Welcome!

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Java IoT, Mobile IoT, Microservices Expo, @CloudExpo, Cloud Security

Agile Computing: Article

Why Home Automation Needs a Real-Time Service Provider

Using a real-time service provider rather than a custom, in-house built real-time solution has numerous advantages

You may not realize it, but your house is getting smarter. Devices that were once entirely manually controlled, whether it's your thermostat, the locks on your doors, or your porch lights, are now entering an era of autonomy, and the list of devices in the home automation spectrum is continuing to grow. Now that the masses are armed with smartphones, why shouldn't you be able to control your home...when you're not home?

Home automation is getting more advanced, smarter, and more streamlined by the day. When you flip a light switch, you expect that light bulb to turn on instantly. For a home automation solution, you need that exact same functionality when controlling your home from a smartphone app; the same speed and reliability.

It's gone beyond just being able to schedule your lights to turn on at a certain time. Users now expect to be able to monitor their home's "health," make changes on the fly, and operate and command their home remotely at the exact moment they want to. As a result, real-time interaction through a real-time network is now a key component of home automation. Without being able to signal your home in real-time, whether you're on a phone or iPad, you're not getting that real-time connection and functionality you need.

So where exactly does real-time come into play?

Say you have an event that occurs, like hitting a certain threshold or being located within a specific proximity from your home. You need a system that is bidirectional, one that can constantly send updates through a dedicated channel relaying photonic/thermo sensor broadcasts, but also a signaling channel that can trigger events (a light bulb turning on, a thermostat adjusting temperature, or a garage door opening as you approach it). You need real-time signaling for that on both the send side and the receive side.

What Issues Will A Developer Run Into When Building a Home Automation Solution?
To allow users to control their home in real-time, you need to establish an open connection between Point A and Point B to allow that signaling. Today there are open source technologies like SignalR and Socket.io that use this web socket technology. However, with these technologies, it's tricky to scale and maintain a system with an always-on heartbeat. With home automation, a user needs to be able to immediately interact with their home when they want to, so an open connection is vital to the functionality of the home automation solution.

Using a real-time service provider rather than a custom, in-house built real-time solution has numerous advantages, including reliability, easy scalability, and security, the most important being reliabiltiy. When you flip that switch, or that threshold is triggered, that signal needs to go through, 100% of the time. This can only be achieved if it's backed by a redundant, distributed system. The best way to do that is through a globally distributed network with multiple physical buildings around Earth, with fallbacks in the event that one of these datacenters fails.

Let's just say, if you lock your door through a home automation app, you want that door to lock, every time.

When using a custom solution, you can't get this unless you invest a substantial amount of money and build a massive real-time infrastructure. That can be challenging to maintain on your own, especially in terms of cost and technology requirements.

How to Use PubNub to Power a Home Automation Solution
PubNub allows you to keep a reliable and redundant connection open between the user and their home automation solution. The PubNub Real-Time Network can easily power the real-time functionality of any home automation solution. By embedding PubNub into a microprocessor, the device has the power and capability to to communicate with your house. With an active, outbound connection through PubNub, 100% firewall closed (so you don't need to open ports, like Skype or VOIP), you can directly signal your house commands securely in real-time.

See how easy it is to Publish and Subscribe. Here is the copy-and-paste ready code.

To get started, it's the same function calls as all of PubNub's other SDKs, a simple two functions, publish and subscribe, send and receive. As always, our APIs are easy to use and implement. I recommend checking out our arduino SDK, https://github.com/pubnub/arduino.

More Stories By Stephen Blum

Stephen Blum is the founder and CTO of PubNub. His vision and strong technical chops drove the initial architecture of PubNub, building a core engine that has successfully scaled to the some of the largest real-time deployments in the world. Stephen has been a successful software entrepreneur his whole life, starting his first company, LTSun, at age 17, and joining Microsoft after its acquisition. Stephen was the chief architect for TrustedOpinion.com, a 50-language social recommendations site that grew to over 1 million users across over 100 countries.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Silicon India has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Published in Silicon Valley, Silicon India magazine is the premiere platform for CIOs to discuss their innovative enterprise solutions and allows IT vendors to learn about new solutions that can help grow their business.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "IoT Now" was named media sponsor of CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York, which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
In this presentation, you will learn first hand what works and what doesn't while architecting and deploying OpenStack. Some of the topics will include:- best practices for creating repeatable deployments of OpenStack- multi-site considerations- how to customize OpenStack to integrate with your existing systems and security best practices.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
You want to start your DevOps journey but where do you begin? Do you say DevOps loudly 5 times while looking in the mirror and it suddenly appears? Do you hire someone? Do you upskill your existing team? Here are some tips to help support your DevOps transformation. Conor Delanbanque has been involved with building & scaling teams in the DevOps space globally. He is the Head of DevOps Practice at MThree Consulting, a global technology consultancy. Conor founded the Future of DevOps Thought Leade...
Everyone wants the rainbow - reduced IT costs, scalability, continuity, flexibility, manageability, and innovation. But in order to get to that collaboration rainbow, you need the cloud! In this presentation, we'll cover three areas: First - the rainbow of benefits from cloud collaboration. There are many different reasons why more and more companies and institutions are moving to the cloud. Benefits include: cost savings (reducing on-prem infrastructure, reducing data center foot print, redu...
Jo Peterson is VP of Cloud Services for Clarify360, a boutique sourcing and benchmarking consultancy focused on transforming technology into business advantage. Clarify360 provides custom, end-to-end solutions from a portfolio of more than 170 suppliers globally. As an engineer, Jo sources net new technology footprints, and is an expert at optimizing and benchmarking existing environments focusing on Cloud Enablement and Optimization. She and her team work with clients on Cloud Discovery, Cloud ...
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
The technologies behind big data and cloud computing are converging quickly, offering businesses new capabilities for fast, easy, wide-ranging access to data. However, to capitalize on the cost-efficiencies and time-to-value opportunities of analytics in the cloud, big data and cloud technologies must be integrated and managed properly. Pythian's Director of Big Data and Data Science, Danil Zburivsky will explore: The main technology components and best practices being deployed to take advantage...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
Most DevOps journeys involve several phases of maturity. Research shows that the inflection point where organizations begin to see maximum value is when they implement tight integration deploying their code to their infrastructure. Success at this level is the last barrier to at-will deployment. Storage, for instance, is more capable than where we read and write data. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Atwell, a Developer Advocate for NetApp, will discuss the role and value...
"When you think about the data center today, there's constant evolution, The evolution of the data center and the needs of the consumer of technology change, and they change constantly," stated Matt Kalmenson, VP of Sales, Service and Cloud Providers at Veeam Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.