I have been reading about smart home recently and my colleague Ivan informed me about KNX standard so I have spent some time to learn about this interesting open system. Generally, smart home/building market is expected to be worth $29.8 billion by 2021. Largest vertical sectors are luxury villas, offices and hotels. The KNX protocol/standard has a significant market share in Europe and in China. In Germany the KNX penetration is 56%, in the UK it’s 27% and 32% for the France. Other parts of the market are mostly taken by proprietary protocols based upon ZigBee, Z-Wave, WiFi and Bluetooth. For me it is quite clear that in order to do integrate, control and manage different elements of smart home/smart building system it is advisable to use open and not proprietery protocols.
On of the drawback of typical KNX wired solution was its limitation to new-built installations but this was overcome in 2010. by the introduction of KNX RF (wireless) which enable KNX to gain a significant market share in the wireless protocols. The good thing about KNX RF is it’s backward compatibility with KNX wired products. More about all this can be read here. This is the link to the web-site of KNX association.
It is obvious that these days more and more people want a comfortable, sustainable and safe place to live and work and that’s where automation jumps. Automation can only be achieved by intelligent control and monitoring of all parts of the system. These parts can vary from lighting, shutters, security systems, energy management, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning systems to signaling and monitoring systems, interfaces to service and building control systems, remote control, audio and video control. All these can be monitored and controlled via an uniform system and KNX is a framework upon to base such system.
With KNX you can control and monitor: blinds, lighting, HVAC (heating, ventilation & air-conditioning), Security, Door communication and Visualization. More information about each of these application can be read on this link. IT is also good to note that KNX is used for different types of buildings: Office buildings, Residential buildings, Hotels, Schools and Universities, Hospitals, Stadiums and other sport facilities, Airports and Industrial buildings.
With home or building automation there are always risks involved about attacks on networks from which hackers can gain unathorized access to building/home management systems. So security is a big deal both for smart home and for IoT in general. To me KNX seems quite secure system since it uses 128 bit AES encryption, all IP datagrams are encrypted and also authentication is used. More about security here.
To finalize, a good thing with KNX is it’s big community which is nicely depicted below:
I have managed to find two training centers in Croatia and also quite a lot of KNX basic course partners. I hope that my writing don’t look like a sponsored article since I really don’t have any interest in promoting KNX solutions, however from what I have read so far about KNX, it seems like a good framework if you would like to start with smart home projects.