The History Of Smart Homes

Smart home or also know as Home Automation is a rising technology. A technology that would bring comfort and security to your daily lives must begin somewhere. In this post, we’re going back in time to look at the progression of Smart Home technology.

The Beginning of Home Automation

Perhaps the first ever home automation device can be traced to the invention of the thermostat as early as 1620 by Cornelis Drebbel. Of course, the technology has progressed far since, but it has set a precedence to what we have achieved today.

Even though most of the appliances that were invented during the earlier decades of the twentieth century cannot be considered “smart” by today’s standard, they were an incredible achievement back then.

The advancement towards home automation began perhaps, with the creation of the first engine-powered vacuum cleaner in 1901. Later in 1907, a more practical electricity powered vacuum was invented.

During 1902 – 1906, garage door opener started to appear most notably pushed by American manufacturers including Cornell Iron Works.

Then in the next two decades, refrigerators were invented as well as washing machines, clothes dryers, irons, toasters and so much more.

In the 1980s, the first remote-controlled garage doors were out in the market which uses the same technology that was used to detonate bombs in World War II.

Sci-Fi Inspiration

Sci-Fi (science fiction) is also a source of inspiration for the advancement of smart homes. Back in 1888, Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward was an inspiration to the enthusiast. However, a fully automated home wasn’t a major character in the plot of the story until 1950’s.

In Ray Bradbury’s “The Will Come Soft Rains”, ideas of computer controlled house that is able to take care of its daily chores including cooking and cleaning was introduced. In another work, “The Veldt”, Ray Bradbury portray a family who lives in a house filled with machines that help the family do almost everything including cooking, cleaning and even rocking them to sleep.

First Smart Devices

In 1966 – 1967 – ECHO IV and the Kitchen Computer was two of the pioneers of Smart Devices. ECHO IV was the first smart device, even though it was never sold. This machine could compute shopping list, control home’s temperature and turn appliances on and off. The Kitchen Computer was developed a year later and could store recipes, but unfortunately, there were no sold models.

Home Automation Protocols

Home Automation Protocols including Z-Wave, Zigbee and BLE are at the core of the modern smart home solution. However, it wasn’t until the 1970’s when the first general purpose smart home devices, including light switches and appliance controllers, were powered by the 16 channels command console of the X10 products.

These technology brought forth by X10 sparked a revolution in home automation. To this day X10 remains the leading protocols in home automation used by manufacturers and enthusiast.


Gerontechnology is a combination of gerontology and technology which makes the lives of senior citizen easier. In the 1990’s, there was a lot of new research in this sector.

Robot Cleaners

The first robot cleaner introduced to the market was by Electrolux back in 1996. Later Dyson followed in 2001. However, it wasn’t until 2002 with the introduction of Roomba by iRobot that robotic vacuum cleaners truly start to become a staple in modern home technology. By 2014, over 10 million Roombas have been sold throughout the world market.

Smart Home of today

Smart Homes began gaining popularity in the early 2000s. Different technology started to compete and suddenly home automation became a more affordable option and therefore become a viable technology for consumers. Along the rise of home automation, other domestic technologies also began to appear such as networking and modern gadgets.

Today, smart homes are more about security and living a green lifestyle. Smart homes become more sustainable and assist homeowners not to spend unnecessarily on energy than needed. Today’s technology is also able to alert users of intrusion or watch for water leakage or temperature levels, also giving us the opportunity to view live through online cameras.

Other rising trends with home automation include remote-ability to control certain aspects of one’s home like appliances, lights, thermostat adjustment and camera surveillance.

We live in an exciting era of technology. Our homes are just a tap away, through our mobile phones. At Maevi we are excited to bring you products that can enrich your life. Take a look at our products that may change your life for the better.

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