Patents can provide insights regarding technical details for the operation of smart home applications. Followings illustrate the technical details for the Samsung SmartThings based on the related Samsung patents’ disclosures.
Samsung SmartThings demo video
Samsung patent application US20150192939 describes technical details regarding the SmartThings Hub. The 100 includes a communication interface 110, a sensor 120, a storage device 130, and a controller 140 as illustrated in the following figure.
The communication interface 110 is configured to perform communication with various types of external IoT devices according to various types of communication methods. For example, the communication interface 110 can be a wired or wireless interface, and can include multiple interfaces configured to communicate according to the different communication methods. The communication interface 110 receives user request information from the user terminal apparatus (smartphone). Further, the communication interface 110 can receive/send information from/to an external server through home gateway (internet modem/router). The user request information is information used for driving various devices to set an environment of the home to a user's desired environment. That is, the user request information may include a desired temperature, desired humidity, a user arrival time, a washing start time, a washing completion time, an operation time of a multimedia content reproduction apparatus, and/or a content name to be reproduced, etc.
The sensor 120 is configured to collect characteristic information of an environment.
For example, when the SmartThings Hub 100 is located inside a home, the environment includes an environment inside the home and an environment outside the home. In such a case, the sensor 120 includes multiple sensors placed throughout the inside of the home and/or throughout the outside of the home to collect data on the characteristic information. The characteristic information includes various pieces of information indicating a characteristic inside the home and/or a characteristic outside the home. For example, the characteristic information includes an internal temperature of the environment, internal humidity of the environment and/or road traffic condition information, etc. That is, the sensor 120 includes various kinds of sensors such as a temperature sensor, a humidity sensor, or a luminance sensor, and sense the internal temperature, internal humidity, internal luminance, or the like of the environment.
The storage device 130 is configured to store various software modules, data, or the like for driving the SmartThings Hub 100. For example, software including a base module, a sensing module, a communication module, and a service module are stored in the storage device 130. The storage device 130 can store control information for controlling a IoT device using the controller 140. For example, the storage device 130 can calculate an operation start time and an operation duration of a heating and cooling device, which are used to control an internal temperature of the home that is sensed by the sensor 120 to be a desired temperature received from the user terminal apparatus 200, and store the calculated result. That is, the storage device 130 may store the operation start time and the operation duration of the heating and cooling device, and the controller 140 transmits the information stored in the storage device 130 to the user terminal apparatus 200 at a preset time.
The controller 140 is configured to control an overall operation of the SmartThings Hub 100. The controller 140 can predict a driving condition for driving IoT devices in a home network so that the characteristic information collected in the sensor 120 matches the user request information received through the communication interface 110. For example, in response to receiving a desired temperature and a user arrival time from the user terminal apparatus 200 through the communication interface 110, and sensing an internal temperature of the home through the sensor 120, the controller 140 can calculate the operation start time and the operation duration of the heating and cooling device, which are necessary for the internal temperature of the home to be the desired temperature at the user arrival time, and predict the driving condition. The controller 140 transmits the predicted driving condition to the user terminal apparatus 200 through the communication interface 110. In response to receiving a confirm command for the driving condition from the user terminal apparatus 200 through the communication interface 110, the controller 140 controls the heating and cooling device 310 in the home according to the driving condition stored in the storage device 130 so that the home is at the desired temperature when the user arrives home.
Following figure is a view illustrating the user terminal apparatus 200.
The user terminal apparatus 200 includes a display 210, a communication interface 220, a storage device 230, and a controller 240. The display 210 is configured to display multimedia content and various user interfaces (UIs). In particular, the display 210 can display information received from the SmartThings Hub 100, and display a UI for controlling the IoT devices in a home network. That is, through the UI for performing communication with the SmartThings Hub 100 and the home network displayed in the display 210, the user terminal apparatus 200 receives the user request information, and display the environment information and the driving condition received from the SmartThings Hub 100. The display 210 can display a notification window configured to notify the driving condition received from the SmartThings Hub 100 every preset period.
The communication interface 220 is configured to perform communication with various types of external apparatuses according to various types of communication methods. The communication interface 220 performs communication with the SmartThings Hub 100. The communication interface 220 can transmit the received user request information to the SmartThings Hub 100. The communication interface 220 receives the environment information such as the internal temperature of the home from the SmartThings Hub 100. The storage device 230 is configured to store various software modules and data for driving the user terminal apparatus 200 (App).
Device identification can be based on device media access control (MAC) addresses, unique identifiers (e.g., names), unique IP addresses, unique web addresses, and so on, as well as various generally identifying information, such as non-unique device types, non-unique device classes, locations, etc.
Samsung patent application US20140355588 describes technical details regarding the performing of the predetermined operation by the home appliances. Following figure shows a control flow of the washing machine.
The washing machine 300-4 includes a washing machine manipulator 320-4 to receive an operation command for the washing machine 300-4, a washing machine display 330-4 to display operation information of the washing machine 300-4, and a washing machine communicator 370-4 to communicate with the SmartThings Hub. A user inputs a control command for the washing machine 300-4 through the portable terminal. For example, if the user who operates the washing machine 300-4 while going out, desires to allow the washing machine 300-4 and the portable terminal possessed by the user to display a message indicating that the washing of laundry is finished when the user returns home, the user inputs a control command indicating the above contents into the washing machine 300-4 through the washing machine manipulator 320-4 and the portable terminal. Accordingly, the washing machine 300-4 performs a washing operation on the laundry to be washed. Thereafter, the user enters the home, and as the portable terminal connects to the SmartThings Hub, the SmartThings Hub receives identification information of the portable terminal to identify the portable terminal, and notifies the washing machine 300-4, of the connection of the portable terminal. Upon notified that the portable terminal is connected to the SmartThings Hub, the washing machine 300-4 outputs alarming sound through the washing machine sound output 390-4, indicates through the washing machine display 330-4 that the washing is finished, and sends through the SmartThings Hub the portable terminal a message stating that the washing operation is finished. Accordingly, the portable terminal indicates that the washing operation is finished.
Samsung SmartThings is the first fully integrated smart home system. As the technology innovations for the internet of things (IoT) are advanced, it is expected that fully performing smart home system that can provide more diverse value added services will be developed. Followings summarize future potential improvements of the current smart home system.
· The smart home system will determine how to solve user’s problem or perform for a specific situation without constant guidance from the user.
· The smart home system will adapt to changing situation/environment.
· The smart home product system will react properly to the changing situation/environment in accordance with the performance objectives.
· The smart home system will adapt the overall energy efficiency of the home to the comfort and quality of life.
· The smart home system will proactively act for caring the user under the environment/situation on behalf of the user.
· The smart home system will provide UI/UX depend on the user context.
· The smart home system will provide personalize entertainment to the user.
· The smart home will provide should exploit semantic information regarding the home entertainment devices.
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