Designing longer lasting smart home sensors

Louise Smyth

Home automation has been gaining traction over the past few years, with massive developments in features and relevant technologies. However, these technologies are only as effective as their power source. Here, Michele Windsor from battery provider Ultralife explains the importance of having long lasting batteries at the centre of home automation product design.

Rube Goldberg machines are a fascinating spectacle to watch, with intricate parts moving around to create a symphony of movement to perform tasks. However, to function, every single part must work perfectly, otherwise it takes a lengthy reset before the spectacle can resume.
Just like in a Rube Goldberg machine, every piece in a smart house must work perfectly in order to create the spectacle that makes life easier and more efficient. To make sure your smart house is always working, its sensors must always be working.
Sensors are what feed data to the smart house, so it knows what time it is, what the temperature is, or whether the sun is glaring through your windows. Most sensors are battery powered and, as they need to be active constantly, it is important to make sure that they have batteries that are reliable and long lasting.
Based on Ultralife’s experience in the sector, many sensors for smart home devices arrive on the market with CR123A model batteries. However, not all these batteries are created equal. Many are often limited in their battery capacity, which means a shorter operating life for the sensor.
According to data from Strategy Analytics, 38% of homes in the USA will be smart homes by 2019. Because of this, it is incredibly important to set out solid design foundations now. Putting long lasting batteries into smart homes design now will avoid mass sensor outages, customer dissatisfaction and possible backlash against manufacturers in the future.
Whether it be your security cameras, lights, sprinklers, or fans, sensors keep smart devices fed with relevant information to ensure they are working precisely to maximise user comfort and convenience. 
In a sense, making intelligent decisions about smart homes now will allow our future selves to be awed by an intricate connected Rube Goldberg machine, performing millions of tasks simultaneously to make our lives simpler and stress free.