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SMART HOMES? THEY’RE GREAT TO LIVE IN!

Security, smart speakers and household appliances are the technologies Italians favour to make their homes more comfortable and efficient. Security, smart speakers and household appliances are the technologies Italians favour to favour favou

Author: Alessia Varalda - Date: 25 May 2020 - Average Reading Time: 6 minutes


Born from domotics and the Internet of Things, the smart home is the set of technologies that enable you to reconcile your energy savingscomfort and well-being needs: simplifying domestic life and ensuring the safety of those who live there.

Avoiding waste and saving on bills is one of the strengths of a smart home, but let’s not forget that a home should, above all, be welcoming and comfortable to live in!

A house can make people feel happier, more satisfied and less stressed. Environments can nurture creative ideas. There’s a strong link between home and mood - so it’s important to be able to improve the different environments of the house.

In fact, spending many hours in an environment requires, for example, the right levels of temperature, humidity and light, but also the convenience of having all your devices at your service and easily controlled (with apps or by voice). And that’s where technology is helping us to live better in our homes!

Voice assistants have opened the door to this incredible world, but to make all this possible, you need to have the right devices and connect them properly.

Smart homes: how much do we like them?

For Italians, the home is important – it’s considered a refuge that welcomes and protects us from the outside world. Smart technologies, the Internet of Things and Smart Homes are topics we often hear about, but how much do Italians really know, and how much do they use the new connected devices?

Consumer research from the IoT Observatory of the Politecnico di Milano in collaboration with Doxa shows that 68% of Italian consumers (from the sample interviewed) have heard the term smart home at least once and 63% know the term domotics.

As regards the technology that they own, first place goes to security solutions such as door and window sensors (present in 16% of homes), cameras (15%) video intercoms and locks (12%). Next are solutions for heating (9%), voice assistants (8%), smart lighting (8%) and household appliances (7%) with smart functions (even if they are not always used).

This confirms that an increasing number of Italians want a smart home, even if some barriers to purchasing are still present, such as excessive complexity (18%), lack of perceived benefits (10%) and difficulty in using management apps (6%).

According to another study by the Politecnico di Milano, in particular research on Smart Homes by the Internet of Things Observatory of the School of Management (www.osservatori.net), in 2019 the Italian market reached €530 million, up 40% compared to 2018, again led by security technologies, followed by smart speakers and appliances.

Just below the top three are solutions for our comfort such as connected boilers, thermostats and air conditioners that benefit from progressive integration with voice assistants as well as offers linked to maintenance services and improved energy savings.

What technologies are available?

If security, energy efficiency and savings on bills are the recurring drivers, the integration of systems and devices with smart management applications is the linchpin of the connected home.

The home is a place where maximum comfort is called for: not only as regards the environment but also on the entertainment and connectivity fronts and the simplification, in general, of all everyday activities.

If Italians are ready to experience the convenience of automating and managing home facilities, the market is ready to deliver complete solutions:

·        security - integrated intrusion systems, video intercoms and video surveillance technologies that can also be used remotely, smart locks that send alarms in the event of intrusion, or implementation of detectors for gas and water leaks;

·        energy - management of household appliances, integration of electric mobility, use of solar and accumulation for smart management of energy requirements;

·        lighting - turning home lights on and off, adjust colours or intensity, saving energy through sensors and personalised programming and management via apps;

·        comfort - control and remotely set the temperature of your home through heating, cooling, and controlled mechanical ventilation systems, as well as the installation of intelligent thermostats that help prevent unnecessary energy waste;

·        audio-visual systems: listen to music and watch movies, TV series and streaming channels throughout your home, managing the different areas in real-time.

This is a new approach to living that is based on an awareness of the influence environment has on people; on sustainability, not only from an environmental point of view, but also a human one and on daily improvement thanks to solutions that make the home more usable and comfortable.

Alessia Varalda

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