When home-based developers consider creating web-based smart-home hubs and connecting these to devices throughout the home, the first thought is often towards WIFI enabled devices, seeking out available APIs in which they can interact with. However, with wi-fi comes high energy usage – something home-based devices don’t always have easy access to. If you’re developing a web-based smart home hub and are looking for ways to incorporate more devices, keep reading. With a simple Bluetooth adapter added to your hub, you open up the usage of many more devices. If you are going to spend the cash to get a full automation setup within your home, it’s best to get it right the first time around.
Smart Locks and Doors
The lock on your front door has most likely been around since your house was built, and there really isn’t anything special about it. Your house, and the many houses before yours, have all had the standard bolt and key locks. And while the structure and concept of a door may not have changed dramatically over the years, the mechanism which keeps it secure certainly has. Smart locks, those which open via a smartphone or some form of a scanner are widely available for consumer purchase. And while these are almost always associated with smartphone connectivity, the foundation for Bluetooth control is present. If you are a Shark Tank fan like myself, then you most likely have already seen this invention. Imagine the many benefits of having a smart lock. Keyless entry on cars has become commonplace, it was only a matter of time before similar technology was adapted to other locks.
It’s no surprise that more and more home audio receivers and all-in-one systems are being developed with the incorporation of wi-fi, however for homeowners who currently own a high-end range of home audio equipment, their reluctance to upgrade often finds them looking for alternatives. Groupon Coupons has a page for J.C. Penney which sells Bluetooth adapters that can be connected to existing home-audio systems. With a simple and relatively cheap adapter, existing home audio systems become appealing additions to the list of devices a smart-home hub can control. Sometimes an upgrade to your existing hardware is all you need. Often times people hold off on automation equipment because they don’t realize how compatible their current technology already is. Home audio equipment is one of the more expensive consumer purchases out there, so make sure you do your homework before going out and dropping to much money on something new.
Smoke and Pollution Detection
With the introduction of Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) came devices such as connected smoke and pollution detectors. While these devices are largely designed to communicate with themselves to monitor the air quality around a home, their Bluetooth connectivity makes them viable additions to a smart-home hub. While they have no controllable parts, their importance lies in their active or inactive state. Incorporating this into the UI for a web-based smart-home control hub can raise the appeal of the UX and make your product more fully rounded. For those of you who work late hours, or travel a lot for work, this sort of feature can provide peace of mind. My wife and I have a small dog that stays at home all day, and a fire or carbon monoxide alarm does us no good if we are not home to hear it. With blue tooth connectivity we have the availability of monitoring via our cell phones. This way we can be sure that our house, and our dog, is safe at all times.
With this article we have presented three great ways in which Bluetooth technology can be integrated into an otherwise wi-fi only smart-home hub, allowing control and monitoring of even more devices. If you’re a budding developer creating your own smart-home control hub and are looking for devices you can connect to, instead of considering only those connectable via wi-fi, give Bluetooth a thought and you’ll likely see your options greatly expand. And remember, a smart home might be cool to have, but it’s also invaluable as a safety and risk mitigating feature that should provide great resale value when you decide to sell your home in the future.