Embedded or Cloud: A house on earth or in the clouds?
You are there, you choose to equip your house or apartment with connected objects. In doing so, you find the right solution for your needs and take it home. Before you can even use it, you must download an application or device the entire system to the Internet. Why did you end up like that? Is the Internet the only way to control Smart Home? Are there no other solutions? To answer you, here is a comparative study of two practices that have been in the news in recent years: Embedded vs. Cloud.
In this article, you will learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of each, understand the inherent issues and get advice to help you to take the right choices.
What are we talking about exactly ?
Cloud Computing is a technology based on the use of the computing power of remote servers over a network, usually the Internet. For example, when you ask your voice assistant to play a music track, he will search for information on different external service servers (streaming music in our case) in order to perform the action.
In contrast to the Cloud, there are “embedded” technologies. These one are directly installed in a physical medium and operate independently of the network or company providing it. Snips, in this case, illustrates very well the “local” aspect of the technology through its personal assistants who can control certain objects in the house, without having to use the Internet.
So, rather embedded…
As the issue of personal data usage is a pervasive media issue, more and more companies are striving to offer technologies that can operate independently of the cloud: locally. What are the advantages and disadvantages?
- More reliable : embedded solutions are able to operate fully without Internet access or monitoring by the company. Thus, in the event of a network outage or marketing interruption, everything is functional.
- Faster response : Simple voice commands processed locally have much lower latency than their cloud equivalent because they are not subject to the speed and stability of the Internet network.
- Secure data : the user’s data cannot be transferred outside the system because the system is not connected. The embedded solutions are Private by Design (and therefore respect the DGMP) by definition because they are totally hermetic to the transfer of personal data.
- Obsolescence : an embedded system cannot be updated automatically and its maintenance is much more complicated, to the detriment of the user experience.
- No remote control : Since you do not have access to the cloud, the use of your Smart Home system will be concentrated in your home.
- Fewer features : searches, routes, music streaming, ifftt scenarios, etc.. these are all features to which an embedded system will not have access.
…or cloud ?
Today, many Smart Home solutions take advantage of cloud technology, with data exchange as a cornerstone of their performance. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this?
- Always up to date : thanks to Cloud technology, the system is directly linked to the company, which has the ability to update it automatically and instantly. This allows the user to always benefit from new features and improvements.
- More features : unlike embedded solutions, Internet access allows cloud solutions to access external services and offer these features to the user.
- Continuous system improvement : user data enriches the system to make it more efficient. First of all, on the lexical part, information about ways of speaking, jargon, new words and expressions improve one’s ability to understand. In addition, with the Cloud, information such as the user’s context is sent to the system, allowing it to refine its response.
- Remotely controllable : Turning off lights, planning a scenario, locking doors from work or during a trip are all possible tasks with the Cloud.
- Instability : Cloud technology makes the system dependent on the network and the service that provides it.
- Insecurity : the user’s personal data is transferred and analyzed on the Cloud. Some unethical companies use or market this information. On the other hand, their security is not ensured with the Cloud, it depends on your network and the one of the company.
What to choose? Our expertise.
Whether it’s the cloud or embedded, there’s no general answer.
Indeed, it depends a lot on how you or your customers will use it. Each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages. If your main barrier is the use of personal data, it is not mandatory to use embedded methods, some cloud solution providers are fully compliant with the RGPD. Similarly, if you want a high-performance system with a lot of features, choose instead the Cloud solutions that offer you this dimension, conversely, embedded solutions will be more efficient to meet your less complex needs. In conclusion, it is up to you to make the arbitration according to your needs and concerns.
Our experts are specialized in these issues. Feel free to contact us to discuss your project!