Cees Links - Greenpeak contributed article in Appliance Design Magazine
The smart home device and home automation market is exploding. According to a 2013 report from Nextmarket Insights, the current home automation systems and services market is about 3.6 billion, and by 2017, is expected to grow to around 15 billion. Other analysts have forecast the possibility of 80 billion connected devices in use by the year 2020.
Clearly, this is a big market that is opening up for gateway, device and sentroller developers. Sentrollers, i.e. the sensors, actuators and controllers, are the various components of the Smart Home and of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Sentrollers can be split in several categories. First there are the simple sensors, such as a motion or temperature sensor. A security camera also can be considered a sensor. Then there are the actuators that make things happen; for instance, a heater or a light can be called an actuator. Actuators “act;" they try to change the environment. And then there is a third category, the controllers, which usually combine a sensor and an actuator, and add some “intelligence”. A thermostat is a good example of a controller measuring the temperature, or “knowing” the desired temperature, and taking action. Therefore, a sentroller is a simple term that can mean a sensor, actuator or controller. Typically these sentrollers are wirelessly connected via a gateway to the Internet, the Internet of Things. According to current forecasts, sentrollers will be the most common and most numerous devices comprising the IoT.