Getting this picture from the social networks it was an opportunity on reacting about the general use of wifi technology for IoT smart home equipment and the risk you have to design a such solution.
The following video is a VLOG about this question. As it is in french, this post will details the main lines about my feeling.
Basically most of the new smart home product (Nest, MyFox, Parrot…) are based on wifi technical solution for communicating we you. In a normal situation, I mean when you don’t really need to use them is works well and have a nice advantage : as the Internet access is provided by the consumer these service provider does not have to support it in the product price and do not need to expect a yearly service fee to offer the service. This is a good point to keep the actually standard business model of box pusher instead for becoming a full service provider.
The problem, as the image on top show, is these technologies are not always reliable. I mean when using wifi you depends on wifi access point, network, adsl box provider, adsl line and globally power supply. In my experience being not able to access internet for a while is a long and recurrent story. In such situation it means I lost the functions I’m excepting to have to manage my home.
More over, most of these equipments are in relation with safety (smoke detector, intrusion detection…) If we consider that 25% of fire are due to electric problems and fire should quickly shut down the electricity by creating shortcut, are we sure to be alerted in case of real fire ? I’m not sure. For intrusion detection, you may know that a GSM/Wifi canceler costs less than $100.
For these different reason, I think designer and customer may take attention on LPWan technologies. As they are low power and disconnected, as they need no local infrastructure to works they are the good candidates for such functions and should be preferred. For sure the business model has to evolved because being able to communicate standalone means having a communication fee to support.
All the above elements are mostly about the objects you expect communicating with when you are outside your home. So what about the smart home object you need to communicate when you are in your home ? This question was raised following my video publication. In this second video I explain I’m trusting BLE 5 to be the best solution as it really looks like a standard thank to the use of our smartphone as a universal remote control solution. External communication for this kind of object falls back in the previously described solutions.