Avinash Gautam

Avinash Gautam, CEO, Silvan Innovation Labs.

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Smart Homes - Make Way for Comfort, Security & Technology

In India, home automation in the early days of consumer adoption. But as the eco-system matures and a critical mass of people start enjoying it, it will take off in a big manner.

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Home automation is “The Internet of Things” at homes. The way that all of our devices and appliances will be networked together to provide us with a seamless control over all aspects of our home and more.

Intelligence, connectivity, sensing, expression, energy and safety – that’s Internet of Things (IoT’s) collective vision for the future.With the predicted advancement in IoT a few years from now, home smart devices would learn to communicate with other smart devices. Homes can be managed with regard to security, energy use, lighting, HVAC and entertainment systems from our tablets with greater ease. Efficient energy management is an increasingly crucial spotlight for utilities, energy service providers, and end customers. Homes will be built with sophisticated internal climate and lighting control systems for better living. Additionally, security, effective energy management, surveillance, and comfort will become priority quality on the home front. For instance, parents can control what kids watch on Wi-Fi or Internet and also monitor parents at home from anywhere and everywhere.

Trends and the need for it:

The most important aspect of home automation is to understand its user is a “unit which consists of various family members and other people who use the home”. By virtue of affecting the functioning of the home, home automation has to comprehend the lifestyle of people in a particular place. Another important aspect is infrastructure in which it is deployed, and they tend to vary from region to region. On both these fronts, the ground realities in India are a bit different compared to other places.

Indian families usually have people of various age groups residing under the same roof. It also has people outside the family like maids, frequent visitors etc. who have the need to use the home. So ensuring co-existence of modern and traditional way of living is a pre-requisite to this kind of stake-holders accepting anything within the home. As an example, if one has to enable lighting automation within the home, the system must ensure that the regular switches continue their usual operation, and the switch and automation must work in true-two way manner. The same principle of manual operation extends to everything which automation enables.

The other very important aspect of Automation is what it does with energy. Automation plays a key role in energy management, but for reasons which are not very obvious. Power outages are quite common in several places in India, and most of the families usually opt for solutions to handle short power outages, like inverters or a DG set. Given limitations of different power sources, home automation becomes very important here for managing these power transitions seamlessly. So it is the energy availability and not as much as energy optimization which tops the list of considerations for the home owners in India, though they will be happy if you reduce their energy bills too.

From providing better security to your home to ensuring that you can remotely control the temperature in your house, home automation is finding tech solutions to make our homes smarter.

How is home automation evolving:

In India, home automation in the early days of consumer adoption. But as the eco-system matures and a critical mass of people start enjoying it, it will take off in a big manner. The adoption is happening at a very rapid pace now, but in terms of absolute number it looks trivial because the starting point is small. But still it is a Rs 8000 Crore market growing at 25-30% CAGR. My assessment is that it is going to hit a hockey-stick growth curve anytime within the next 2-3 years.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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