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Smart home in a smart city. Where did the evolution begin and where does it lead?

When I’m not at home, what are my kids doing? Is the gas and iron turned off? How’s the coffee maker doing? Is the alarm activated? When we leave our dwelling, we turn to the ten questions that can be attributed to our forgetfulness. They can chase us for dozens of hours until we get home from work. And only technology around the blurry concept of “smart home” can turn into a non-closing eye of the cyclope, guarding peace and order. in partnership with Huawei understands the concepts of smart home and city.

With dreams to grow wiser

Do you remember the story of Ray Bradbury “451 degrees Fahrenheit”? It was published in 1953 and, as far as possible, accurately fell into the modern tendency of “shaping” human dwellings. There were wall-screens with endless serials and the possibility of remote communication with their house. Three years earlier, in a short story “Will be the tender rain” of the same writer, the smart house is the main character. He prepares breakfast, spends cleaning, tidies up the bed, washes dishes, recites poetry. And all this in an automatic mode, when the owners for a long time already within the walls of the house there.

Bradbury knew where to look and what to fantasize about. After more than 60 years all the prerequisites have already been created, all the necessary books have been written, all the devices are in the ready stage: it’s time for houses and cities to get smart. While attempts to do this were not only on paper.

Back in 1975, Pico Electronics from Scotland developed the X10 standard for the management of domestic electrical appliances. And then – and products that were able to communicate with each other minimally with the help of impulses on electric wires crossing the houses along and across. If you needed to turn off the light in the next room, it was enough to send a message to the transmitter with a digital code that included the task for the system and the address of the unit that the team had to execute.

Naturally, the disadvantages of such a system – the car and a small cart. The protocol is very slow, only one command can be transmitted to the network at a particular moment in time, and some devices can “eat” banal commands passing by.

From 1957 to 1967 in Disneyland there was even a separate attraction, which was called “The House of the Future”. His design and development involved specialists from Monsanto, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Walt Disney Imagineering. Inside, there were blinds that opened and closed automatically, a height-adjustable kitchen sink, sliding buttons on the door in the cupboards and other advanced technologies of the time. For a decade, this house was visited by about 20 million people.

And even earlier, in the 1950s, the idea of ​​making the house more comfortable for living caught fire Emile Matias. On his Push-Button Manor (“House with buttons”), he spent 2 km of wires. All in order to have the opportunity to remotely control the lighting, garage gates, household appliances. Naturally, all these 2 km were well hidden, so as not to spoil the appearance of the living rooms.

There were attempts to realize a smart home in the USSR. In the 1980s, the SPHINX project was developed (the “Superfunctional integrated communicative system”) – a “central processor” with a set of blocks (columns and screens), among which he distributed various types of information (music, films, games) in the apartment of a Soviet citizen of the distant future. Naturally, this project remained only on pages of youth magazines of that time.

Four whales of a smart house

Fortunately, instead of using power lines, most systems today use radio waves for communication. Air conditioners, thermostats, light and garage door – all this can be connected to the Internet and monitored using a mobile device. In today’s world, a smart home system is often understood as a set of interconnected sensors that operate under certain conditions. But this is in the opinion of the layman, but what the specialist Huawei in Belarus and the technical director of the project “Smart House” Vadim Sosnovsky thinks:

– The Smart Home system is a set of interconnected sensors or detectors and is a large-scale concept that is based on four elements: efficient consumption of resources (meters, smart socket), security organization (video surveillance, alarm, alarm button), security water leaks and other disruptions in the operation of engineering systems) and devices that improve comfort in everyday life (robots, vacuum cleaners, voice assistants, smart bulbs).

The meters of water, heating, electricity, as well as mechanisms for diagnosing technical problems at home – these are the first whales that allow you to assess the energy efficiency of a home and find its weaknesses. Especially when all this is presented in a convenient form with the ability to track information for a long period of time.

– If you live in a smart house, then monitor it round the clock there is no need. He will warn you if there are any unexpected events. For example, after leaving home, you forgot to turn off the gas. And if you have a gas sensor and a gas valve installed, then you will be able to remotely make a notification. Or the smart house system will automatically shut off the gas supply.

– The second set of elements of the “Smart House” system concerns the safety of personal property. Previously, as a guarantee, neighbors who could look after the apartment during your absence often acted. Today they can sleep peacefully, since the security function takes over, for example, an intelligent lock on the front door. Together with the “Smart Home” system, he will prevent the invasion, promptly identifying the actions of the attacker and informing the law enforcement authorities and the owner of the apartment.

Security can also be met by sensors for opening doors and windows, motion detection sensors and others. From false alarms, the presetting and calibration of sensors is protected, and this process is individual for each user.

Such systems really need tuning. Just a few months ago on Reddit became a popular story about how a smart doorbell, which serves as a kind of concierge, turned the owner’s life into a miniature nightmare. Being at work the owner of the house had not only to be constantly distracted by notifications about suspicious activity, which in most cases turned into passers-by or a cat, but also to receive a newsletter about all the crimes in the area. This is an additional option for sending orientation.

– The last set of elements is just what is understood under the smart house now, namely: triggering sensors (for example, opening doors, detecting movement, gas and smoke leaks, water leaks, and an “alarm button” and a scenario switch) , action sensors (sockets that can turn on independently, a camera that can record a video or take a screenshot at a certain time, etc. – that is, perform some action) and all home devices with the possibility of remote control. In Belarus, this service is provided by our partner – RUE Beltelecom.

In the future, there will be only one smart home system in the houses, which will consist of subsystems for security, entertainment, automation, and climate of premises. Everything in order to make life much safer, much smarter and more comfortable by automating routine tasks. The creation process will take some time. Today in Belarus it is possible to equip your house with meters for remote monitoring of the use of energy resources (gas, water, electricity, heat). In the future it will be possible to integrate with the manufacturers of household devices.

Meanwhile, Belarus is in the role of catch-up. For example, 39 million Americans today have in their homes smart speakers, voice assistants. And, judging by the trends, this number will only grow. Very soon it will be difficult to find a household in the US, which does without such a device. They will become cheaper, shifting duties on earning a margin from the “iron” to services tied to this “iron”.

The columns themselves become the main communication bridge between the owner and his rapidly clever house with all the lamps, thermostats and cameras in the ovens, which in turn can receive recipes from smart refrigerators, who know what is in them and what will soon deteriorate.

City-fairy tale

Naturally, separately taken houses and apartments are not at all restricted. After the individual cells, the city itself, in which the person lives, must also grow smart. But this task is extremely labor-intensive and complex in terms of building the architecture of a smart city, which is sometimes compared with the branched nervous system of man.

“We are developing a single IoT platform, a communications platform, a cloud data center and an intelligent command center to create a city infrastructure that will be built on the principle of the functioning of the nervous system, where the brain is the city’s operation center and the cloud data center , which supports it, and the “periphery” – the city’s communications and the city’s communications network. All this is possible thanks to “cloud” computing, “Internet of things” (IoT) and artificial intelligence.

And while scientists and experts are arguing about what can be called a smart city, researchers suggest that by 2020 there will be no less than 600 on the planet. True, while all of them are more like ordinary cities with borrowed separate elements of Smart City. The same benches with free Wi-Fi, card payment systems in public transport or applications that allow you to track the movement of public transport.

Where the boldest in this regard was the Chinese city of Yinchuan. Its residents do not need bank cards or travel documents. They are replaced by a citizen’s face. Throughout the city transport, a face recognition system is installed that identifies passengers and simply charges money for the trip from their accounts. And the controllers, who imperceptibly watch for a stop, are not needed there.

And junk containers in Yinchuan use their volume to the maximum with the help of installed presses. When the tanks do not cope with the garbage flow, they simply send a signal to the utility services about the need for cleaning. Internet of things in action. Eats it all, by the way, from solar panels.

With doctors, residents of Yinchuan can communicate directly via the Internet. And everything is not limited to listening to complaints. Doctors may prescribe a prescription or prescription for a medicine without direct contact with the patient. The queues in the local polyclinics became shorter. In this case, the doctor in such cases relies not only on himself. Based on the diagnoses of patients, the intellectual health system conducts an audit of the system operations of medical personnel in real time. The entire process of patient treatment becomes more secure and reliable.

– Smart medicine is an independent examination that helps reduce the number of cases of misdiagnosis and the appointment of erroneous treatment. The bottom line is that a single medical data-cloud platform is created, which contains medical information with a large amount of data, takes into account the requirements of clinical applications and uses artificial intelligence technologies and “cloud” infrastructure.

In addition, medical sensors can easily be integrated into the urban environment. Yes, they will not diagnose, but they can call an ambulance when they fix that a person, for example, has fainted.

Privacy issues

As early as a decade ago, the smart house was considered only as a concept, a realistic embodiment of which remained on the conscience of dreamers and engineers looking into the future. And now we are on the verge of not only a smart home, but also an intelligent city that uses innovative technologies to serve citizens.

– In this regard, public security becomes a prerequisite for the creation of an intelligent city infrastructure. Only feeling safe, people can choose a place for living and live in it,  – said the specialist Huawei.

But the more intelligent technologies are integrated into cities and homes, the more questions will arise about the privacy and security of personal data. Especially against the backdrop of a cascade of scandals with Facebook, which will continue to bounce for a long time both to the social network itself and other market participants working with user data.

“Indeed, the issue of the preservation of personal data is a priority, and projects in this area are part of the global concept of sustainable development of society,” says Vadim Sosnovsky. – The collection and processing of data serve as a starting point for the projects of an intelligent city. The need to guarantee the protection of information for security is controlled at the level of the country’s leadership.

Another important factor, the implementation of which will speed up the projects of a smart home and a smart city, is the development of a highly efficient and broadband communications network. LTE + OTT as a national strategic project promoting national economic development and laying the foundation for the future of intellectual society has become a priority strategic task of the Government of Belarus in informatization and digitalization of the country. It is a priority for Huawei.

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