Technology Assessment and Acquisition
Home automation -- Evaluation, Household electronics, Home computer networks, Hierarchical decision model
A smart home hub is a hardware device that connects the devices on a home automation network and controls communications among them. The devices on a home automation or smart home network might include thermostats, light bulbs, wall outlets and switches, door locks, energy monitors, window coverings, appliances, motion sensors, etc. With a smart hub, all of these smart devices can be controlled using a single app.
In spite of being very useful devices, smart hubs have their limitations. Certain smart hubs are only compatible with certain smart devices, whereas others support a limited number of languages. Some operate well only over a short distance (about 15 feet). Some hubs support more smart devices than others, while certain hubs can connect to more devices simultaneously than others. These limitations present a question to consumers as to which smart hub will best suit their needs.
This project proposes a hierarchical decision model (HDM) to help consumers decide which smart hub alternative is best for them, based on their needs. The HDM is coupled with a pairwise comparison method in order to evaluate all possible alternatives. The model incorporates various criteria for smart hubs such as range of operation, communication protocols supported, number of devices supported, etc for various smart hubs available in today's market, thus providing the consumer with the right information and feedback needed to purchase the smart hub that suits him/her best.
Four alternatives for smart hubs were used in this model, namely Samsung SmartThings, VeraSecure, Wink2 and Securifi Almond 3. Rankings were assigned to these alternatives based on experts’ opinions used in the HDM. Results concluded that the SamsungSmartThings is the best alternative for the model used, followed by Wink2 and Securifi Almond 3. This indicated that initial cost, number of protocols supported by the hub and ease of use were the most important criteria considered to achieve the desired objective of selecting the appropriate smart hub.
Alzahrani, Ahmed; Alshamlani, Majed; Hsu, Wei-Chen; and Harish, Shreyas, "Evaluation of Smart Home Hubs" (2017). Engineering and Technology Management Student Projects. 1169.