Definition

smart home app (home automation app)

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A smart home app, sometimes referred to as a home automation app or a smart home automation app, is an application used to remotely control and manage connected non-computing devices in the home, typically from a smartphone or tablet.

Smart home apps may be single-purpose, for example controlling smart light bulbs to automate and manage a home's lighting system. In addition to lighting, home elements that smart home apps can automate and control include heating and air conditioning, entertainment systems, doors and windows, window coverings, security systems, water sprinkling and appliances. With the appropriate sensors, smart home apps can also monitor systems and environments and send an alert in the event of a problem.

Increasingly, smart home apps control and manage multiple systems within the house, connected through a home automation hub. Some people start with a hub and add connected devices incrementally. Smart home starter kits, available from a number of vendors, include all the components necessary to connect and manage systems in the home: sensors, networking, the communications hub and the mobile app.

Smart home apps usually allow the user to create groups actions for particular situations. For example, a saved scenario called "Leaving for work" might include locking the doors and setting the security system, as well as adjusting the heating/cooling, window coverings and lighting, while a scenario called "Coming home from work" might reverse those processes.

See an introduction to using a smart home app:

This was last updated in October 2015

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