Smart home project concepts or home automation were around since the year 1968. ECHO IV was the first computerized home automation system used for simple tasks such as: storing shopping and household finance list. ECHO, in other words, is the Electronic Computing Home Operator.
The only difference comparing ECHO to the microcontrollers that are seen in the 21st century is that it was not available for consumers due to costs and technical reasons, as well as the size. In 1975 the X10 standard was invented by Pico Electronics. The X10 standard allowed remote control access to household devices. The remote control worked using radio frequency transmitters and receivers sending messages “turn on” and “turn off”.
However, the X10 standard had several flaws. For example:
- Interference issues
- Limited commands available
- No encryption
- Signal transmission very slow
With the technology improvements over the years, the World Wide Web (WEB) was born in the 90s. This technology later allowed home automation to be connected to a network. The X10 standard had a lack of technology. Thus there was no way to see signal transfer to an end device and if the message has been sent successfully, whereas the WEB technology provided a new framework for connections between computers and electronic devices. In the year 2005, the Arduino was born along with smartphones and tablets.
In the same year, Google acquired the Android mobile operating system. Android is based on Linux operating system. For this reason, due to commercial manufacturer competition, many companies started to embed new technologies and software for its devices. Thus the concept of “smart-devices” and “smart-home” started to emerge around the world.