numerous companies out there have already presented advanced software products for solving daily domestic issues. But developers in the niche don’t seem to cease surprising us. New startups change the approach to securing and managing one’s home. The field grows at a rapid pace and, perhaps, soon, a smart home will become a regular type of home.