Energy Management/Energy Efficiency

A Wiser approach to smart homes

Before turning in for the night at home, do you lock the doors, adjust the thermostat, and shut off the lights? Or do you ask your smart home to take care of everything for you? If it’s the latter, you’re part of a revolution that is changing the way people live around the globe.

The worldwide installed base for smart home devices is expected to reach 286 million residences by 2022, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 29 percent during the forecast period. Germany, Britain, and France expect a combined growth of 24 percent in the same timeframe. And according to one report, Asia Pacific will account for approximately 30 percent of smart homes by 2030 and “could come to dominate the global market.”

So what exactly is a smart home? A residence where technology allows users to control their home’s devices via a smart phone or Internet connection from anywhere in the world at any time. With the data gathered by these interoperable devices, users can increase their home’s safety, comfort, and efficiency.

Smart home controls range from the simple to the comprehensive. The most basic form involves a single device – say, a shutter or a smart plug – that you operate through your phone when you are in proximity of the device. At the next level, smart technology allows you to control a particular set of functions within your home, such as all of your lighting or thermostats, in a standalone solution. In a comprehensive system, you are able to manage multiple sets of functions – lighting, shutters, heating, etc. – through a single app. Such a system could involve a single manufacturer or multiple brands, as long as the devices are designed to work in an open system.

 

Overcoming barriers to adoption

 The adoption of smart home technology continues to grow rapidly. Most recently, voice-enabled virtual digital assistants (VDAs) have accelerated deployments at the device level. Homeowners now have a variety of offers that they can install themselves, plus multiple options for day-to-day operation. These include VDAs such as Google Home, Amazon Echo and, in China, Alibaba, as well as individual phone apps provided by device manufacturers.

VDAs are part of a larger smart home ecosystem that comprises a wide range of connected devices, including smart TVs, washers, refrigerators, and air conditioners; electrical sockets, door locks, thermostats, shutters, and light switches; air purifiers and security cameras; cloud connectivity technology; and more. As you might expect, getting everything to work together can test a DIYer’s capabilities – and patience!

Wiser Hometouch screen

Wiser Hometouch screen

Making the complex simple

The current market dynamic in home automation is good news for Schneider Electric.

With our Wiser offer, we anticipated the challenges homeowners would face as they adopted smart technology. Our comprehensive range of connected residential solutions converge into one open and easy-to-use platform to form the basis of the modern smart home. The scalable solution allows interoperability across brands as well as future upgrades with new applications. You can start from a single device with remote control, i.e., any popular VDA, and expand gradually to a full home automation system that integrates with devices from all major players in the industry.

At the core of our Wiser solution is the features-rich and user-friendly Wiser app. Now, with the press of a button, users can remotely control core home functions like air conditioning, heating, entertainment (TV/AV), lighting, and curtains or shutters. That translates into optimized home comfort and convenience, and increased peace of mind. The Wiser app puts control of your home in the palm of your hand – anytime, anywhere.

 

Partnering to deliver connectivity solutions and expertise

 To bolster the Wiser smart home offer, Schneider Electric has formed a partnership alliance with global giants Danfoss and Somfy to create the Connectivity EcoSystem, which aims to boost the adoption of connectivity technologies in the residential and mid-size building markets. The Connectivity EcoSystem offers open, simple, and seamless integration between products and apps.

While most consumers start their smart home journeys as DIYers deploying simple devices, expanding home installations to incorporate multiple devices will likely require the services of an electrician. Thanks to our EcoXpert Program, we offer customers access to an extensive global network of Schneider Electric-certified electricians and systems integrators. And through our Digital Electrician Program, we are able to equip our electrician partners with the knowledge and skills they need to install and upgrade Wiser solutions for their customers.

 

Comprehensive Wiser offer slated for Asia

Importantly, Schneider Electric is a global company that plays as a local expert. We know that one solution does not fit all and that consumer preferences in smart home technology vary from market to market. With a presence in more than 100 countries complemented by an extensive partner network, we are able to tailor and support deployments that meet the needs of local consumers.

For example, Schneider Electric will introduce its Wiser offer to Asia in May 2019 with features designed for that market. The temperature control function addresses air conditioning exclusively, reflecting the region’s climate, and an entertainment function allows remote control of TV and AV devices. An IP gateway serves as the hub of the Wiser Asia smart home solution, bringing data from various devices together via ZigBee 3.0, the latest wireless communications standard in the region.

 

Seizing smart opportunities

Schneider Electric has deep experience in the residential connected space. We understand our customers’ expectations. And we have formed partnerships that will facilitate the integration, installation, and support of our Wiser solution.

That’s why, as the smart home industry continues to evolve, we are excited to seize opportunities and enhance Wiser’s position as a worldwide leader in the category. Because when it comes to delivering comfort, simplicity, and convenience in smart home deployments, the difference is Wiser.

To learn more about Schneider Electric’s Wiser offer, visit our webpage.


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