Smart Home Offers Companies New Sales Potential
Smart living with M2M technology: a trendy topic. With the open cross-vendor Connected Home platform by Deutsche Telekom, consumers can use the offerings of many different brands and enjoy comfort, energy efficiency and security.
Smart Home is a market with a future. The growth opportunities the Connected Home market is said to offer are enormous. The German industry association VDE estimates that the market volume in Germany will be EUR 19 billion in 2025. Other experts anticipate even more significant growth. In a few years’ time, they say, the Smart Home served by M2M technologies will be as commonplace as the use of smartphones today.
Different standards impede Smart Home growth
These are brilliant prospects that have not gone unnoticed by a large number of companies. The result is a confusing market with many standalone solutions and standards that are not compatible with each other. So if a user buys one provider’s Smart Home system he can as a rule only use that provider’s functions and solutions and cannot combine them with other manufacturers’ products. Yet the Smart Home’s added value surely consists of smartly combining many different components provided by different manufacturers. The VDE is in no doubt that the abundance of different and incompatible standards is the main reason why the market has so far been unable to develop dynamically – because consumers’ needs have been disregarded.
That is why the consulting company Deloitte sees the Connected Home’s future in platforms on which consumers can use several manufacturers’ solutions. “The more partner companies integrate their offerings on a platform of this kind, the sooner the customer will find a use that matches his requirements,” Deloitte says in a study entitled Light into Darkness – Success Factors for the Smart Home.
Deutsche Telekom has built an open connected home platform, QIVICON. It was successfully launched in Germany in 2013 and is now available internationally as a white label solution and a foundation for multiple connected home initiatives. Deutsche Telekom´s Connected Home platform kicks in at this very point, bringing the widest possible range of Smart Home products and devices under one technological roof. Dozens of companies have already joined the open, cross-vendor platform. They include brands such as Huawei, Kärcher, Logitech, Miele, Philips, Osram, and Sonos and power utilities EnBW, Entega, RheinEnergie, Vattenfall, and the Austrian eww Group. The linchpin of Deutsche Telekom´s Connected Home platform is the Home Base, which controls via the wireless network all the connected devices in the house or home. The only requirement is a broadband Internet connection regardless of the provider.
Companies receive a complete Connected Home solution
Connected Home offers companies an opportunity to generate sales potential in addition to their existing business. They do not need to invest in either the technology or the infrastructure. Instead, they receive a swift, direct entry into the market inclusive of provisioning, hosting, training, and customer care. They can also define their own Connected Home product offering as a complete solution with individual customization options in terms of design and brand profile while retaining control over their customer relationships.
Each partner company pursues its own product, price, communication, sales and distribution strategy. The advantage of the Connected Home platform is that the more partners join it and provide solutions, the more attractive the offering becomes – both for the companies and for the customers.
Connected Home offers more security, energy saving and convenience
With so many partner companies, topics such as energy efficiency, security and comfort are covered already. Consumers can save energy by means of individual heating profiles. Users can define that the heating is only switched on when the residents are at home. An app also enables heating to be controlled on the move, such as on the way home from work. Thermostats are practical in other ways in combination with other smart devices. Window contacts coupled to a radiator thermostat help reduce energy consumption. If the window is opened to air the room, the heating is switched down automatically. If the window is closed, the thermostat returns to its initial level.
In addition, the Connected Home provides many ways to monitor the connected home in your absence. A housesitting function that is programmable by app can, for example, simulate the residents’ presence to deter burglars. If a thief opens a door or window, a door or window contact registers the forced entry and sends an alert to the user’s smartphone. At the same time the video camera starts filming. Users can save the recordings to the cloud and watch them there.