Smart home squared
Issue 01-2015: read all articles online read as pdf
LIXIL Corporation, the global leader in housing and building materials, products and services, has realized a research project named “U2-Home”, which allows visitors to experience a real life smart home.
The project aims to develop the ideal connected home that meets the needs of different generations. Energy harvesting wireless sensors and switches are the system’s core elements providing the data required for security, safety, energy savings as well as comfort and connectivity functions.
Help in any case
Self-powered sensors, distributed in and outside the house, monitor the presence of people and alert the tenants via smart phone if a door or window was left open. If an unauthorized person tries to access the house, the shutters close automatically while the system triggers an audiovisual alarm.
Elderly people can activate a panic button in the toilet room when they need help. In addition, the system recognizes if there was too less movements in the house, or somebody sits on the toilet for a remarkable long time. In the case that the tenant doesn’t respond to the system request, the house robot will send an alarm notification to call for help.
For comfort and energy-saving purposes, the heating and air conditioning system is automatically adapted to the actual weather as well as to the temperature and air quality in the house. In addition, a smart ventilation system calculates wind direction and weather data in real time to intelligently control the opening of the windows for optimized room temperature and ventilation conditions without using the air conditioning unit. A self-powered current clamp monitors the energy consumption of devices to show additional saving potential.
LIXIL’s smart home research project consists of several demo houses. The houses are connected to each other via gateways and can therefore exchange data in real time. This allows the tenants of one house to monitor, for example, whether their parents in the other house are doing well or need help.