App to let residents control ‘smart home’ by phone

Published July 5th, 2015 - 08:38 GMT

Telecom operator du, which has delayed the launch of its smart home services in Dubai, says it will offer the services during Gitex in October.

The operator was supposed to roll out the facility in the first quarter of this year after making an announcement last Gitex.

“We postponed it because we need to get two things right. As we had tied up with a Hong Kong-based company [PCCW] to offer the service, most of the homes in Hong Kong are either one or two bedrooms and it was configured for that. The local conditions are different from Hong Kong as we have villas which have more than five rooms. So we need to do a lot of customisations and configurations,” Sameer Geissah, vice-president of consumer home and multimedia services at du, told Gulf News.

He added that du is trying to accommodate 4,000 devices instead of 1,000.

It can control air conditioners, music systems, lights, curtains, Televisions, locks, surveillance cameras, which can be monitored through an app.

According to MarketsandMarkets consultancy, the global smart homes market was valued at $20.38 billion (Dh74.8 billion) in 2014 and expected to reach $58.68 billion by 2020. It is projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17 per cent between 2015 and 2020.

Even though many electronics companies have launched the smart home concept for a while now in the UAE, the industry still remains fragmented and there is no standard platform for home automation.

Embedded technology

With the internet of things (IoT) gaining traction in Dubai, due to Smart City initiatives, home automation is expected only to rev up.

IoT is defined as the network of devices that contain embedded technology to sense or interact with their internal state or external environment.

According to research firm, Gartner, the sum of all connected things is estimated to reach 25 billion by 2020, up from 4.9 billion this year — a 30 per cent increase from last year.

Du will offer it [smart home services] as a package and customers can pay monthly. The app will be rolled out on all major mobile operating systems.

“We found that a lot of customers are interested in “do it yourself” systems. We have partnered with Gigacom to offer a smart home kit to do it on your own and also with local retail partners,” he said.

When asked what du’s role will be in “do it yourself” systems, he said that du will help in installing the proper networks and design the networks for the smart home to work properly through packages.

“We understand the community we live in. We will also be offering relocation packages of the smart home devices to any other villas and install them or going home packages whereby we will remove the devices and package it properly for consumers to install it back home,” he said.

By Naushad K. Cherrayil

© Al Nisr Publishing LLC 2022. All rights reserved.

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