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Schneider Electric Fast-Tracks Matter-Compliant Smart Home Applications

Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, announces a robust roadmap for its Matter-compliant smart home solutions, committing to being among the first group of Matter-compliant devices immediately after the standard is approved. Schneider also plans to bridge its Wiser smart home ecosystem with Matter-connected

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Should we be building more smart homes in the UK?

In recent years, there’s been a growing trend in smart technology for the home, with many homeowners upgrading their properties with all sorts of internet enabled features and devices that can be operated from a single interface such as a smartphone or tablet. Increasingly, contemporary homes have heating thermostats and

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How Property Developers Should Build the Houses of Tomorrow

  Since the early days of computing, the main goal of most technology concepts is to help make life easier for us, and there are many ways in which that is evident today. In recent years, many technology companies have begun focusing on houses integrated with technology. This includes products

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Latest Issue

BDC 319 : Aug 2024

smart homes

Schneider Electric Fast-Tracks Matter-Compliant Smart Home Applications

Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, announces a robust roadmap for its Matter-compliant smart home solutions, committing to being among the first group of Matter-compliant devices immediately after the standard is approved. Schneider also plans to bridge its Wiser smart home ecosystem with Matter-connected systems by the same time. As a board member of the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) and an active contributor to the Matter protocol development, Schneider believes that interoperability is the key for homes and buildings of the future. Matter builds upon market-proven technologies and best practices, and is the industry-unifying standard that aims to simplify connected experiences and provide greater interoperability in smart homes and buildings. By integrating technologies such as renewable energy generation and EV charging that are rapidly being adopted, Matter compliance can help in supporting the Schneider Electric sentiment around the sustainable future for our homes, and help pave a pathway to self-sufficient, net zero homes, while reducing e-waste and improving circularity. The Schneider Electric Matter implementation roadmap includes: Innovating to create Matter-compliant smart home products. Schneider Electric will become one of the first few companies in the world to offer native Matter solutions. Bridging to connect existing and new systems. The Wiser smart home ecosystem ensures Matter compliance while retaining native Zigbee connectivity. Existing and new Wiser devices based on Zigbee will join the Matter ecosystem using the ‘bridge’ functionality of upgraded Wiser Hubs*, ensuring a sustainable approach where the installed base of devices do not become obsolete with the arrival of the new standard. Advocating for more Matter-compliant interoperability with others. Making interoperability and usage of products easier for consumers starts with industry wide collaboration to include Matter as a connectivity standard in the Wiser App. Jai Thampi, SVP for Strategy and Innovation in the Home and Distribution Division, Schneider Electric said: “By ensuring smart home technology supports Matter – anticipated to be a widely accepted connectivity language – we will achieve much more than device compatibility and effortless comfort for the homeowner. Interoperability among connected products will be at the heart of making our homes, offices, and entire cities more sustainable, more energy efficient, and more resilient in the face of the global threat of climate change. I firmly believe that Matter is an important project for the future of smart home, and we are committed to making it successful in the long run, while innovating at scale. Open, global standards such as Matter are essential for improving consumer experience, while ensuring a smart and sustainable connected future.” About Schneider Electric Schneider’s purpose is to empower all to make the most of our energy and resources, bridging progress and sustainability for all. We call this Life Is On. Our mission is to be your digital partner for Sustainability and Efficiency. We drive digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies, endpoint to cloud connecting products, controls, software, and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated company management, for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries. We are the most local of global companies. We are advocates of open standards and partnership ecosystems that are passionate about our shared Meaningful Purpose, Inclusive and Empowered values.

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Should we be building more smart homes in the UK?

In recent years, there’s been a growing trend in smart technology for the home, with many homeowners upgrading their properties with all sorts of internet enabled features and devices that can be operated from a single interface such as a smartphone or tablet. Increasingly, contemporary homes have heating thermostats and lighting controls that can be operated and adjusted from anywhere, WiFi connected security systems with live video footage that can be viewed remotely and, of course, all manner of smart appliances including TVs, fridge freezers and dishwashers that can be controlled via a smartphone app or smart speaker devices like Amazon Alexa or Google Nest. According to recent survey findings, 57% of homes in Britain now contain at least one smart device, and there are 2.22 million homes in the UK with at least two smart devices. For sure, smart homes are the future, however most features are retrofitted after construction. With the current drive to substantially increase the nation’s housing stock in full swing, why are UK housebuilders not integrating more smart technology into new builds right from the design stage? Let’s take a look at some of the most common hurdles. Higher build cost: A complete smart home system can add 5% to the cost of the build with an unproven return on the investment for housebuilders in a highly competitive market. It’s a financial risk many developers are unwilling to take. What’s more, building a home with smart technology requires niche skills, materials and methodologies that are comparatively new to the housing industry, adding time and cost to the process. New ways of cooperating between smart home professionals, architects and site managers are required. Security concerns: According to industry figures, 86% of real estate pros are concerned about cyber attacks and the risk of hacking with smart home technology is on the increase. The more smart features and devices are used, the greater the vulnerability to the householder. Outdoor devices with embedded computers that have little in the way of security protocol pose the greatest risk, such as garage door openers and wireless doorbells are a case in point. Weak communication protocols and configuration settings may also be an issue for smartphone app controlled devices such as personal home assistants, smart thermostats and even baby monitors. Software problems: Software integration can become a real issue for systems that use incompatible technologies and won’t ‘speak’ to each other, or are unable to accommodate additional connections further down the line. With the co-existence of various communication protocols as the proliferation of ever more sophisticated smart devices continues, there is no guarantee that the latest tech used today won’t be obsolete in a few years’ time Again, it’s a financial risk that many housebuilders will want to avoid. On the other hand, it is clear that the emergence of smart home technologies over the last 20 years can no longer be considered a passing phase. Home automation has steadily increased in popularity since the early 2000s, and it might be unwise for the UK housebuilding industry to ignore this fast-growing demand among consumers wanting the latest technology in their homes. Here are some of the main benefits of smart new builds: Smart homes sell faster than comparative properties without the added features, and they fetch premium prices too, particularly among younger homebuyers. Survey findings show that 61% of millennials would pay extra money to live in a home with smart features.  Reliable long-term performance of smart home systems is best achieved via upfront integration. Designing the entire system at the beginning will ensure smoother and more efficient operations as opposed to the piecemeal retrofitting of individual features. Greater vigilance offered via connected devices means homeowners are alerted to problems such as burglaries or fires early. This results in fewer home insurance claims and, in turn, potentially lower premiums. Smart homes enable the homeowner to cut down on energy waste such as lights left on or rooms heated unnecessarily, by up to a third. This can help UK housebuilders meet energy efficiency standards and build more sustainable homes. Smart home technology can be particularly beneficial to physically disabled and elderly residents. Home management tasks and home security all become much easier, creating more inclusive home environments. The fact that a growing number of home buyers are now prioritising technology in the home is a clear sign that there is an opportunity to maximise future profits for the UK housebuilding industry by building more smart homes. Not only is the Internet of Things already bringing the benefits of connected living to an increasing number of people, but the next generation of property buyers are looking for homes that align with their values. From environmentally conscious and energy-efficient solutions to more interconnected communications for work and home, smart homes are able to offer all that and more.

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How Property Developers Should Build the Houses of Tomorrow

  Since the early days of computing, the main goal of most technology concepts is to help make life easier for us, and there are many ways in which that is evident today. In recent years, many technology companies have begun focusing on houses integrated with technology. This includes products and software that helps homeowners to control aspects of their lifestyle, sometimes simply through an app on their smartphone. Houses that are fitted with a variety of internet connected devices are referred to as smart homes, and while it is possible to retrospectively tech-up your home, isn’t it time property developers brought housing into the 21st century? Smart from the Ground-Up Creating the cities and homes of the future requires a lot of planning and investment. The best way to ensure all homes in the future have technology integrated is by building them that way from the ground up. This is why developers should look to implement technology in all new build properties so that they can better meet the needs of the house owners of tomorrow. Currently, there are a number of devices that homeowners can buy and install in their homes to control things like security, heating, lights, and electric or gas use. In most cases you have to purchase individual gadgets designed for each specific purpose and with their own apps but a smart home built with technology and connectivity in mind from the ground up will be able to manage all these on one single platform, or app. According to the Professional house buyers at the Open Property Group, adding smart home technology to houses (besides saving homeowners money on energy bills) will increase the valuation by a minimum of £3000 – not bad when most of the technology can be bought and implemented for around £500. A More Connected World The case for developing new build houses that are smart homes also goes beyond managing your utilities to save energy and money as in the future nearly everything will be an internet connected device anyway. Known as the Internet of things, or IOT, this means that our TVs, washing machines, toasters and other convenience electronics that we own will be able to communicate with your smart home. All this is geared to make our lives so much easier and should really be seen as the new standard. To support the argument for smart homes, many connected appliances like dishwashers televisions, and washing machines are already available. Like wise, Amazons’ Echo device is a smart gadget that helps users do their shopping, – and even buses and trains now have USB ports!. And so there is no reason why new build properties shouldn’t be more tech oriented from now on in order for there to be a seamless and hassle free integration and communication between devices and the home.  Final Thoughts The pace of change in technology is relentless, and there is no doubt that smart homes are the houses of the future and as discussed above perhaps it is time we started building them with an eye on the future. This calls for a new approach to property development, so that our homes can adequately meet the demands of an always-connected world. The benefits, and they are as many as they are varied, range from protecting the environment, saving money on energy bills, and homes that are more in tune with modern living.

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