The IoT-based home automation system consists of servers and sensors. These servers are remote servers on the Internet that allow you to manage and process data without needing custom computers. Web-based servers can be configured to control and monitor multiple sensors installed in the desired location.
Let's try to understand the operation of the various smart devices that make up the home automation system.
Controller - the brain of your system
The main controller or hub is the essential part of your home automation system, whether you are connecting one or more sensors in your home. The main controller or hub is also called a gateway and is connected to your home router via the Ethernet cable. All IoT-based sensors send or receive commands through the central hub. The hub, in turn, receives input or communicates output to the cloud network on the Internet.
This type of architecture makes it possible to communicate with the centralized hub from remote locations via your smartphone. All you need is a reliable internet connection at the hub location and a data package on your smartphone that will help you connect to the cloud network. Most smart home controllers available on the market from different manufacturers are suitable for all three common wireless communication protocols for home automation: ZigBee, Z-Wave, and Wi-Fi.
Smart appliances: the senses of your home
IoT-based home automation consists of various smart devices for lighting, security, home entertainment, etc. All these devices are integrated through a common network established by a gateway and connected in a mesh network. This means it gives users the flexibility to control one sensor followed by the action of the other. For example, you can schedule the living room lighting to activate as soon as the door/window sensor on your front door starts after 7:00 p.m.
This allows all sensors within a shared network to perform crosstalk through the main control unit. As shown in the image, some smart sensors in home automation act as sensor hubs. These are the signal bouncers' repeaters located halfway between the hub installation location and the sensors in a distant location. For such long distances, these sensor hubs play an important role in allowing easy transmission of signals to sensors that are further away from the main controller but closer to the sensor hub. Sensor hubs commonly used in IoT-based home automation systems are Smart Plugs.
Wireless connectivity: how internal communication takes place
Most IoT-based home automation systems available today run on three commonly used wireless communication protocols: Wi-Fi, ZigBee, and Z-Wave
The ZigBee and Z-Wave controllers are assigned a network ID distributed among the other sensors on the network. Communication between devices occurs in a mesh topology, in which there is no fixed path for the signals transmitted from the controller to the sensors and vice versa. Depending on the availability of the shortest route, the controller signal reaches the target sensors directly or via signal hops. If an intermediate sensor in the path is busy or occupied, the signal will follow another way through the mesh network to reach the final destination. Note that sensors with different network IDs cannot communicate with each other on a common channel.
Wi-Fi: Connected to the cloud - access everything on the go
The cloud-based network system includes data storage and maintenance via internet location. This gives users the flexibility to access data from anywhere on the planet.
As a result, in IoT-based home automation systems, users can send commands to the hub via the cloud network, even from a distant or remote location. The hub also sends the signal to the targeted sensors to trigger and perform the action requested by the user. Once the action is taken, the hub will update the status of the action taken on the cloud network, and in this way, users will be able to control and monitor every aspect of their smart home. Events and notifications: get instant notifications
Real-time monitoring and notifications are one of the main features of IoT-based home automation systems. Since the hub is connected through the cloud network on the Internet, you can schedule various events according to your routine activities or daily schedules. The cloud network can receive and store all user inputs and forward them to the hub based on scheduled events.
As soon as the hub transmits the desired signals to the target sensor and the desired action takes place, it quickly uploads the new status via the cloud and immediately notifies the user. For example, the motion detector immediately notifies the user via email, SMS, call, or app notification when it detects unwanted movement or intrusion. After receiving such a notification, the user can quickly turn on the IP-based smart home security camera and check the status of their home, even from a remote location.