The smart or automated home applies new technology to control and automate heating, ventilation, air conditioning and security, but can involve appliances as well such as refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers and many other items.
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|All these home items when they can be monitored remotely and also controlled, often via the Internet, can be an important part of what is called the Internet of Things. Every device involved is connected to a central hub often called a "gateway". The system is controlled through a user accessed wall-mounted terminal, mobile phone software, or a web interface of some kind.|
While there are many competing vendors, there are very few worldwide accepted industry standards and the smart home space is heavily fragmented. Popular communications protocol for products include X10, Ethernet, RS-485, 6LoWPAN, Bluetooth LE (BLE), ZigBee and Z-Wave, or other proprietary protocols all of which are incompatible with each other. Manufacturers often prevent independent implementations by withholding documentation and by litigation.