Most modern homes now use connected devices for entertainment, access control, and several other daily tasks. Their rapid increase can be gauged from the growth of the US market for smart homes, which has reached 29 million and is still rising.
The amazing features and efficiencies products related to smart homes offer to households naturally mesmerize consumers. However, this also necessitates engineers keep in mind the physical interfaces. While customer satisfaction is a long-standing effect, the immediate look and feel of the device dictates its price. This implies details are an important aspect, where the choice of every component matters and that includes switches and buttons.
Most people tend to ignore switches and buttons, forgetting they are responsible for driving the technical movement known as smart homes. However, a few important reasons establish engineers designing home products must give them a serious thought.
The connected devices in a smart home depend critically on their hardware designs. These include switches, sensors, screens and other components used on smart televisions, smart thermostat controls, connected door locks, and more. Most importantly, a user’s overall satisfaction comes from the way a product feels or the tactile sensation it generates.
Most of the time, a customer’s first interaction with the control of a product comes from its on/off switch, which a user physically touches. Unless the switch creates a delightful experience, the customer is likely to search for another product that offers a better feeling.
Cameras working on the Internet Protocol are now commonly available in smart homes. The reason for this is easy to figure out, as according to the statistics provided by iControl Networks, there is a burglary happening every 14.1 seconds in the US. With an IP camera installed, a person can monitor the activity at home from a remote location on their smartphones, laptops, or any other smart device. The very presence of IP cameras act as a deterrent to crime, apart from helping the police apprehend criminals, while simply providing a piece of mind to a homeowner.
However, smart cameras need the right switch to power and protect them. Usually, this is a miniature tactile switch, suitable for meeting the shrinking form factors of the device. Often smaller than the small lens display used by these cameras, the switch must be robust enough to prevent intruders from breaking it and rendering the camera useless.
While IP cameras capture images of unwelcome intruders whom people are not suspecting of entering their homes, access controls offer an additional level of security to the majority of consumers concerned with privacy and security in their smart homes. Access controls are usually equipped with internet doorbells with built-in cameras, and smart door locks.
While the camera shows an image of the person at the door, the smart lock allows unlocking the door remotely. This arrangement can be handy if the door has to be opened for the baby sitter or for the teenager who has misplaced his keys. Usually, the smart lock has a miniature switch to set or reset it. This switch has to be small but long lasting, and able to withstand harsh conditions such as humidity and rain.