IoT, Smart Home and Edge Computing

One key consideration we thought of 2 years ago, was "how do we make the Home-A-Genius hub faster, smarter and safer". Our answer: a local processor, hosted locally in each of our client's home.


Today, this definition is known as Edge Computing.


What is Edge Computing?


Edge computing stores and process data locally, delivering a faster device response and keeping personal data secure.

In other words, edge computing caters only to the needs of the user, with the server hosted locally within the network premise of the user.


What does Edge Computing bring across?


Simply put, reduced latency, personal data security and distributed processing.


How Smart Home and Edge Computing complement each other


1. Reduced Latency


Edge computing processes the smart home logic locally. Meaning to say variables such as Internet connection to the cloud, slow network speed, congested client server etc. are minimised.


This may sound like a small matter. However, the story changes when you are living in it. If every command takes 10s to load, it may really be faster walking to the switch.


2. Keeping personal data secure


Keeping your smart home automation within your local network means that your personal data, behaviour, digital habits (e.g. when do you reach home, when do you wake up, which channels do you watch etc.) are stored locally.


Assuming someone/stalker is really interested in you, he or she will have to get access into your smart home network in order to retrieve such information. As such, we always advise clients to set up a guest network for their guests; so that only their family members have access to their smart home network.


3. Reduced failure points


The decentralised approach of Edge Computing allows for critical processing to be acted upon immediately, while non-critical processes can be processed during low usage.


Non-Critical processing can come in forms of video recordings from the IP camera . Uploading several 1080p videos may result in a bandwidth issue. Edge computing allows for quick local storage, while backup onto a secure server can be done during lull period.


Is Smart Home still vulnerable to security breach?


Corporate banks, government agencies and even the device you are reading from now are all vulnerable to security breach. However, that should not deter us from using existing technologies to make our lives easier. Technology has came a long way. Humans have started from local processing in the 1960s to cloud computing and now, with the abundance of IoT, we are moving back to local processing.


With Edge Computing, processes and logic are managed locally, reducing interaction with the internet; ultimately creating an invisible barrier to interested parties. A locally hosted smart home reduces digital vulnerability, and should be complemented by good security practices.


Is Edge Computing all that safe?


While Edge Computing allows for smart home systems to be run smoothly, it lacks the luster for backup solutions. i.e. if the hardware is damaged, your smart home disappears with it as well.


Home-A-Genius came up with a dual solution; to allow for cloud backup only when the smart home is least busy. This way, your smart home automation logic, smart home devices or smart home gadgets will be restored after recalling the previous day's copy.