Home automation is the residential extension of building automation and involves the control and automation of lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), appliances, and security. Modern systems generally consist of switches and sensors connected to a central hub sometimes called a "gateway" from which the system is controlled with a user interface that is interacted either with a wall-mounted terminal, mobile phone software, tablet computer or a web interface.
While there are many competing vendors, there are very few world-wide accepted industry standards and the smart home space is heavily fragmented. Popular suites of products include X10, Ethernet, RS-485, ZigBee and Z-Wave, or other proprietary protocols all of which are incompatible with each other. Manufacturers often prevent independent implementations by withholding documentation and by suing people.
The home automation market is in 2015 predicted to have a market value over 10 billion US$ by the year 2020.