In general a "smart home" refers to a house, apartment, or neighborhood that is equipped with some combination of a broadband connection, fiber-optic cables, and a wirelessnetwork. The network can ferry data and video signals around a home through phone and power lines and over radio frequencies, allowing the owner to check on it via the Internet (even from work or while out of town). Everything from the oven to the air conditioner to the security alarm can be controlled with a universal remote control device and a TV screen or PC monitor display. Using a menu on the display, the owner can set the room temperature or use a remote camera to see who is at the front door.
Other examples of smart home monitoring devices include the following: a wireless on/off power sensor to monitor the flow of electricity to critical machines and appliances; a temperature sensor installed to monitor anything from a child's room to a food storage container; an acoustic sensor that alerts you to sounds of breaking glass or alarms elsewhere in the house; a water sensor installed to avoid water damage from leaky pipes or broken hoses; and no smart home would be complete without a door and window sensor that notifies you of break-ins. Companies that provide smart-home installation say it is quick, affordable, scaleable, and not dependent on additional wiring (because it is either wireless (WAP) or can be implemented on existing wires, such as CAT5 or coaxial cable).
The notion of a "digital lifestyle" refers to the everyday habit of using digital music, video, and photos and moving it between computers, TVs, and handheld devices.