Says Smart Homes 2011’s project director Anthony Pohl: “having a ‘smart home’ means you are able to control your heating, lighting, security, smart appliances and manage your energy consumption, even when you are away from the home, increasing your comfort, convenience and lifestyle. We live in exciting times where ICT and smart phones enables us to do a numerous tasks on the go, and ‘taking control of the home’ is a logical next step.”
Germans take the lead
The German market has without a doubt taken a lead in this industry with Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems and RWE already offering real solutions to customers according to Anthony Pohl. Both companies will display their new energy saving gadgets at Smart Homes 2011 (smarthomes2011.com). He explains: “Both deployments are capturing early market share, offering utility and telecom customers something new, creating new revenue streams and engaging customers like never before. As Germany takes the lead, other European markets eagerly await the success of these deployments, and to understand the consumer appetite for smart home and home energy management solutions.”
What do customers want?
Early market mover RWE SmartHome’s Product Manager for International Developments Edmund Barrett says customers want the opportunity to save energy but at the same time,“they don’t want their lives disrupted by it. It should improve their lifestyle, not have them staring at a manual all day or being constantly told off for using too much energy.”
Neat gadgets will impress friends
According to Edmund Barrett they have developed a product that works within customers’ wants and needs. He continues: “yes, customers want to save money, but what excites them is often something else. They want solutions that fit with their lifestyle. They want neat gadgets to impress their friends, they don’t want to have to worry that they’ve gone away on holiday and left the lights on, and they don’t want the heating in the bathroom blasting away when they’ve opened the window to air the room after showering. It’s these sorts of reasons, customers want the product and that is where we will start to monetize SmartHome.“
One remote for everything!
The new technology also creates opportunities for telecoms, utilities and appliance manufacturers to partner to deliver one, multi-faceted solution says RWE SmartHomes’ Edmund Barrett: “clearly successful solutions need to connect with as many aspects within the home as possible. That I have a remote control for my TV, stereo and set top box, irritates me enough! I don’t want three different systems to control my Smart Home! With RWE SmartHome we’ve protected our state of the art protocol. It’s not open to all at this moment in time, as we want to maintain a clean standard. Once we have successfully rolled the product out though, we will be looking to incorporate non-RWE products into the RWE SmartHome network. Talks along those lines are naturally already taking place.”
More speaker and technology highlights at Smart Homes 2011 include:
• Edmund Barrett, SmartHomes- Product Manager for International Development, RWE, Germany
• Sabine Bednarzik, Portfolio Manager End2End Smart Energy- Strategic Market Energy, T-Systems Germany
• Claudio Borean, Project Manager, Telecom Italia, Italy
• Stefano Frattesi, Innovation for Design Manager, Indesit, Italy
• Oliver Jehl, B to C Internet and Teleservices Director, EDF, France
• Dean Keeling, Managing Director- Smart Homes British Gas, Centrica, UK
• Marcel Peters, Smart Energy Specialist, Essent Smart Energy (RWE Group), The Netherlands
• Pierre Plaza, Project Co-ordinator, Telefonica R&D, Spain
• Paolo Scuro, Business Development, Enel, Italy
• Rogelio Segovia, Scientific Officer, European Commission DGINFSO, Belgium.
Event dates: 4-6 October 2011: conference
Location: Amsterdam RAI, Europaplein 22, Amsterdam