Discover the difference between smart homes, connected homes, and automated homes

Technology rapidly improves year after year. However, not every new device can be called smart.

Today, terms such as smart homeconnected home and home automation are used so interchangeably that they have become confused with each other, when in reality they refer to quite different things.

In a nutshell, here is what is and is not covered by connected, smart, automated, and thoughtful home automation:

The difference between difference times of home automation


Connected home

Smart home

Automated home

Thoughtful home automation


Security system


Multi-room music

Smart lighting






Automated gates, doors, and locks



Automated blinds and curtains



Automated irrigation



Centralised touchscreen control












To learn what’s possible with the very latest smart, connected, and home automation technologies, get in touch with Integrated Technologies Australia.

Connected devices

connected home

connected device is one that can share data over a network. For example, a connected home may feature a sensor that checks whether your lounge window is open or closed, and then sends this information to your home security system.

By some estimates, the universe of connected devices, commonly referred to as the Internet of Things, will encompass over 75 billion devices by 2020.

Smart technology

smart home

Smart technology is more complex. Smart devices typically include sensors as well as microprocessors, data storage and their own software. This enables them to not only connect and share data, but also to interact both with other devices and with people.

In essence, while most smart things are connected, many connected devices are not smart. 


home automation

The term home automation is used in two different ways. On one hand, it refers to things that can move or operate themselves, taking over repetitive manual tasks and generally making our lives easier.

Here are a few popular examples of automated devices in the home:

  • Window blinds that can open or close at the push of a button, or when the internal temperature reaches a certain point.
  • Concealed drop-down televisions that can swivel to preset positions, and then retract out of the way when not needed.

Many automated devices are also smart. Many modern garage doors can automatically close themselves if left open overnight.

On a higher level, true home automation refers to the seamless integration of all these things – all of our connected, smart and self-operating devices – into one unified, intelligent system that intuitively puts total control of the entire home environment at your fingertips.

This is referred to as thoughtful home automation and it is the ultimate dream scenario that all of this sophisticated technology promises to deliver. And yet for many, it remains elusive.

The big picture

While most modern-day consumers can purchase and install some connected or smart devices, the key missing ingredient is the know-how to get everything operating in harmony. Home automation is a rapidly evolving field, which today encompasses:

Custom home installation

For thoughtful home automation that works exactly the way you want, a custom installation is the only way to go. While off-the-shelf solutions offer a pre-set menu of options, a custom installation works the other way around — decide what you want, and let the professionals figure out how to make it happen.

During the planning phase, which is in fact more complex and critical than the installation itself, smart home automation specialists can also suggest products and features that you may not have known were available.

The thoughtful home automation specialists

The ITA team are award-winning thoughtful home automation specialists with a proven track record. We spend a lot of time working with our clients before we begin installing a single solution. With us, you get to make all the decisions about your smart home automation ahead of time, so you know exactly what you'll get.

We are accredited installers of advanced Schneider C-Bus and Crestron home automation systems. Once we have designed a customised solution, we can submit it to the manufacturers for review, and they can accept it, certify it, and then apply an extended warranty.

We’ve been in business since 2005, and we’ve earned our reputation for expertise in smart home automation, energy management solutions and general electrical services. We have a team of electricians and technology specialists that can help, whatever the problem.

Our home automation systems can also feature remote access, so that - with your permission - our technicians can access and view system logs remotely, and even change system programming to suit your needs.

If you have any questions about smart home and home automation technology, get in touch with a thoughtful home automation expert at ITA today.