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What Is Smart Home Technology?

What if all the devices in your life could connect to the internet? Not just computers and smartphones, but everything: clocks, speakers, lights, door bells, cameras, windows, window blinds, hot water heaters, appliances, cooking utensils, you name it. And what if those devices could all communicate, send you information, and take your commands? It's not science fiction; it's the Internet of Things (IoT), and it's a key component of home automation and smart homes.

Smart Home Hubs and Controllers

Smart devices are electronic devices equipped with wireless protocols that allow them to be controlled and activated by voice command, or more commonly, through mobile app technology that can be accessed through a smartphone or tablet.

Smart Home Surveillance Cameras

Wouldn't it be great to know what's happening at home, anytime, from anywhere? It's easy to do with a smart video camera. Just take out your phone, open your app, and you have an instant view of activity inside or outside your home.

Smart Locks and Home Security Systems

While lock technology has always evolved, only recently did it become smart enough to ditch those keys altogether. Thanks to smart home security technology, we can now enjoy keyless convenience with better awareness and control of who enters our homes.

Smart Heating and Cooling

Smart temperature-control devices — such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures — are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

Smart Lighting

When we talk about a smart light bulb, we’re referring to an internet-capable LED light bulb that allows lighting to be customized, scheduled and controlled remotely using a smart phone, tablet, or smart home automation system via an app. The app enables you to change the brightness of the bulbs, and if the bulbs have colored LEDs you can change their colors, too.

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You can now get SpaceX Starlink internet with speeds up to 1.5 Gbps for $99

SpaceX Starlink internetElon Musk’s company, SpaceX, is now accepting preorders from potential customers for its new satellite internet service: Starlink. It’s the latest satellite internet service that you’ll wonder how you lived without. This will boast speeds of up to 1.5 Gbps..

SpaceX Starlink internetElon Musk’s company, SpaceX, is now accepting preorders from potential customers for its new satellite internet service: Starlink. It’s the latest satellite internet service that you’ll wonder how you lived without. This will boast speeds of up to 1.5 Gbps..SpaceX Starlink internet

Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, is now accepting preorders from potential customers for its new satellite internet service: Starlink. It’s the latest satellite internet service that you’ll wonder how you lived without. This will boast speeds of up to 1.5 Gbps and costs $99 a month. But hurry, because orders are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

SpaceX Starlink internet’s target audience

SpaceX Starlink internet is ideal for rural and remote communities. In particular, it’ll target areas around the globe that typically have a challenge with connectivity. In fact, Starlink can deliver a high-speed broadband connection to locations where it would otherwise glitch or be unavailable. And where you live can determine if you’re accepted, with SpaceX prioritizing those with reduced connections currently. For example, if you live in Orlando, the estimated setup time is mid to late 2021.

Starlink’s unique design

Starlink employees have worked closely with astronomers to preserve the night sky. What does this mean? Starlink will move with the satellite knife-edge to the Sun. The benefit of this is minimizing Starlink’s impact on astronomy. SpaceX will accomplish this by adding a deployable visor to the satellite that blocks sunlight from hitting the brightest parts of the spacecraft.

According to SpaceX’s website, Starlink will have a low altitude compared to other communication satellites. This helps to minimize the latency of the signal between the satellite and the users. The satellite will also feature a high reflectance to remain cool in space. So when sunlight hits the surface of the spacecraft, the light reflects in a mirror reflection direction toward space.

spacex starlink

Starlink taken from SpaceX’s website

High-speed, low-latency internet

Perhaps the standout feature of Starlink is its low latency. In fact, Starlink satellites are over 60 times closer to Earth than traditional satellites, which produces this lower latency. In fact, Elon Musk will create a constellation of up to 40,000 satellites to beam high-speed internet service down to Earth.

SpaceX Starlink might even be able to support services that a traditional satellite can’t. In particular, Starlink promises a latency between 20–40 ms in most locations over the next several months. But the company also states that there might be brief periods of no connectivity at all. Most impressively, the beta testing presenting data speeds of 50–150 Mb/s.

With download speeds of 100 Mb/s often considered as fast internet, Starlink will be able to handle multiple online activities for various users at one time. And with speeds of up to 150 Mb/s, you’re likely to experience reduced interruptions in service.

In August 2020, Ookla conducted speed tests that shows a range of 11–60 Mb/s for download speeds, while the upload speeds ranged between 5–18 Mb/s. The latency tests showed 31–94 ms.

Do you need an internet speed of this capacity?

In 2019, only 10% of Americans don’t use the internet, which leaves the majority of people stuck behind their screens than not. In which case, you’ll want a fast internet speed. And with Starlink’s fast 150 Mb/s speed, you can conveniently stream HD videos on up to six devices at the same time. Or download a full music album in five seconds. With the capacity to do this, you’ll never have to preoccupy yourself with another task during downloads again.

Prices

The router and terminal cost is $499, plus a $99 monthly subscription cost. At the moment, there’s no information released about pricing for the UK and additional areas.

Easy to set up

Fortunately, Starlink is easy to set up, and you’ll receive a Wi-Fi router, power supply, cables, and mounting tripod. Starlink also requires a clear view of the sky to connect, and there’s an app to determine the best installation location for assistance.

History and future of Starlink

SpaceX launches the first batch of Starlink satellites on May 23, 2019, and the constellation exceeds 1,000 devices up to now. However, SpaceX plans to launch an additional 2,200 satellites within the next five years to offer a worldwide broadband service to cover all areas of the world—a feature we’ve yet to see from other internet providers.

Moreover, SpaceX recently shared that there are plans to offer an emergency backup for voice calls, affordable plans for low-income households, and a phone service. In particular, the voice service will be sold “on a standalone basis at rates that are reasonably comparable to urban rates”, SpaceX said. The company would also offer a 24-hour battery backup in the event of a power outage. Therefore, you can continue using your phone to make calls.

spacex starlink

SpaceX building

How does Starlink work?

SpaceX can talk about how great their new internet service is, but the proof is in how Starlink works. Starlink transmits data through lasers, which allows it move at lightspeed. In fact, there are claims that it’ll move at the fastest speed in the known universe. No wonder it can produce fast internet speeds.

The satellite operates along with a further four satellites. Elon Musk stated that the V.09 Starlinks won’t require any ground stations over the poles, due to the laser activity that transmits signals.

In summary, it’s expected that Starlink will be completed in mid to late 2021, and orders won’t be fulfilled until 2022. Since the public beta testing several months ago, Starlink has over 10,000 users in the U.S. and abroad. If you’re interested in this upcoming internet service, you’ll need to place a $99 deposit and enter your email address on the website. Although, Starlink’s website states that “placing a deposit does not guarantee service”.

At the moment, SpaceX is pending approval for February 13 and 16 launches. Once approved by the 45th Space Wing, a SpaceX Falcon 9 will be launched off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Base to carry Statlink satellites into Earth’s orbit. Furthermore, another Flacon 9 could lift off on Tuesday morning from Kennedy Space Center Launchpad 39A. This will continue with around 60 satellites.

The launch from KSC was delayed several times last week. The company said in a tweet that it needed “additional inspections before flying one of our fleet-leading boosters.”

What are your thoughts on Elon Musk’s latest product? Will you be placing a preorder? Let us know your thoughts and feedback in the comments.


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Home automation

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. ...
A home automation system typically connects controlled devices to a central hub or gateway. ...
The user interface for control of the system uses either wall-mounted terminals, tablet or desktop computers, a mobile phone application, or a Web interface, that may also be accessible off-site through the Internet. ...