The terms “connected home” and “smart home” are basically new labels for an old concept. Home automation, control and security systems have been around for decades. What separates them from today’s products is, among other things, price. In the past, only the wealthy could really afford to trick out their domiciles.
While there are still plenty of expensive systems available from architects and contractors—for prices ranging from a few thousand dollars to millions—they're no longer the only options. Advances in wireless technology and mobile devices, as well as falling component prices, have lead to more convenient and affordable connected products. Practically all of them offer smartphone control and, even better for renters, many don’t require permanent fixtures or rewiring.
Read more: http://readwrite.com/2014/05/06/connected-smart-home-how-to-basics-tips