Home Tech Week – The evolution of smart homes

Posted 6 July 2016 by Isla MacFarlane

Smart technology is greatly influencing the way that homes are being built...

For over half a century, Comelit has specialised in the design and manufacture of video entry, video surveillance, anti-intrusion, home automation, access control and fire protection systems. 

Ross Wilkins, business development manager for specifications at Comelit, explains to WhatHouse? how its technology is driving the evolution of smart homes.

How is smart technology influencing the way houses are being built?

Developers are still very much installing technology on a cost/benefit analysis for their individual projects; I believe that most see the importance of integrated systems and having a single controller, like our Icona Manager to integrate door entry and elements like heating and cooling and this is currently where our biggest demand is coming from. Another area which is becoming more prominent is energy monitoring and being able to have consumption data on the same monitor.

Lighting control systems appear to still be reserved for higher end developments, however there is more and more DIY equipment coming into the market place so this will inevitably become a requirement in the future.

How is new technology influencing the way people use their homes?

The vast majority of electronic items in the home are now turning smart, all being designed with the Internet of Things and app control in mind. People now think nothing of changing their sky channel via an app, or selecting some music wirelessly from their mobile device. So I think without us necessarily knowing it, technology is already embedding itself into the average home. Comelit has also designed its latest equipment around app control of its video door entry and smart home systems.

What do you see as the next stage of evolution for smart homes?

I believe that the smart home market suffers from technology fragmentation where manufacturers are using disparate technologies. This can make linking smart home devices to security systems such as door entry particularly difficult. I believe that more single manufacturer’s who are able to offer fully-integrated systems out of the box will come into the market place.

What are the most important points for a customer to consider when selecting a security system?

A customer needs to be able to ensure the system they are choosing can be tailored for their individual requirements, for example if a specific customer wants to be able to view their door entry remotely, does the system they are looking at have that functionality available?

Customers should also consider the quality that systems providers will give, for example warranty periods, quality of product and what ongoing support they will get from the product manufacturer. There are always cheaper alternatives to systems on the internet etc, however as we are talking about the security of a building, cost cutting isn’t always advisable.

Where does the inspiration for your designs come from?

With our head office based just outside Milan, Comelit has deep-rooted design values, which has won us many prestigious international awards, especially in recent years. This is testament to the excellence offered by the company and Italy’s reputation as a world leader in terms of creativity. An example of this is the 3one6 Sense stainless steel door entry monitor entrance panel which, after great success at the Red Dot Design Awards in 2013, was honoured the following year with the Good Design Award and the Merlion Award 2014.

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