~~Smarter living: With smartphones in a smart home Print E-mail
Friday, 31 January 2014 17:19
Save energy and money, improve convenience and security. At the click of a button, anytime, anywhere. Is modern home management on the verge of a breakthrough?
In the middle of January Google announced that it was acquiring the company Nest for $3.2 billion. Nest provides home automation solutions in an Apple design. Since then it has become clear that 2014 will be an interesting year for the smart home market. Although the subject has been popular in the media for years, comparatively few consumers have seen the advantages of a networked home. Electronic companies that have made their name in smartphones and tablets are now entering the fray. This brings together things that belong together: The smartphone is the catalyst for the smart home.
"In 2014 smart homes will expand out of their niche and develop into a mass market in the next few years," says Michael Schidlack, Head of Consumer Electronics & Digital Home at BITKOM. "Even comprehensive smart home solutions are already affordable for everyone and an increasing number of appliances can be networked."
Consumer electronics are seen here as the facilitator for the home of the future. Technology aficionados have been connecting their multimedia parks via WLAN and monitoring them with apps for a long time. Smart outlets for €49 are just a small step. It goes without saying that a smart home can do much more. It not only promises a great degree of convenience, it can save money and help protect the environment.
Numerous solutions are already on the market to control temperature when one is away, remotely control roller blinds using various sensors and quickly check if the oven is really off after you've left for the airport. For around €300 Telekom for example offers a "smart home starter package” consisting of app, home base, outlet switch, smoke alarm and two thermostats – "perfect for office space as well."
The so-called "Internet of Things" will soon connect everything to everything else. Smart homes also offer a strong social service component since older people can control these devices by using individualized tablet applications or voice control.
"The possibilities are fascinating," says Michael Schidlack, Head of Consumer Electronics & Digital Home at the industry association BITKOM. "It is now important for all smart home providers to network the individual building blocks and systems to ensure that all resources are efficient, secure and conveniently available. Interoperability is the biggest challenge now."
The growing smart home scene has found the perfect joint platform in Hall 13 at CeBIT 2014. At the display category Communications & Networks , network providers can meet innovative building automation and electronics specialists. The main contact point is the new Smart Home & Communications Expert Panel, where BITKOM will present its SmartHome forum on March 11 and 12. Partners at the forum on other days are SmartHome Initiative Deutschland e.V., Z-Wave and VDE Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technology e.V.
Further highlights include the broadband summit on the first day of the fair beginning at 1 p.m. and the panel discussion at the Communications & Networks showcase on March 12 in the afternoon, also held by BITKOM.