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Centralised vs. distributed smart home systems - What is the right choice?

August 20, 2018


Box or not a box – That’s the question…


To make it dramatic from the beginning: What would happen, if the government would fail from one day to the other? Right – Panic would break lose but the world would still turn, due to the private sector.


What does a failing government have to do with a centralised and/or a distributed system? Easy – whilst the government is the central point of a country, the private sector is acting as the distributed player in this scenario. Whilst government-owned institutions and services would stop working after a collapse, the companies and institutions which are not involved in a governmental collapse are (even if only theoretically) functional.


And this is the point also for centralised and distributed systems. But let’s have a look first at the two different systems:



Centralised Systems


Central device for smart home solutions


With growing distribution of Smart Home solutions, the smart home has arrived in more and more households. “Switch off the light!” will soon be heard more often than the question asked, whether the light has been switched off or not (a common nightmare, once departed for your holidays). Clearly, this makes life more comfortable and give the feeling of owning a little bit of the future, which is yet to come. Having said that, we have not talked about the further advantages, such as the shopping list items, which Amazon can have delivered to you within hours, or the recommendations for goods, that Google thinks we need. Besides controlling our houses, we also have funny gadgets to play around with.



“Where there is light, there must be shadow”


What do the systems of centralised solutions have in common? Right – They are all controlled by one central controller. On the bright side, the easy user interface allows to have all devices connected and configured in no time. The easy user interfaces allow even children to configure their smart homes according to their wishes.


However, the drawback of these nice and easy systems are also what makes them so interesting – All is controlled by a central contr