2016 ITGS HL Paper 3: Smart Homes

The ITGS case study, Smart Homes, is the stimulus material for the research investigation required for May and November 2016 higher level paper 3. All of the work related to the case study should reflect the integrated approach explained on pages 15–17 of the ITGS guide.
Source: http://gstylemag.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/SmartHome.jpg
Source: http://gstylemag.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/SmartHome.jpg

Candidates should consider Smart Homes with respect to:
  • relevant IT systems in a social context
  • both local and global areas of impact
  • social and ethical impacts on individuals and societies
  • current challenges and solutions
  • future developments

Candidates are expected to research real-life situations similar to Smart Homes and relate their findings to first-hand experiences wherever possible. Information may be collected through a range of activities: secondary and primary research, field trips, guest speakers, personal interviews and email correspondence. Responses to examination questions must reflect the synthesis of knowledge and experiences that the candidates have gained from their investigations. In some instances, additional information may be provided in examination questions to allow candidates to generate new ideas.


New Triangle3.jpg
DEMONSTRATE an understanding of the IT systems presented in the case study and how they work (AO1)
ANALYZE the social/ethical issues relevant to the case study (AO2)
EXPLAIN how the scenarios specified in the case study may be related to other similar global and local situations (AO2)
DEMONSTRATE independent research (use and quote information gathered in the primary and secondary research that goes beyond what was presented in the case study (AO3)
EVALUATE, FORMULATE or JUSTIFY strategic solutions to problems presented in the case study (AO3)


Required Reading:


Source: http://www.itgsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/smart-homes-overview.jpg
Source: http://www.itgsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/smart-homes-overview.jpg

  • Smart Homes - homes equipped with electronic devices that can be controlled remotely.
  • devices - A thing made or adapted for a particular purpose, especially a piece of mechanical or electronic equipment.
  • communications network A system of relays that provides informations to others
  • sensors - A device that detects or measures a physical property and records, indicates, or otherwise responds to it. Always an input device.
  • security - the measures needed to be taken in order to keep technologies safe for use
  • Internet of Things (IoT) - a system in which people, animals, and things all have unique identifiers
  • If This Then That (IFTTT) - a company that produces internet-based recipes, allowing smart devices to perform certain tasks autonomously following if/then statements
  • Smart Technology - Squeezing big performance improvements out of everything from electric grids and transportation networks to water supply systems and health care services by trying to align constrained supply with erratic demand more systematically.
  • data - information gathered and stored by a computer system/device
  • Internet Service Providers (ISPs) - companies that provides individuals and other companies access to the Internet and other related services
  • Internet - The global communication network that allows computers worldwide to connect and exchange information.
  • Hub: the effective center of an activity, region, or network.
  • Home Network: A local network that allows devices connected to the same network to communicate with each other.
  • cloud based - a device that stores information on distant servers where it can be accessed by anyone
  • proprietary controls: Controls protected by trademark or patent. made, produced, or distributed by an individual that has total ownership.
  • software: the programs and operating information used by a computer.
  • protocols - rules and guidelines set in place for the technology or tech users to follow in a certain scenario
  • control software: control software is software used to filter out inappropriate content on the web (ex. iBoss).
  • if/then statements - logic statements commanding a computer to perform an action if a prerequisite is met
  • web interface - The interaction between a user and software running on a Web server.
  • input - instructions given by the user to the hardware and software of the computer
  • interface - the platform with which the user interacts in order to operate the device
  • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) - a discipline concerned with the study, design, construction and implementation of human-centric interactive computer systems.
  • device manager: a control panel applet in microsoft windows operating systems to view and control hardware attached to the computer
  • network: two or more computers/servers that are linked in order to share resources.
  • technological determinism - a reductionist theory that presumes that a society's technology drives the development of its social structure and cultural values, i.e., technology for the sake of technology.
  • intelligent home - a digital home that runs mostly autonomously
  • autonomously - independently, self governing
  • compatibility - the ability of one device, program, or software to work with another.
  • activity monitoring: Devices designed to track and store user’s data pertaining to a specific activity.
  • storage: Any technology designed to store and keep data.
  • app: a self containing program or software that is designed to fulfill a particular purpose
  • automation: the use of automatic equipment in a system of production.

Primary Sources vs. Secondary Sources | Common Craft Video


  • Field trip to Paulson's Home Theater / Autimation
  • Going to Best Buy and looking at and asking questions the staff about smart home implements already being sold
  • going to a technology museum to look for previous IT systems that make today's technology possible
  • Pretending to be a potential customer interested in purchasing a smart home. Discuss with the real estate agent the positives and negatives of buying it.
  • Call an employee of company similar to Brix Home, or an employee of a company that installs smart security into homes.
  • Try to create a DIY smart home.
  • Create a kickstarter for the school to fund a smart home for a family in need in our community, while inspecting and interviewing the family before and after
  • Interview someone who is the owner of a smart home in person or by phone if they live far away and ask them about the pros and cons of having a smart home
  • Research Articles and watching videos on the latest smart home technologies
  • Call/Visit ADT and discuss what smart home technologies they provide and what are the benefits of owning them. Additionally, what are the requirements to start implementing the IT system?

Source: http://www.itgsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/smart-tech-infographic.jpeg
Source: http://www.itgsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/smart-tech-infographic.jpeg



ITGS Textbook 2016 HL Paper 3
ITGSopedia 2016 HL Paper 3


Source: http://i.cbc.ca/1.3284669.1445547696!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/296-smart-lock.jpg
Source: http://i.cbc.ca/1.3284669.1445547696!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/296-smart-lock.jpg


Facebook Group: 2016 ITGSopedia Case Study
Use the ITGS global tag
7.16_case_study_2016 Diigo tagged articles


The Internet of Things | Common Craft Video

Cloud Computing | Common Craft Video

Smart Grid | Common Craft Video

The Internet of Things | IBM Social Media

What Does the Internet of Things Mean? | Intel

How it works: Internet of Things | IBM Think Academy

This video is an introduction to the products of the company “SmartThings.” This company has invented technology that allows the user to control, monitor, and customize his/her home remotely.

This video discusses a tech writer’s home, where she makes all of her devices communicate with each other. This brings up the social and ethical issues of her devices being hacked.

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

This video covers how Apple’s newly developed technologies will be compatible with existing smart home technologies.

Analyzes future smart home innovations and what they’ll be able to do.

Discusses how easy it is for people to anonymously hack into a smart phone to control, locks, lights, TV, thermostat, and other connected features in smart homes.

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Apple’s HomeKit

Examines potential security concerns in smart homes.

This video is about how Microsoft 10 will have a technology called AllJoyn which is an “open source framework that encourages devices to be inter operable.” This AllJoyn system is similar to Apple's Homekit, however it is not directly compatible to Homekit without an extra hardware chip.

Demonstrates various smart home technologies.

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos


  • What are potential problem(s) in this case?
    • Privacy - There may be a debate to whether the users or the cloud provider own the data gathered by the home.
    • Communication - The home may over communicate personal/private information back to other family members using the smart house or there may be an issue with too much data being sent back to the cloud or Brix Homes.
    • Security Of Data - There will also may be a concern considering how hackable the technology is and what that information could be used for.
    • Reliability And Integrity - The reliability of the company has to be ensured and the reliability of the devices used must be taken into account by the homeowners to see if a smart home through Brix Homes is safe.
  • How does the problem affect the stakeholders both in the long run and the short run?
    • Insert response here
  • What social/ethical issues arise from this analysis
    • Positive social
      • IDENTIFY positive social issues here
    • Negative social
      • IDENTIFY negative social issues here
    • Positive ethical
      • IDENTIFY positive ethical implications here
    • Negative ethical
      • IDENTIFY negative ethical implications here
  • Definitions of ALL related ITGS Key Terms
    • Insert bookmark link to KEY TERMS (above)
  • How do SMART technologies work?
    • Security
      • DESCRIBE how the technology works.
    • TV
      • DESCRIBE how the technology works.
    • Air conditioning / Heating (HVAC)
      • DESCRIBE how the technology works.
    • Window Sensors
      • DESCRIBE how the technology works.
    • Wifi
      • DESCRIBE how the technology works.
    • Smoke Detector
      • DESCRIBE how the technology works.
    • Moisture sensor.
      • DESCRIBE how the technology works.
    • Lighting
      • DESCRIBE how the technology works.
    • Oven
      • DESCRIBE how the technology works.
  • TO WHAT EXTENT are SMART technologies are part of the problem and/or the solution?
    • Yousuf Insert your response here
    • Kristen Insert response here
    • Jalen Insert your response here
    • Wameed Insert your response here
    • Sydney Insert your response here
    • Desi insert your response here
    • Liz insert your response here
    • Morgan insert your response here
    • Ayzad insert your response here
    • Tyler insert your response here
    • Kyle insert your response here
    • Elliot insert your response here
    • Katrina insert your response here
  • What are the advantages of the solution(s), for which stakeholders?
    • Yousuf Insert your response here
    • Kristen Insert response here
    • Jalen Insert your response here
    • Wameed Insert your response here
    • Sydney Insert your response here
    • Desi insert your response here
    • Liz insert your response here
    • Morgan insert your response here
    • Ayzad insert your response here
    • Tyler insert your response here
    • Kyle insert your response here
    • Elliot insert your response here
    • Katrina insert your response here
  • Are there ways to mitigate the disadvantages?
    • Insert response here
  • What additional effects are generated by the solution(s)?
    • Insert response here
  • Taking into account the social and ethical issues which arise, which is/are the best solution(s)?
    • Insert response here


  • DEFINE the term _.
  • IDENTIFY two characteristics of _.
  • OUTLINE one reason why _ should be used in a home.
  • DISTINGUISH between _ and _.
  • EXPLAIN one _ and one _ that can be applied to customer access.
  • DISCUSS whether third party vendors should be able to profit from the use the information / data gathered from devices they have sold that are being used in smart homes.
  • With reference to your independent research, TO WHAT EXTENT do the benefit's of a consumer living in a Smart Home outweigh the ethical concerns that these consumers may have about the impacts on their privacy, security, an anonymity?
  • Insert additional possible assessment questions here.

Critically read the case study. Print a copy of the case study.

IDENTIFY (highlight) information in the case study as it relates to the four parts of the ITGS triangle. Use BLUE for stakeholders, PINK for Social/Ethical Significance, GREEN for IT Systems, and YELLOW for Application to Specified Scenarios. Do not perform a full triangle analysis yet, simply start to organize what goes where, etc.Meet with a group of 3 other students to COMPARE and CONTRAST your findings.

CONSTRUCT a new Wiki via Wikispaces to collect and analyze your findings regarding the HL Paper 3 Case Study together as a class. This will provide a place for you to review relevant sources and information before the exam in May. Include the following:
  • IDENTIFY all ITGS key terms used in the article and at the end of the article and DEFINE them on the class Wiki in a section or page named KEY TERMS. Include definitions, explanations and diagrams relating to the terminology along with the properly cited sources.
  • FORMULATE research questions for inquiry into the case study (questions you will need to answer through research). Questions should be added as secondary research progresses on the class Wiki in a section or page named RESEARCH QUESTIONS. Design and develop new questions as research progresses.
  • IDENTIFY possible Primary Resources (examples: Stock management / ordering systems, Loyalty card systems, Check out systems, Systems designed to analyze big data collected from customers and from store operations) in a section or page named PRIMARY SOURCES.
  • IDENTIFY secondary resources (examples: websites, .pdf files, videos, printed magazines and books, ebooks). Reliable and relevant sources must be used in a section or page named SECONDARY RESOURCES.
  • COMPARE and CONTRAST findings from primary sources with findings from secondary resources. Create a section or page on the Wiki for this. Choose an appropriate name.
  • Predict possible questions that could appear on Paper 3 using ITGS Command terms under a heading titled POSSIBLE PAPER 3 IB ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS.
  • IDENTIFY a set of tags and use Diigo throughout the year to tag useful information related to the case study. Utilize the ITGSopedia Global Tagging System page and the 2015 ITGS Case Study Facebook Group to aid in your research. Place links to these resources on the Wiki under the heading LEARNING RESOURCES.
  • ANNOTATE the case study as a class with Diigo based on your original highlighted copy. Post the link to the annotated copy to the Wiki under the REQUIRED READING heading.

  • REVIEW Expert Systems, IFTTT and IOTs.
  • CONSTRUCT an IFTTT recipe that can be used to automate something.
  • Prepare to DISCUSS your recipe with the class. Brainstorm ways that IFTTTT could be used to automate something in your home. Additional resources for this have been tagged to the HHS ITGS Diigo Group with the 7.16_case_study_2016 tag.
  • TAG 3 new resources related to the 2016 HL Paper 3 case study with the 7.16_case_study_2016 tag to the HHS ITGS Diigo Group.
  • Continue studying for HL Paper 3.

Resources utilized in the development of this Wikipage:

Case Study Exam Tips: http://www.itgsnews.com/2012/05/itgs-paper-3-case-study-exam-tips.html
"Smart Home No Longer a Choice between Ultra-expensive and Cheap DIY (Post Sponsored
by URC)." GadgeTell. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June
"Intel on the Smart Home: "Let's Not Be Sneaky" | IP&TV News." IPTV News Intel on the Smart
Home Lets Not Be Sneaky Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2015.
"Apple's HomeKit Will Soon Be Able to Control Many New Smart Home Products." The Verge.
N.p., 08 June 2015. Web. 11 June 2015.
Mirzatuny, Marita. "Why Aren't More People Using Energy-smart Home Technology?" GreenBiz. N.p., 23 Aug. 2013. Web. 11 June 2015. <http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2013/08/23/more-people-using-energy-smart-home-technology>.
Simpson, Nick. "Generation Green." Generation Green 7 Ways Smart Home Environmental Controls Will Help Save the Planet Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2015. <http://generationgreen.org/2012/07/7-ways-smart-home-environmental-controls-will-help-save-the-planet/>.
"What Is WiFi? - HowStuffWorks." HowStuffWorks. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 June 2015.
"Crimpco." Crimpco. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 June 2015.
How Smoke Alarms Work" Mental Floss. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 June 2015.eb. 10
June 2015. <http://www.explainthatstuff.com/television.html>.
"Q. What Is a Security System and How Does It Work?" What Is a Security System and How
Does It Work? N.p., n.d. Web. 10 June 2015.
Woodford, Chris. "Television." Ho w Does Television (TV) Work? N.p., 05 June 2015. W
Gray, Stuart. Information Technology in a Global Society for the IB Diploma. Lexington, KY: CreateSpace, 2011. Print
Pappas, Stephanie. “Incredible Tech: How Life Will Change With Smart Homes”. Incredible Tech: How Life Will Change With Smart Homes. livescience, 12 Dec. 2013. Web. 11 Jun. 2015.
Smart Homes,' the Future of High-Tech Living. Perf. Neal Karlinsky. ABC News. ABC News Network, n.d. Web. 11 June 2015.
"Samsung Just Brought the Smart Home a Little Closer to Your Home."Samsung Just Brought the Smart Home a Little Closer to Your Home. Yahoo News, n.d. Web. 11 June 2015.
"The Endless Benefits of a Smart Home." La Jolla Light. La Jolla Light, n.d. Web. 11 June 2015.
"Building Smart Homes of the Future." BBC News. BBC News, 20 May 2013. Web. 11 June 2015.
Carbone, Chris, and Kristin Nauth. "From Smart House to Networked Home." From Smart House to Networked Home. World Future Society, n.d. Web. 11 June 2015.
Pierce, David. "Nest Acquires Revolv in a Bid to Control Your Entire Smart Home." The Verge. Vox Media, 24 Oct. 2014. Web. 11 June 2015.
Aciman, Alexander. "The Home of the Future Is Here, And It's Pretty Stupid." New Republic. N.p., 19 Aug. 2014. Web. 11 June 2015.
"Top Smart Home Tech of 2015!" YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 11 June 2015.
Evangelista, Benny. "Smart Home of the Future Is Here; Why Aren't People Buying In?" SFGate. N.p., 23 May 2015. Web. 11 June 2015.
"What Is a Smart Home? Video Example of Smart Home Technology in Action..." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 11 June 2015.
Harms, Nicole. "How Does an Oven Work?" EHow. Demand Media, 28 Oct. 2008. Web. 11 June 2015.
"ITGS Vocabulary Key Terms." - WLCS. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2015.
"How Do Motion Sensing Lights and Burglar Alarms Work? - HowStuffWorks." HowStuffWorks. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2015.
"What Is 'smart' Technology?" KnowIT. N.p., 23 Aug. 2011. Web. 11 June 2015.
"Quick Facts and Stats." SMART Quick Facts and Stats. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2015.
"IBM Unveils 5 Smart Technology Trends For The Next 5 Years." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 11 June 2015.
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