Remote Home Monitoring

What is Remote Home Monitoring?

Remote home monitoring is the automation of housework, home or household activity. The monitoring includes centralized control of lighting, home appliances, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), security locks of doors and gates and other similar systems, to provide comfort, improved convenience, security and energy efficiency. The popularity of remote monitoring has been increasing rapidly in recent years due to much simpler and affordable tablet and smartphone and their ability to connect to the internet. This article gives an overview of a remote home monitoring system, their components, benefits and uses as well.

Benefits of remote home monitoring:

Remote home monitoring refers to using the power of the internet and computers such as laptops, smart phones, or tablets to control home appliances and features. The system can range from something simple such as control the lighting in a home to a more complex micro-controller based network that monitors and controls major appliances in the home.

In the past, advances in technology were quickly integrated into the home. Take for instance water heaters which allowed hot water to fill a tub without having to heat it on a stove. Similarly automatic washing machine were discovered to minimize the manual labor of cleaning clothes. The use of electricity resulted in automation in heating and development of thermostats allowed even more automated control of heating and cooling.

In a similar vein, we are seeing the effects of having a world linked together by the internet. The ability to connect from anywhere to anywhere is opening all sorts of possibilities.

Remote monitoring system and components:

A remote home monitoring system may include the following devices and/or components:

  1. Sensors: A wide range of sensors are used to measure or detect things like humidity, motion, temperature or motion.
  2. Actuators: Actuators such as light switches or motors are used to turn on or turn off something. Motorized solenoids can be used to unlock or lock a door while a motorized window blind can reduce the heat loss through windows.
  3. Controllers: Typical controllers include personal computers, dedicated home automation controllers, or smart phones and tablets.
  4. Network: The network is important to communicate between your home appliances and remote monitoring devices or the controllers.

Home appliances that can be monitored: Here is a partial list of home appliances, security devices and items that can be monitored remotely. Some devices include:

  1. HVAC: Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are used to control humidity and temperature through heating and cooling of the air in a home.
  2. Lighting: A remote lightning control system can be used to switch lights on or off based on a time cycle. Alternatively, lights can be programmed to automatically go off when a room is unoccupied (using a sensor to determine when a room is unoccupied). Home lighting can be controlled remotely over the internet or by a wireless control.
  3. Shading: The remote control of curtains and blinds can be used for privacy, glare control, security, temperature control, or brightness control.
  4. Audio-visual: The audio-visual category includes audio and video distribution and switching. Multiple rooms can also be linked in this scenario.
  5. Security: Remote monitoring is also utilized in remote surveillance of security cameras which can be monitored or controlled through the internet. Safety features such as locking of all primary windows and doors is another area experiencing a lot of interest and sales growth. Security systems can include motion sensors which will detect unauthorized movement and notify the owner or a monitoring service. The owner is typically notified through a cell phone via a phone call or text messages.