From dreams to reality

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, Mark Zuckerberg outlined his dreams for his own smart home experience.

This week we’re hosting more than 60 trade media journalists from across Europe in our Living Experience center in Utrecht. Here, they’ll discover the reality of ABB’s smart homes and intelligent buildings, as we build momentum towards the industry’s most important fair, Light & Building, in Frankfurt this March (13-18 at Frankfurt Messe).

The market for smart homes and intelligent buildings is developing fast and nearly every day you can read about an exciting new development, but how do you sort the hype from reality? What you can realistically install in your own home?

Individual smart devices
Smart solutions are appearing everywhere – from the robot vacuum cleaner my neighbor proudly showed me as we shared a New Year’s glass of champagne, to the toothbrush that tells you when you’re pressing too hard or even the toilet that analyses what I’d rather not say!

Plug and play solutions
There is a wide range of plug and play solutions, that are ‘do it yourself/DIY’ remedies you can buy online and fit yourself, offering functions such as individual door or window sensing, video surveillance or lighting control.

Professionally installed solutions
Here’s where ABB operates, giving you the choice between installing individual functional units or creating a fully networked smart home.

ABB is focused on addressing some of the major trends:

People expect tailored solutions. This means moving from baby listening technology though to assistance for the ‘silver age’. The expectation is that solutions aren‘t just made for a group of individuals, but for one individual – switching between the needs of the different occupants in a home.

The smart home is a great example of the Internet of things, Services and People. Connecting the sensors, brain of the system and actuation of the technology and the power and managing it all intelligently. And the expectation is that you can control your house when you’re not at home.

As technology becomes more complex, conversely the expectations for simplicity increase. A great example is controlling the scene in a home at the touch of a single button or through a voice command – for example, clicking “work mode” and having the shutter, lighting and sound switch to a pre-selected arrangement.

ABB is in the area of building automation and power distribution. We are the players that deliver the infrastructure, communications, control and actuation to make the home smart.

– Software platform (either KNX industry platform or ABB’s free@home solutions)
– Entertainment control
– Energy metering
– Temperature and ventilation
– Security and access control
– Lighting control
– Electronic wiring accessories (presence detection, dimmers, smoke alarms etc.)
– User interface – control panels, remote control via apps on smart devices, voice control

Our aim is to stay at the leading edge of innovation in this field. Delivering real solutions that can improve people’s lives.

The conclusion – the hype is real and what is possible is getting more exciting month by month.

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About the author

Lynette Jackson

Lynette Jackson, is head of communications for the Electrification Products division of ABB. She has worked in the engineering and technology sector for many years and is interested in how organizations can mitigate their impact on the environment and make a difference with their innovations.
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