Smart home solutions can deliver smarter homes, say researchers
Smart home technology has been around for decades, but the concept of the smart home has only been around since the 1980s, when the term “internet of things” was first coined.
As the name implies, it is a set of interconnected devices that can communicate with each other and are capable of managing their own systems.
The technology is so ubiquitous that it has spawned a whole industry, from internet-connected thermostats to smart lights and thermostat controllers, and it has been widely adopted in recent years.
The concept of a smart home is gaining momentum, but its use is becoming increasingly complicated and nuanced.
Researchers at The New York Times and Harvard Business School recently released a study in which they examined the ways in which smart home technology can be improved and expanded, while also tackling the challenges of maintaining privacy and security.
They focused on three areas: how to make smart home systems easier to use, better integrate and more easily manage, and how to create privacy and authentication protocols that keep smart home devices from tracking users.
“The problem is that there’s no standard way to do these things, no standardized way to implement them,” says Keshav Bhatia, a senior lecturer in electrical engineering and computer science at Harvard Business College.
“It’s not like the smart card that’s in your wallet.”
Bhatia says that, as far as he knows, no standard protocol exists for smart home security and privacy.
“We know that the most common thing that people use is to have some sort of encryption or some sort to verify your identity,” he says.
“I’m not sure how anyone could possibly understand how to do this securely without some sort.
I’m just not sure what that would be.”
Bharat Singh, a lecturer at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, agrees that the lack of a standard protocol for smart security has hindered the development of smart home solutions.
“Smart home security is a complex and hard problem,” he notes.
“People who are building smart homes don’t know what they’re doing.
It’s hard to do, and you have to be really careful because of all these things that might be happening.”
Bidu Das, a researcher at Google and Google Fiber, also sees the issue with smart home standards.
“You can’t just write something in software,” he points out.
“If it’s not a protocol, it’s just a code that the computer is able to do what it’s supposed to do.”
“The whole thing about security and trust is that we have to build a system that can trust it and have it work without anyone being able to see that,” he adds.
“And so the only way to really do this is to make sure that you have a way to verify that the data is authentic.”
Bhattia, Das, and Singh are all experts in the field of security and have published many of the research papers they have co-authored.
The researchers believe that smart home protocols are critical for building a strong ecosystem and that the development process of smart devices is often difficult.
“There’s a lot of pressure on us to create smart homes,” says Bhat, who was previously a software engineer at IBM.
“Security and privacy is not a high priority for us, because the whole goal is to build this ecosystem.
But we have a very hard time creating these systems, and we have this enormous number of devices and there are many things that are really hard to secure.
So you can’t have an entire ecosystem without security.”
Achieving the right security and security protocol for a smart system can be tricky, but there are two main ways to address that.
The first is to develop a set-top box (STB), or smart home TV, which is capable of playing content and provides a centralized interface for smart devices.
The second is to use smart home apps, which can be used to interact with smart devices on the web, on smart devices, or on smart TVs.
Bhat says that smart TV apps can be a valuable way of getting connected to a smart device.
“The whole idea of building an app is to bring a smart TV to your home,” he explains.
“This is just a set up, so it’s a really good way of connecting to your TV.
“A lot of smart TV devices are being developed right now that have very high-end sensors and microphones and that can do things like turn the lights on or turn the thermostatic on or change the volume or turn your thermostatically,” he argues. “
“But they’re very limited in terms of what they can do. “
A lot of smart TV devices are being developed right now that have very high-end sensors and microphones and that can do things like turn the lights on or turn the thermostatic on or change the volume or turn your thermostatically,” he argues.
“But they’re very limited in terms of what they can do.
So if we can get these things working together, that would really be an amazing solution.”
Battling privacy and identity concernsThe