Smart home technology which may also be termed Home automation is the use of devices in the home that connect via a network, most commonly a local LAN or the internet. It uses devices such as sensors and other appliances connected to the Internet of things (IoT) that can be remotely monitored, controlled or accessed and provide services that respond to the perceived needs of the users. It stands for Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology. The technology was originally developed by IBM and was referred to as Predictive failure analysis. The first contemporary Smart home technology products became available to consumers between 1998 and the early 2000s. Smart home technology allows users to control and monitor their connected home devices from smart home apps, smartphones, or other networked devices. Users can remotely control connected home systems whether they are home or away. This allows for more efficient energy and electric use as well as ensuring your home is secure. Smart home technology contributes to health and well-being enhancement by accommodating people with special needs, especially older people. Smart home technology is now being used to create Smart cities. A Smart city functions similar to a Smart home, where systems are monitored to more efficiently run the cities and save money.
Home automation or domotics is building automation for a home, called a smart home or smart house. A home automation system will control lighting, climate, entertainment systems, and appliances. It may also include home security such as access control and alarm systems. When connected with the Internet, home devices are an important constituent of the Internet of Things ("IoT").
Google Nest, previously named Google Home, is a line of smart speakers developed by Google under the Google Nest brand. The devices enable users to speak voice commands to interact with services through Google Assistant, the company's virtual assistant. Both in-house and third-party services are integrated, allowing users to listen to music, control playback of videos or photos, or receive news updates entirely by voice. Google Nest devices also have integrated support for home automation, letting users control smart home appliances with their voice command. The first device, Google Home, was released in the United States in November 2016; subsequent product releases occurred globally from 2017–2019.
A smart speaker is a type of speaker and voice command device with an integrated virtual assistant that offers interactive actions and hands-free activation with the help of one "hot word". Some smart speakers can also act as a smart device that utilizes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other protocol standards to extend usage beyond audio playback, such as to control home automation devices. This can include, but is not limited to, features such as compatibility across a number of services and platforms, peer-to-peer connection through mesh networking, virtual assistants, and others. Each can have its own designated interface and features in-house, usually launched or controlled via application or home automation software. Some smart speakers also include a screen to show the user a visual response.
Amazon Alexa, also known simply as Alexa, is a virtual assistant AI technology developed by Amazon, first used in the Amazon Echo smart speakers developed by Amazon Lab126. It is capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather, traffic, sports, and other real-time information, such as news. Alexa can also control several smart devices using itself as a home automation system. Users are able to extend the Alexa capabilities by installing "skills".