Say What? Translating Smart-Home Geek Speak
From Apple HomeKit to Z-Wave, common smart-home jargon demystified
n: a technology built into iOS that enables users to easily add certified devices to a home network, control them securely, and command them simultaneously for the purpose of orchestrating a "scene"; allows voice control through Siri; not an app
BLUETOOTH LE n: a wireless communication frequency with low energy requirements that enables devices such as smart door locks to run for years on one set of batteries
DUMB adj: any device not connected to the Internet, even if it's otherwise a perfectly clever machine
HUB n: an Internet access point that allows smart-home devices connected to it via wireless radio signals to be controlled remotely
IFTTT acronym: If This, Then That: a Web-based service that scripts conditional triggers, or "recipes," between smart devices and online events; e.g., "if this" phone Googles "cocktail recipes" at midnight, "then that" connected coffee maker had better not brew before 9:30 a.m.
INTERNET OF THINGS n: a.k.a. IoT; an evolved state of the Internet in which machines transfer data over a network without requiring human interaction
IP CAMERA n: a video camera that sends footage over the Internet mesh network n: a web of radio-powered devices that relay information by talking to one another rather than through a central hub
SCENE n: an atmosphere created when smart devices are triggered to adjust to predetermined settings all at once; e.g., Hue lights dim, Sonos cues Barry White, Crock-Pot bubbles to life— "romantic dinner"
ZIGBEE n: a communications protocol based on low-power wireless radio signals that allows devices to talk to one another in a mesh network
Z-WAVE n: another home-automation protocol; see ZigBee