Much of the work in the smart house technology has been done on individual technologies, but little has been done on their integration into a cohesive whole. The Bluetooth house project at Massey University in New Zealand, which was initiated in 2002, embraced a systems engineering approach to design a usable smart house, aiming at a complete and integrated solution, which can be customised, based on individual needs, to give elderly people independence, quality of life, and the safety they require. This paper presents how the Massey Bluetooth smart house design project has been carried out and what the smart home may look like in the near future. Considering current technical feasibility and the advances in other research, it is suggested that for a house to be considered as truly 'smart', four levels of smartness are imperative: Smart sensors, smart management, smart control, and smart appliances. The Bluetooth house at Massey University incorporates these four smart technologies and allows all these individual technologies to be integrated into a seamless whole. For smart sensing, the project employed Bluetooth technology to connect the whole house, and to locate the user's position. In order to coordinate all the technologies, a smart management system was developed, that is capable of coordinating the information for commands, feedback from smart appliances, and user's location information. It can make intelligent decisions on what to do, or relay necessary information to individual intelligent devices throughout the house. In addition, the medium of communication with the house must be as natural as possible, in order to make it as easy as possible for the occupants of the smart house to interact with and the various smart appliances. A voice-activated universal remote control and a new microphone system are being developed to this end. Finally, the smart house has to provide an enjoyable experience that can promote the uptake of smart house technology by users in the future. An interactive TV environment is being developed to this end. The Massey Bluetooth house project is not so much aimed at a cutting-edge technology in smart house design, but at integrating technologies into a seamless, cohesive whole through the application of four levels of smartness.
|Number of pages
|IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
|Published - 2005