Geofencing is an option that you encounter in various applications of all kinds of smart devices. But what is it and how does it work? In this article, we’ll explain what to expect from geofencing and how you could use it.
What is Geofencing?
Geofencing means that you set invisible boundaries in or around your smart home. Usually this is done through a combination of hardware (for example the GPS chip in your smartphone) and software (such as your operating system and the apps you need for smart home devices). Quite simply, a geofence is a virtual area within a location that exists in the real world.
Applications and programs that you need for smart devices today can sometimes make smart use of geofencing. When you then enter or leave a certain area, a certain trigger can occur. This trigger ensures that devices that are connected to your home network and are part of such a trigger can take actions. A simple example: every time your child leaves or re-enters the house, you as a parent can receive a notification.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. The great thing about geofencing is the collaboration between you, your home and the smart devices you have installed. Consider, for example, all devices that can benefit from such location-bound technology: your thermostat, lamps, robot vacuum cleaner, security camera – you name it.
Geofencing: A Scenario
Suppose all members of the family are out at some point because of school or work. At that moment – when the last person leaves the pre-set virtual area – can activate the alarm, lower the temperature of the thermostat, turn off all lights (or turn them on at any time), turn off all unnecessary appliances and turn off the blinds. do it down. When someone comes home, the opposite trigger is triggered: devices switch on, the barrier rises and the thermostat heats your house. So your house responds to your presence.
The advantage of geofencing is that you encounter the technology in all kinds of applications. As a result, you can control a lot of devices by having them look at your location. The disadvantage is that the range of devices is very large nowadays, making it difficult to find out which products do and do not suit your situation. You will therefore have to research specific possibilities and systems, provided you do not quickly find what you are looking for. You can also use automation programs such as IFTTT to link different devices that normally do not communicate with each other.
Geofencing versus voice assistants and schedules
You may not see geofencing that way, of course. The biggest advantage of the technology is that you set everything up once and then the house regulates itself. The same applies of course to the people who use schedules, but not everyone has such a fixed weekly pattern that the schedule offers the solution. They do give you a little more direct control over your home. The same goes for voice assistants. With those handy helpers you have the most control, but at the moment they do not allow you to plan things ahead (although that option must be introduced for the Google Assistant this year ).
In addition, you also have the option to implement different sensors at home. Only when someone walks past such a sensor, the lamp in the room where someone is at that moment switches on. If at a given moment no movement is detected anymore, the lamps will go out. You can solve any problems with such a system with schemes and voice assistants, because it does not work perfectly. In addition, you also have to install and hang everything and not everyone likes to do that. However, the big disadvantage of geofencing is that you always share your location with your smartphone, but also with apps from other manufacturers.