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Special Issue "The Advent of Smart Homes"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2017

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Sehyun Park

School of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, College of ICT Engineering, Chung-Ang University
Website | E-Mail
Interests: smart home; smart space; business and service model in smart home; Internet of Things; sustainability of human beings

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Smart Home originated from Home Automation, a concept that was on the rise in the late 1980s. Home Automation allowed household appliances to be controlled remotely through On/Off switches, telecommuting through email, and the supply of various contents through cable TV. Since the 2000s, ubiquitously, the concept that people can access networks at any time without locational constraints, appeared and this led to the development towards connecting all home appliances to a communication system, thus, aiming to create a network-oriented smart home environment. However, there were prevalent limitations in providing meaningful value to users and the society at large through home-appliance-oriented Smart Home technology, and the development of Smart Home soon entered a period of stagnation.
More recently, the supply of mobile entities, the improvement of wireless Internet, the emergence of Cloud Services, the sophistication of low-energy high-performance energy technologies, and other forms of convergence technologies based Internet of Things (IoT) have opened a new era for Smart Home technology. IoT-oriented Smart Home aims to collect human-machine interaction, then analyze, predict, and utilize information in solving life problems. Based on this, Smart Home is shifting to Smart Space, a paradigm that solves potential personal and societal problems and further provides new value to the world. There is ongoing various research developments on the subject of Smart Space, and new business models and service platforms are emerging.
Though the development of Smart Homes fluctuates, Smart Home by nature exists in the heart of human life and thus has the potential to be the starting point of solving modern world problems such as pollution, the economical gap between nations, increase in energy costs, global aging, etc. In other words, technologies that increase Smart Home’s sustainability also contribute significantly to the sustainability of environment, culture, economy, and society. Thus, the purpose of the Special Issue is to exchange ideas and thoughts on technologies that enhance Smart Home sustainability from an environmental, cultural, economical, and societal viewpoint, additionally sharing various technologies that can contribute to the shift from Smart Home to Smart Space. We invite you to be apart of this cross-disciplinary experimental and theoretical research on the future of Smart Home.

Keywords

Environmental sustainability
  • Climate change responses of smart homes
  • Indoor air quality and energy management technologies
  • Eco-friendly business and service model for smart home sustainability
Cultural sustainability
  • Appropriate technologies of smart homes for developing countries
  • User-friendly smart home technologies for Information Minority Group
  • Role of cultural context in the acceptance of smart home technologies
Economic sustainability
  • Low cost zero-energy house for smart home sustainability
  • Cost-effective smart home design technologies
  • Economic evaluation of smart home service model
Social sustainability
  • Healthcare and wellness service in smart homes
  • Ecological smart home technologies for solving social problems
  • Safety, privacy, and trust in smart home
Sustainability from smart homes to smart space
  • Retrofit design of smart homes for smart space
  • Internet of things and big data in future smart home
  • Green energy technologies for smart space
  • Valuable service and hyper-connected platform for smart space

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Smart Thermostats: An Experimental Facility to Test Their Capabilities and Savings Potential
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1462; doi:10.3390/su9081462
Received: 15 July 2017 / Revised: 9 August 2017 / Accepted: 15 August 2017 / Published: 17 August 2017
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Abstract
The European Commission has explained how heating and cooling in buildings and industry account for half of the energy consumption of the EU. Several studies explain how to achieve an energy saving at home, and the use of smart thermostats will help to
[...] Read more.
The European Commission has explained how heating and cooling in buildings and industry account for half of the energy consumption of the EU. Several studies explain how to achieve an energy saving at home, and the use of smart thermostats will help to reduce energy consumption while increasing the efficiency of households. In this article, a comparative evaluation was carried out between four smart thermostats that are now on the market, whose characteristics vary in terms of price, precision of measurements and set temperature, algorithms, etc. A thermal test chamber was designed and constructed from a refrigerator, a thermal blanket, a Raspberry Pi and the necessary electronic components for its control and data collection. From the tests carried out in the thermal chamber, data on the operation of the four thermostats such as the maintenance and the anticipation of the setpoint temperature, were obtained. It was necessary to run the system enough times for each thermostat to memorize the housing characteristics, such as its inertia and its thermal insulation. This would also allow for the generation of a better algorithm to regulate the temperature, which would create a lower oscillation with respect to the setpoint temperature. The learning of the thermostats was not demonstrated and for the anticipation mode it was seen that the thermostats failed to improve or learn in this aspect, as they did not improve the start-up times of the heating system, with the consequent increase in energy consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Advent of Smart Homes)
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Open AccessArticle Adjustable Green Defaults Can Help Make Smart Homes More Sustainable
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 622; doi:10.3390/su9040622
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 30 March 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
Smart home technologies offer exciting opportunities to promote more efficient uses of energy. For instance, programmable thermostats, centralized lighting controls, and rooftop solar panels all have potential for energy conservation and efficiency. However, these technologies alone will not guarantee energy savings. Whereas previous
[...] Read more.
Smart home technologies offer exciting opportunities to promote more efficient uses of energy. For instance, programmable thermostats, centralized lighting controls, and rooftop solar panels all have potential for energy conservation and efficiency. However, these technologies alone will not guarantee energy savings. Whereas previous research on smart homes has focused on the technologies themselves, relatively little work has addressed the factors that shape the human-technology interface. In this review paper, we argue that in order to ensure any savings, smart home technologies must first be adopted by end-users, and once adopted, they must be used in ways that promote energy efficiency. We focus on three areas of behavioral research with implications for smart home technologies: (1) defaults; (2) perceived adjustability or control; and (3) trust in automation. Linking these areas, we propose a new concept for improving the efficiency gains of smart homes. First, although smart device controls can help save energy, considerably larger energy efficiency gains can be realized through smart automation. But importantly, the default settings of systems should be “green”, to maximize energy savings. Second, many people have concerns around relinquishing decision-making to technologies, which can reduce the likelihood of adoption. People want to be, or at least to feel, in control of their homes, even if they do not adjust settings post-installation. Further, consumer trust in technologies encourages adoption in the first place; trust also impacts consumer interactions with installed devices and can impact default acceptance. Combining these concepts, we recommend that smart home technologies build consumer trust and come pre-programmed with adjustable green defaults, which permit consumers to change initial green settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Advent of Smart Homes)
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Open AccessArticle The PeRvasive Environment Sensing and Sharing Solution
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 585; doi:10.3390/su9040585
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 30 March 2017 / Accepted: 6 April 2017 / Published: 11 April 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2712 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To stimulate better user behavior and improve environmental and economic sustainability, it is of paramount importance to make citizens effectively aware of the quality of the environment in which they live every day. In particular, we claim that users could significantly benefit from
[...] Read more.
To stimulate better user behavior and improve environmental and economic sustainability, it is of paramount importance to make citizens effectively aware of the quality of the environment in which they live every day. In particular, we claim that users could significantly benefit from cost-effective efficient Internet-of-Things (IoT) solutions that provide them with up-to-date live information about air pollution in the areas where they live, suitably adapted to different situations and with different levels of dynamically selected granularities (e.g., at home/district/city levels). Our PeRvasive Environment Sensing and Sharing (PRESS) project has the ambition of increasing users’ awareness of the natural environment they live in, as a first step towards improved sustainability; the primary target is the efficient provisioning of real-time user-centric information about environmental conditions in the surroundings, and in particular about air pollution. To this purpose, we have designed, implemented, and thoroughly evaluated the PRESS framework, which is capable of achieving good flexibility and scalability while integrating heterogeneous monitoring data, ranging from sensed air pollution to user-provided quality perceptions. Among the elements of technical originality, PRESS exploits extended Kura IoT gateways with novel congestion detection and recovery mechanisms that allow us to optimize bandwidth allocation between in-the-field PRESS components and the cloud. The reported performance results show the feasibility of the proposed solution, by pointing out not only the scalability and efficiency of the adopted message-based solution that uses Message Queue Telemetry Transport (MQTT) and WebSockets, but also the capability of PRESS to quickly identify and manage traffic congestions, thus, ensuring good quality levels to final users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Advent of Smart Homes)
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Open AccessArticle SH-SecNet: An Enhanced Secure Network Architecture for the Diagnosis of Security Threats in a Smart Home
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 513; doi:10.3390/su9040513
Received: 18 February 2017 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2184 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The growing demand for an independent and comfortable lifestyle has motivated the development of the smart home, and providing security is a major challenge for developers and security analysts. Enhancing security in the home environment has been recognized as one of the main
[...] Read more.
The growing demand for an independent and comfortable lifestyle has motivated the development of the smart home, and providing security is a major challenge for developers and security analysts. Enhancing security in the home environment has been recognized as one of the main obstacles to realizing the vision of creating energy-efficient smart homes and buildings. Understanding the risks associated with the use and potential exploitation of information about homes, end-users, and partners, as well as forming techniques for integrating security assessments into the design, is not straightforward. To address this challenge, we propose enhanced secure network architecture (SH-SecNet) for the diagnosis of security threats in the smart home. In our architecture, we use the Multivariate Correlation Analysis (MCA) technique to analyze the network flow packet in the network layer, as this classifies the network traffic by extracting the correlation between network traffic features. We evaluated the performance of our architecture with respect to various parameters, such as CPU utilization, throughput, round trip time, and accuracy. The result of the evaluation shows that our architecture is efficient and accurate in detecting and mitigating attacks in the smart home network with a low performance overhead. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Advent of Smart Homes)
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Open AccessArticle Distributed Demand Side Management with Battery Storage for Smart Home Energy Scheduling
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 120; doi:10.3390/su9010120
Received: 17 November 2016 / Revised: 30 December 2016 / Accepted: 10 January 2017 / Published: 14 January 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1808 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The role of Demand Side Management (DSM) with Distributed Energy Storage (DES) has been gaining attention in recent studies due to the impact of the latter on energy management in the smart grid. In this work, an Energy Scheduling and Distributed Storage (ESDS)
[...] Read more.
The role of Demand Side Management (DSM) with Distributed Energy Storage (DES) has been gaining attention in recent studies due to the impact of the latter on energy management in the smart grid. In this work, an Energy Scheduling and Distributed Storage (ESDS) algorithm is proposed to be installed into the smart meters of Time-of-Use (TOU) pricing consumers possessing in-home energy storage devices. Source of energy supply to the smart home appliances was optimized between the utility grid and the DES device depending on energy tariff and consumer demand satisfaction information. This is to minimize consumer energy expenditure and maximize demand satisfaction simultaneously. The ESDS algorithm was found to offer consumer-friendly and utility-friendly enhancements to the DSM program such as energy, financial, and investment savings, reduced/eliminated consumer dissatisfaction even at peak periods, Peak-to-Average-Ratio (PAR) demand reduction, grid energy sustainability, socio-economic benefits, and other associated benefits such as environmental-friendliness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Advent of Smart Homes)
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Open AccessArticle Towards Sustainable Smart Homes by a Hierarchical Hybrid Architecture of an Intelligent Agent
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1020; doi:10.3390/su8101020
Received: 5 August 2016 / Revised: 16 September 2016 / Accepted: 30 September 2016 / Published: 13 October 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2822 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A smart home can be realized by the provision of services, such as building control, automation and security implemented in accordance with a user’s request. One of the important issues is how to respond quickly and appropriately to a user’s request in a
[...] Read more.
A smart home can be realized by the provision of services, such as building control, automation and security implemented in accordance with a user’s request. One of the important issues is how to respond quickly and appropriately to a user’s request in a “dynamic environment”. An intelligent agent infers the user’s intention and provides the intact service. This paper proposes a smart home agent system based on a hierarchical hybrid architecture of a user intention model, which models the user intention as a hierarchical structure and implements it in a dynamic environment. The conventional rule-based approach needs to obtain all information before it is executed, which requires a large number of rules and is hardly scalable as the control objects are increasing. On the other hand, the proposed system consists of several modules that construct a hierarchical user intention model. The smart home system needs to take account of the information, such as time, state of device and state of the home, in addition to users’ intention. We evaluate the performance of the proposed system in a dynamic environment and conduct a blind test with seven subjects to measure the satisfaction of service, resulting in the average score of 81.46. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Advent of Smart Homes)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Healthcare in the Smart Home: A Study of Past, Present and Future
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 840; doi:10.3390/su9050840
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 3 May 2017 / Accepted: 11 May 2017 / Published: 17 May 2017
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Abstract
Ubiquitous or Pervasive Computing is an increasingly used term throughout the technology industry and is beginning to enter the consumer electronics space in its most recent form under the umbrella term: “Internet of Things”. One area of focus is in augmenting the home
[...] Read more.
Ubiquitous or Pervasive Computing is an increasingly used term throughout the technology industry and is beginning to enter the consumer electronics space in its most recent form under the umbrella term: “Internet of Things”. One area of focus is in augmenting the home with intelligent, networked sensors and computers to create a Smart Home which opens a host of possibilities for the role of tomorrow’s dwelling. As the world’s population continues to live longer and consequently experience more medical-related ailments, at the same time institutional healthcare is struggling to cope, the role of the Smart Home becomes paramount to monitoring a dweller’s health and providing any necessary intervention. This study looks at the history of Smart Home Healthcare, current research areas, and potential areas of future investigation. Unique categorisations are presented in Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and Personal Sensors, and a thorough look at the application of Smart Home Healthcare is presented. Technology can augment traditional methods of healthcare delivery and in some cases completely replace it. Costs can be reduced and medical adherence can be increased, all of which contribute to a more sustainable and effective model of care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Advent of Smart Homes)
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