In 2018, you can talk to your TV – and it will understand you. Your smart home is a thing of wonder – but how it is all possible? Discover how smart devices connect us to the world around us.

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about the Internet of Things and smart products. These household items promise to change your life by running autonomously, on a timer, on a schedule or even on command. They can automatically detect the temperature and control it. They know when you’re running low on milk and can order more. They can even tell you the morning news. But how do they do it?

Smart products use a clever array of microprocessors, sensors and software to achieve all this and more. And interestingly, all these parts are created using natural resources.

A connected world

Most homes are connected through fibre optic wires, creating connected cities, and a connected world. However, every home needs metal wires to connect the fibre optics to your modem, router, and all the smart devices that talk to each other.

In the cloud

The Cloud is an array of computers that remotely store your photos, streaming videos, music, apps, docs and more. And of course, these computers are created with natural resources from the earth.

In the skies

More than ever before, we rely on satellites in space for communications. They help provide us with television broadcasts, phone calls and various communication signals. But without the lightweight and strong aluminium alloy, satellites would not be possible. And that goes for your smart phone signal too.

We may take it for granted, but modern devices are filled with parts made from natural resources. Here are many metals you can find in smart devices around your household.

Smart Speakers

At the hub of your smart home, your Google Home, Apple Home or Amazon Alexa are all powered with copper wires, iron magnets and various other metal items.

Wiring

Copper is used in domestic water systems, supplying hot and cold water to your home. It is also essential in the wiring that makes electricity and communication possible.

Wireless Charger

Wireless charging uses an electromagnetic field to transfer energy between two objects through electromagnetic induction. But without copper and iron, this would be impossible.

Smart Thermostat

A bimetallic strip consists of two strips of different metals that expand at different rates as they are heated. These are usually steel and copper.

Smart Lighting

Metals such as arsenic, gallium, indium, and the rare-earth elements cerium, europium, gadolinium, lanthanum, terbium, and yttrium are important materials used in LED semiconductor technology.

So, next time you come home to a pre-warmed home, dim the lights with your voice and tell your TV to play Stranger Things on Netflix, think about all the little pieces that make it all possible. The smart home is here to make your life easier, but without natural resources, none of this technology would exist.