The smart home wouldn’t exist without this ’90s invention

This is part of the story Tips Clear on 25Celebrating about a quarter century of industry technology and our role in explaining our role.

Brett Pearce / Tips Clear

Published November 3, 1990 in a Washington Post article by author H.K. Jane Lehman predicted that the coming decade would bring a new wave of home automation. He also used the phrase “smart home” before it became widespread. But she also said something was missing: “The home automation is awaiting the community which is an industry standard that will tell builders and remodelers how to wire homes for total automation.”

But connecting the smart home with wiring will not be the standard the industry has been waiting for. Nobody knew at the time, but Lehman and everyone else were actually waiting for Wi-Fi.

Without Wi-Fi, the smart home industry would not exist. And without Reliable Wi-Fi, today’s smart home will not work. That’s why Setting up a solid wireless setup Tips Clear is always recommended when someone asks how to get started with Smart Home Tech.

So I’m going to take you back to the mid-1990s to celebrate Tips Clear’s 25th year, well, Tips Clear – and the invention of the late 90s that made smart home possible: Wi-Fi.

Read more: These 8 products inspired the smart home revolution

But first, what is a smart home?

Smart home is a broad term that applies to any device that works with you. The phone, TV or Smart speaker. Despite the wide variety of products in the range – from Sprinkler system Service The fridge And Security cameras – They all share a common goal: to simplify their daily lives.

Physical stores and online retailers alike have nowadays curated the “smart home” sections, it appears to be similar to home appliances. And research tools are popular – according to a 2018 survey by research firm Tracline, 69% of U.S. households report having at least one owner.

Smart home as we now know Didn’t really stop until 2010, But it has been predicted for a very long time. There are countless examples of quick search for advertisements from the 1950s and 60s Autonomous robot And other future philosophies that have become a reality. And late Slow cooker, Programmable thermostats And other “non-smart” devices may not count as smart home appliances by modern standards, they have helped us automate aspects of our lives for decades.

There were also early entire home automation systems that were tied into phone lines.

But Wi-Fi, the “industry standard” that would enable wireless connectivity and automation in a whole new way, would not be introduced until 1997.

Wi-fi road

In his Washington Post article, Lehman also cited a home builder named Leon Weiner, who said the 90s would be the “decade of home automation”. Weiner was away for a few decades, but he was definitely onto something; Connectivity was already taking shape in a major way.

although Internet flourished in the early 70sIt was not presented to the public until the “World Wide Web” was launched on 6 August 1991. After that, you had to use online Dial-up internet Through your home telephone line. It took a long time and it was noisy, but it worked. to some extent.

Around the same time, the Internet was being developed in the early 70s, which was called Wi-Fi precursor. AlohaNET, Was being used by the University of Hawaii in Honolulu to communicate with its facilities on various islands. Then, in 1973, Bob Metcalf invented Ethernet, A way for many computers to connect – and communicate with each other -. In 1974, Vic Hayes, known as the “father of Wi-Fi”, began working at Aegre Systems, which was then a part of NCR Corporation. There, he created several data communication standards and, eventually, IEEE 802.11 – the standard on which Wi-Fi-enabled devices are based.

In 1985, the US Federal Communications Commission released the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) band, a band of frequencies in the 2.4GHz range.

Wi-Fi was officially introduced to the public in 1997. (A lot of other things happened in between as well, but this is the abridged version, which focuses on the major developments that moved the Internet closer to Wi-Fi in the 90s. Outside The Tips Clear 25 article For a more detailed chronology of other technological innovations in that decade.)


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Wi-Fi and smart home

“Industry Standard” Lehman finally asked here – and people were excited.

“We are on the verge of a change. This is a moment that echoes the birth of the Internet in the mid-’70s, when radical pioneers of computer networking – machines talking to each other! – hijacked the telephone system Let’s do it. Their first digital hellos, “Chris Anderson wrote in a wired article published in May 2003 about the creation of Wi-Fi.

“What makes the new standard so attractive?” Anderson continued. “Wi-Fi is cheap, powerful, and, most important, it works. A box the size of a paperback, and no more than dinner for two, magically giving broadband Internet the size of a field football field. Delivers. The card is bigger than a matchbook. No one gets it. The next laptop you buy will likely be built into Wi-Fi. Wires may soon be used alone. “

That last sentence is the key: “The strings may soon be for power alone.”

Can you imagine trying to use one Smart speaker If we still dial-up or if you used wired Broadband Connection instead of Wi-Fi? How do you handle multiple smart speakers? Or just several smart devices in general? The number of cables and cords connecting them to broadband will make smart homes – especially DIY smart homes – extremely cumbersome.

Connecting smart home devices to the Internet, and thus the cloud, Wi-Fi also enables access to expanded features. Natural language processing for smart speakers, usage pattern algorithms to run your smart thermostat more efficiently, and video image processing so that your smart video doorbell can separate someone from a passing car is often in computers on the cloud that you Cannot access without Wi-Fi to bridge the gap from your home to the big internet.

Without Wi-Fi, even designers, engineers, and other product developers might not dream of the smart home devices we use to date, let alone enable the integration of thousands of them. Of course there are Other standards that enable connected devicesFrom Zigbee to Z-Wave – as well as proprietary protocols, such as Lutron’s Clear Connect, but those hubs will still have to connect to your Wi-Fi router to allow communication between devices.

Wi-Fi is the bridge that pulls it together – and we have the 90s to thank for that.

Read more: Best wi-fi router of 2020

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About Emma Watson

Professional Blogger, Digital Marketer, Web Developer, Search Engine Optimiser, Online marketer, Advertiser, and News Reporter. An enthusiastic reader, responder. Love to help Humanity. I love to learn and like to share.

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