What do you need to transform your home into a "smart home"?
Cities of the future, connected cars and, now, increasingly, smart homes. With the unstoppable progress of connectivity and technology, which equipment is not connected today?
From everyday signals (such as Google suggesting "nearby places" to go eat) until the vehicles "talk" to each other to avoid accidents, all this is a reality of everyday life.
Something that seemed to come out of a science fiction movie just a few years ago today coexists with the daily chore. Home automation - this conjunction of systems that seek to automate and facilitate processes within a home - has a great present and an even more promising future.
The Internet of Things (IoT) tools, the different devices and referenced appliances such as Amazon, Google, Apple are leading the transformation of the experiences inside and outside the houses. This large ecosystem reconfigures, at an accelerated pace, the satisfaction of different needs within a conventional house.
"This is part of a natural evolution of the concept of smart cities and companies, and potentially on a scale, the houses will be increasingly smart," explains the entrepreneur and technological communicator of UADE, iProUP Joan Cwaik. "There is a growing economic and social adaptation. A lot of people are going to have more access from the economic and the implementation ".
With this scenario, more and more companies deploy their solutions globally. Argentina is not far behind. In fact, it already has an important range of solutions that are gaining strength.
Without much effort, with a Wi-Fi Internet connection and a cell phone with an iOS or Android operating system, you can start adding intelligence to the spaces, and generate rules of use for any electrical element that has connectivity (lighting, air conditioning, locks), using an app for mobile.
An example of the national exponents is Solidmation, a firm that develops WiFi equipment to automate different elements, from lights to thermostats, through pool air conditioners. But, what are the benefits of this technology?
Mariano Rodríguez, CEO of Solidmation, reports three: "The possibility of making more efficient the use of energy, increasing the comfort of the occupants of the house or greater practicality in the use of home equipment and, to a lesser extent, some security elements. "
Thanks to the link with a mobile app, the owners of the smart home can have a usage record, which measures the amount of time and even verify the KW consumption of the appliances. "This makes reading the consumption records simple, and each one can make the necessary modifications in the programming to adapt it."
The application has not only programming by calendar and activation remotely, but has geolocation to activate or deactivate a device. That is to say, when the user retires or arrives the lights are turned off or turned on, curtains are raised or lowered, among other functions. A smart welcome
Think about the local market
Understanding the context in which to develop this type of business is important. Although what happens in Argentina and the region is a reflection that follows the world's referents, it is key that companies can accompany the innovative process with proposals that are up to the task, economically and socially adapted.
Life2better is another company dedicated to this sector. With five years of experience, it imports and distributes technological solutions as representatives of FIBARO, a leader, manufacturer and international distributor of intelligent products for the home. With a network present throughout the country, they establish alliances with entrepreneurs and companies to achieve their expansion.
"This new technology, wireless and modular makes the solutions available to many people, because we have proposals tailored to each need, both for small apartments and in huge houses. And for all budgets, since it stopped being a luxury to become something relatively accessible ", assures iProUP Sebastián Ikonicoff, CEO of Life2better.
Among the benefits, Ikonicoff agrees with Rodriguez and adds: "We can count energy savings of up to 30%, the resale value of that property, safety, comfort and the peace of mind that one and his family are more protected against common domestic accidents ".
In this line, Cwaik adds that it is a matter of "natural evolution, where the important thing is that technologies help people to perform tasks more effectively and with greater performance, making time, money and energy cheaper."
For their part, the big ones also enter to play in the field of home automation. Recently, Signify launched Philips HUE, a complete system consisting of an initial kit of lamps (three bulbs) plus the bridge. Its price? About $ 10,599.
"We wanted to bring the lighting of homes to the next level, making them more and more connected. Philips Hue is a smart, wireless and personal lighting system that allows you to customize spaces, program automatic turn-on and turn-off times and optimize routines, "says Germán Fiocchini, marketing manager for the Southern Cone of Signify.
In addition, Hue's IFTTT function changes the tone of the light in certain situations related to the climate, email and social networks of each user (there are more than 16 million colors to "play"). Even home lighting can be synchronized with alarms, music or video games.
Present or future?
Smart solutions are already among us. It is not necessary to go to the technological mecha to see an automated space. With a small budget, anyone can begin to participate in this "natural evolution", as defined by Cwaik.
Although Argentina is behind other countries in the region such as Chile and Brazil, there is a lot of expectation for what is coming: "we see a prosperous and frank growth market in front of us," adds Ikonicoff.
"We want to ensure that a conventional home as a whole can be experienced with intelligent lighting and that our users can enjoy control in the simplest way possible," Fiocchini explains.
Although it is a category that has not yet exploited as in mature markets, Rodriguez emphasizes that "growth will accelerate in the coming months, motivated by the need to seek greater efficiency in the use of energy in homes. In fact, this is already happening with some specific devices for the management of air conditioning, where there is an exponential growth, the massification of technology and the increasingly accessible values that we believe we have. "
With these solutions, both local and international, the house of the future is the home of today.