Energy efficiency, demographic change drive the “Smart Home”

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By eeNews Europe

Currently, the lack of standards works as a major roadblock for Smart Home applications, the costs are high and the added value is not always obvious, the study titled "Smart Home + Building" writes. However, this situation will change fundamentally over the next ten years. Affordable, compatible, intuitive, personalized plug-and-play applications for intelligent home networking will spread widely. Users will benefit through comfort, safety, energy efficiency and self-determination. The development will be driven by the desire to reduce energy cost as well as through the demographic change. Until 2025, the market for Smart Home technologies, applications and infrastructure will rise to a volume of 19 billion euros, predicts the study. 80 percent of this volume is associated to IT goods and services. Within this time frame, Smart Home functions will become basic features in flats of the elevated category, in particular in new buildings. Remote controls for appliances and innovative human-machine interfaces including speech and gesture recognition become ubiquitous.

Along with industrial and research partners, the VDE has launched a certification program that aims at developing standards and a test seal for plug-and-play applications. However, for the time being the lack of standards and expertise among many professions involved in home building and architecture is a significant retarding factor for the dissemination of Smart Homes. The study urges the stakeholder of these technologies – utilities, housing associations, telecommunications providers, as well as home care service providers and last but not least homeowners to communicate and collaborate in the development of relevant standards and requirements catalogues.

A key role for the market development will be the plug-and-play abilities of the applications involved. While in many electronic systems in use today in homes, open systems with a high degree of interoperability are standard, today’s Smart Home solutions frequently incorporate closed, proprietary systems, the study says. Plug-and-play enabled systems will be a desirable solution but the development of such systems raises huge challenges for existing companies in the Smart Home markets – in particular those who already have built up market positions for proprietary systems.

Against this background the Smart Home + Building certification program is tackling a smooth interaction of all networked components in smart homes. The program will be act as an enabler for the relevant applications. In addition, it will provide test certificates that highlight the interoperability of these products.

An important role in the development of Smart Homes play basic technologies in segments such as microsystems, Information Technology, embedded systems, Internet of Things, robotics, artificial intelligence, polytroncis (smart plastics), medical engineering and biotechnology. For this reason, interdisciplinary collaboration will be essential, the study said.


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