Contradictory studies / Rejection of customised solutions / Living with technology must benefit people / Industry not in the driver’s seat / Integration instead of isolation / Overcoming boundaries between trades / Tangible added value as a benchmark for innovations / New “Roto NX” solution for incorporation into home automation / Electric drive and wireless sensor / RC 2 burglary inhibition in tilt position
Roto: Differentiated Smart Home positions
Leinfelden-Echterdingen - (rp) There was already a clear winner of “Fensterbau Frontale” long before the trade fair was opened: the attractive new business area of Smart Home. A study by the Association of the Internet Industry (ECO) and consulting firm Arthur D. Little currently provides a spectacular example of the generally euphoric growth forecasts. According to this study, the German Smart Home market is set to experience a huge boom within the next five years. By 2022, the total volume is set to triple to 4.3 billion euros with an average annual increase of more than 26%. Leading the way in terms of turnover are the segments of energy management (1.3 billion euros) and lighting and window control (1.2 billion euros). So it comes as no surprise that in Nuremberg the industry is working flat out to express and document its ambitions concerning this mega topic, which is not so new any more. However, window and door technology specialist Roto pleaded for rational thinking and made the case for concepts that span different trades.
Hartmut Schmidt described a study by consulting firm Company Partners as a “real mood dampener”. As the Director of Production Innovation at the Window and Door Technology division explained, according to this study, only a “measly” 0.20% of dwellings completed in Germany in 2017 had suitable Smart Home infrastructure. At the very least, the results show that “successful technologies need more time than marketing would have us believe.” Even just defining the term itself often results in confusion. The focus on special solutions, which have formed part of Roto’s product range for some time now, such as the automatic opening and closing of windows and doors, falls short of the mark. Homes are only really “intelligent” if the (networked) systems adapt to people’s everyday habits, respond independently while also self-learning, and therefore create real benefits. After all, “just because something is technically feasible doesn’t mean that it’s actually useful for customers.”
In addition, reference must be made to the “dark side” of Smart Home. In this regard, Schmidt cited examples including possible hacker attacks, missing software applications resulting from obsolescence, and unregulated liability issues. In addition, it is worth taking issues such as non-uniform standards into account.
In order to turn the Smart Home segment – currently a niche market – into a mass market in the medium term, viable business models are required from manufacturers, retailers, installers and system integrators. End customers rightly expect functioning, customised integrated solutions in this complex area in particular. Thinking along the lines of restrictive segment boundaries (with competition always in mind) will undoubtedly not achieve the desired objective – completely in contrast to cooperation across different trades.
For the window and door industry, this means developing or expanding on the ability to integrate its products into any systems, for example. In contrast to its leading role in burglary protection, the industry is “not in the driver’s seat” when it comes to the diverse topic of living with technology. But this fact does not prevent the creation of Smart Home-compatible innovations in line with market requirements and with added value for customers.
Smart Home-compatible product solution
The hardware producer confirmed this during the leading trade fair with a practical demonstration. This demonstration illustrated how the “TiltSafe” function is conveniently integrated into the home automation thanks to a radio-based solution as part of the new “Roto NX” Tilt&Turn hardware system. At a tilt position of up to 65 mm, “TiltSafe” enables burglary inhibition in accordance with RC 2 (corresponding EN 1627 testing in the pipeline). The “docked” radio-based solution combines the “Roto E-Tec Drive” concealed tilt opening and locking drive with the “Roto Com-Tec” sensor, available from the end of 2018. It is equipped in accordance with the “EnOcean” wireless standard, is installed on the window sash and ensures that the hardware position is reliably detected. “TiltSafe” is identified thanks to the clearly defined status detection. Roto also added that this is why no alarm is triggered in the tilt position, despite the window being open.
As Schmidt went on to emphasise, the wireless sensor can be integrated into all “EnOcean” systems. It is possible to connect programs available on the market to the open system at any time. This innovation, rounded off by the hub and app, therefore offers the wide range of applications required in home automation.