Navigating the world of smart homes can be a complex journey, especially when you’re bombarded with technical jargon. This expanded glossary aims to demystify these terms, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of smart home technology. From “Alexa” to “Z-Wave,” we’ve got you covered.
What is a Smart Home?
A smart home is a residence equipped with internet-connected devices that allow for the remote monitoring and control of various systems and appliances, such as lighting, heating, and security.
2.4 GHz is a radio frequency band commonly used for wireless communications in smart home devices. It offers a good range but may suffer from congestion due to its widespread use.
2-Way Lighting refers to a lighting setup where a single light fixture can be controlled by two different switches. This is common in hallways and staircases.
2-Wire Lighting System
A 2-Wire Lighting System uses two wires to connect a light fixture to a switch, typically one live wire and one neutral wire.
Alexa is Amazon’s voice-controlled virtual assistant, integrated into smart home systems for tasks like controlling lights, thermostats, and more.
An Alexa Routine is a series of automated actions that can be triggered by a single voice command or event.
An Alexa Skill is a third-party app that adds extra features to your Alexa-enabled devices.
Android is an open-source mobile operating system developed by Google. It’s used by a variety of mobile devices and offers extensive customization options. Android also has its own ecosystem of apps, available through the Google Play Store.
Application Programming Interface (API)
API is a set of rules that allows different software applications to communicate. In smart homes, APIs enable devices from different manufacturers to work together.
Automations refer to predefined rules that trigger specific actions in smart home devices based on certain conditions, like time of day or sensor readings.
Bixby is Samsung’s voice-controlled virtual assistant, designed to assist users in completing tasks, telling them what they’re looking at, creating reminders, and much more. It’s integrated into various Samsung devices, including smartphones and smart TVs.
Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for short-range data exchange between devices. It’s commonly used in smart home devices like speakers and light bulbs.
A bridge is a device that connects two different networks, allowing them to communicate with each other. In smart homes, a bridge often connects smart devices to a Wi-Fi network.
A communication protocol is a system of rules that allow two or more entities to transmit information. In smart homes, common protocols include Wi-Fi, Zigbee, and Z-Wave.
A connectivity session refers to the active period during which a smart home device is connected to a network for communication.
A connected home is a residence where various systems and appliances are interconnected, often through the internet, for easier control and automation.
A connected device is any electronic device capable of connecting to the internet or another device, including smart home gadgets like thermostats and cameras.
Control4 is a provider of automation and networking systems for homes and businesses, offering a personalized and unified smart home experience.
Cortana is Microsoft’s voice-controlled virtual assistant, initially launched for Windows Phone and later integrated into Windows 10 and other Microsoft products. While its consumer functions have been scaled back, it’s still used in enterprise solutions.
In the context of smart homes, a driver is a software component that enables communication between the operating system and a hardware device.
A Dual-Mesh Network is a type of mesh network that supports both wireless and wired connections, providing greater flexibility and reliability.
Dynamic pricing refers to the fluctuation of energy costs based on demand, often displayed in energy consumption graphs in smart home management platforms.
Éco Sinopé is a brand specializing in smart home energy management solutions, often integrated into platforms like Neviweb.
Energy Consumption Graphs
These are visual representations of energy usage over time, often accessible via a smart home’s management platform.
Ethernet is a technology that connects computers in a local area network (LAN) using physical cables. It’s often used for more stable and faster connections compared to Wi-Fi.
In smart home terminology, an event is a specific occurrence that triggers an automation or routine, such as a door sensor being activated.
A gateway is a hardware device that acts as a “gate” between two networks, often connecting smart home devices to the internet.
Geofencing uses GPS or RFID to define geographical boundaries, triggering actions like turning off lights when you leave a certain area.
Geolocation refers to the identification of a device’s physical location, often used in smart home automations.
Google Assistant is Google’s voice-controlled virtual assistant, capable of integrating with various smart home devices for control and automation.
Google Home is a smart home platform by Google that allows you to connect all of your compatible devices, manage them on your mobile device and control them using Nest smart speakers and displays. Google Homes Nest smart speakers were formally marketed as Google Home speakers.
In smart home contexts, a group refers to a collection of devices that can be controlled together as a single unit.
Home automation involves the use of various control systems for operating home appliances through the internet.
Home ID is a unique identifier for a Z-Wave network, allowing different Z-Wave networks to coexist without interference.
HomeKit is Apple’s framework for smart home devices, allowing users to control compatible gadgets via their Apple devices.
A hub is a central device that connects various smart home gadgets, enabling them to communicate with each other and the internet.
Hubitat is a smart home automation hub that allows for local control of smart devices, offering a faster and more reliable experience compared to cloud-based solutions.
Integration refers to the process of making different smart home devices and platforms work together seamlessly.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things refers to the network of physical objects embedded with sensors and software for collecting and exchanging data.
iOS is Apple’s mobile operating system used in iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch devices. Known for its smooth user interface and extensive app ecosystem via the Apple App Store, iOS is the foundation of a large number of smart home apps and integrations.
IP (Internet Protocol)
IP is a set of rules for sending and receiving data over the internet. Each device connected to the internet has a unique IP address.
IR technology is used in remote controls for TVs, air conditioners, and other household devices. It uses infrared light waves to transmit signals.
LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)
LCD is a flat-panel display technology commonly used in TVs and monitors.
Light-emitting diode (LED)
LED is a semiconductor light source used in various applications, including smart home lighting solutions.
These are smart home devices designed to operate with minimal energy consumption.
Manual Override refers to the ability to manually control a smart device, bypassing any automated settings or schedules.
A management platform is a software interface that allows users to control and monitor their smart home devices.
Matter (formerly known as Project CHIP) is an open-source, royalty-free connectivity standard that aims to increase compatibility among smart home devices and increase the adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
A Mesh Network is a network topology in which each node relays data for the network, improving communication and eliminating single points of failure.
Meshing refers to the interconnection of smart devices to create a mesh network, improving communication and reliability.
Mi-Wi is a proprietary wireless protocol developed by Microchip Technology, used in some smart home applications.
A mobile app is a software application designed to
A mobile app is a software application designed to run on smartphones, often used for controlling smart home devices.
A modem is a device that modulates and demodulates digital signals, enabling broadband internet access.
A network refers to the interconnected system of smart devices and computers, often facilitated by a router and modem.
Neviweb is a smart home management platform often used with Éco Sinopé devices for energy management.
In a smart home network, a node is any device connected to the network, such as a smart bulb, thermostat, or sensor.
The neutral wire is one of the wires in an electrical circuit that carries current back to the source. It is essential for the functioning of many smart switches.
Power cycling involves turning a device off and then on again to reset it, often used as a troubleshooting step.
A protocol is a set of rules governing the exchange or transmission of data between devices.
Remote Access allows users to control smart home devices from a remote location via the internet.
RF (Radio Frequency)
RF refers to the rate of oscillation of electromagnetic radio waves, used in wireless communication for smart home devices.
A router is a device that directs data packets between computer networks, often connecting smart home devices to the internet.
A routine is a set of automated actions performed by smart home devices based on predefined conditions.
A scene is a preset configuration that controls multiple smart home devices at once, like setting the mood lighting and temperature for a movie night.
A sensor is a device that detects and responds to changes in the environment, such as motion or temperature, and sends this data to other smart devices.
Setpoint Temperature is the target temperature set on a smart thermostat, which the system will then work to maintain.
In a smart home network, slaves are devices that receive commands from a controlling device, known as the master.
Schedules are time-based automations that control smart home devices at specific times or intervals.
Siri is Apple’s voice-controlled virtual assistant, integrated into all iOS devices, Macs, Apple Watches, and Apple TVs. Siri can perform tasks like sending messages, playing your favorite songs, answering questions, and more.
A smart device is an electronic gadget capable of connecting to the internet and interacting with other devices.
A smart home is a residence equipped with internet-connected devices for remote monitoring and control of various systems and appliances.
A smart thermostat is an internet-connected device that automatically adjusts heating and cooling temperature settings in your home for optimal performance. These devices learn from your behaviors, allow you to control the climate remotely, show energy consumption in real-time, and can even adjust themselves based on ambient conditions like humidity.
SmartThings is a home automation platform from Samsung, allowing users to control smart devices through a single app.
A switch is a device used to open or close an electrical circuit, turning a device on or off. In smart homes, these can be controlled remotely.
Thread is a low-power, wireless mesh networking protocol designed for connecting smart home devices.
WAP (Wireless Access Point)
A WAP is a device that allows wireless devices to connect to a wired network using Wi-Fi.
A web interface is a graphical user interface accessed via a web browser, often used for smart home management platforms.
Web programmable refers to devices that can be configured and controlled through a web-based interface.
Wi-Fi 5, Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E
These are versions of the Wi-Fi standard, with Wi-Fi 6E being the latest, offering improved speed and efficiency.
WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy)
WEP is an outdated security protocol for wireless networks, generally considered to be insecure.
A wireless connection refers to the link between devices without the use of physical cables, often facilitated by technologies like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
Zigbee is a specification for high-level communication protocols using low-power digital radios, often used in smart home devices.
Z-Wave is a wireless communications protocol primarily used for home automation, allowing devices to communicate over a mesh network.
This extensive glossary serves as your ultimate guide to understanding smart home terminology. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, this resource aims to provide clarity in a field that’s constantly evolving. Bookmark this page for easy reference as you continue your smart home journey. Welcome to the future of living!