“Smart Home”: living with technology focused on solutions instead of (media) hype / Dark side and other arguments / Only building elements which are capable of integration are successful / Important collaboration across different trades / Window and Door Technology plans with added value / “Build on the recognised good technical support for market partners”
Roto: smart positions and contributions
Leinfelden-Echterdingen / Böblingen – (rp) “Successful technologies need longer than marketing would have us believe,” explains Roto in reference to the current (media) hype surrounding Smart Home. The construction supplier has already been active in this field in the past and is additionally aware of the fact that the Internet of Things might completely redefine customer relations. However, responses which are suitable for the market are preferred, emphasises Hartmut Schmidt, the Director of Product Innovation in the Window and Door Technology division.
If “smart” is used to refer to universal remote controls by the name of smartphones or central displays showing the opening states of windows and doors, then Roto’s range has included solutions to this for at least ten years now. However, these would not meet the requirements for a smart home. According to these requirements, homes are only deemed “smart” if the systems act independently, in a way that is appropriate for the everyday behaviour of owners, are self-learning and also create a real benefit because: “not everything that is technically feasible is actually useful for customers.”
In his speech on the occasion of the 12th International Roto Trade Press Day, Schmidt continued by stating that living with technology is advantageous mainly from a security aspect from a customer perspective and must be considered increasingly important not least with regard to demographic changes. However, the corresponding applications must not turn into a problem. Their complexity requires implementation that is focused on solutions and is possible across different trades. A market with larger scope will not grow until sustainable business models are designed by manufacturers, retailers, installers and system integrators, who configure customer-specific Smart Home product solutions within the company.
Hackers, liability and drop in the price of Hardware
During the event in November 2017 in Böblingen, near Stuttgart, Schmidt made reference to the dark side of the Smart Home. These included unauthorised access by hackers, a lack of software applications due to obsolescence or likely system failures in household products. In addition, the unresolved issue of liability is posing major challenges for manufacturers, as they must guarantee software updates over the entire service life of a building element – as has already been the subject of public discussion by experts. Furthermore, a rapid drop in the price of the hardware can already be observed, and the fact that services will dominate business in future may have to be taken into account.
The Director of Product Innovation cites the unusually fast-changing market and the lack of uniform standards as additional factors that must be considered when dealing with Smart Home. They are expected to lead to open standards and platforms. This is not least the reason why sheer competitive thinking must give way to collaboration across different trades. And there’s more: another argument suggest that windows and doors are not the driving force behind Smart Home solutions and therefore must be integrated into any systems.
Current and future added value and Services
The following applies to all hurdles that have to be overcome: “Roto is continuing to expand its range of future-oriented, Smart Home-compatible components with added value for customers,” announced Schmidt. He referred to the electronic door closers from the “Safe E Eneo” series and the “E-Tec Drive” concealed electric window openers as contributions and examples that are already successful at present. Market partners can expect additional suitable problems as early as 2018.
This also applies to the electric drives segment. Schmidt concluded by stating that “together with the new ‘TiltSafe’ function of the ‘Roto NX’ hardware, application scenarios such as automatic night cooling with protection against burglary can be achieved.” In addition to creating innovative products, it is equally important for the company to continue offering and to build on the recognised good technical support for market partners in the field of “Smart Home Ready”.