Creating smarter homes for smart consumers

April 27, 2016 // By Asad Zaidi
The rise of the Internet of Things promises a brave new world of connected devices, smart cities and homes, and ultimately better living. According to technology research firm TechNavio, the number of connected devices is expected to pass 17 billion in the next five years.

The ability of devices to connect to each other and feed important information back to us should lay the path for a smarter, more holistic way of managing and interacting with our environments, where continual improvements and efficiencies can be gained. 

For the consumer market, smart thermostats like Nest and Hive have already made waves in this regard and hit the headlines. Drayton by Schneider Electric is also set to launch its smart thermostat with an attractive mobile app. These products enable users to control temperature and boiler activity in their homes remotely, and promote better energy management and efficiency. They are among the first products to demonstrate true potential value of connected buildings and remote access to home infrastructure, giving us the knowledge and power to optimise our home environment to best suit our individual preferences, reduce energy bills, and even alter our behavior towards energy saving and sustainability of the planet as a society.

Intelligent building systems are not just available for offices and commercial buildings; decrease in the price of technology has made home automation a reality for consumers. This is also coupled with a dramatic change in customers’ expectations. People expect to be in control of their energy use, by managing the lighting, heating and all other electrical devices in their home from a single hand held device. This marks the new era of smart, connected homes.

An automated home brings together many control aspects including security, lighting, temperature, audio and video entertainment systems, blinds and curtains, sprinklers etc. You can enter your home and find the temperature perfectly set for your arrival, or have the lights go up as the sun goes down, or even unlock your front door with a smartphone; the possibilities are endless. There are different types of systems in the market capable of automating a single product like cameras or heating etc., but a fully integrated system can incorporate all of these disparate systems and combine them into one single point of control or an application. All of these connected elements work together to make the home more energy efficient, more convenient and safer for the homeowner.