There’s no doubt that smart has become a hot topic for the window and door industry this year but what’s behind smart – what makes smart, smart? Giovanni Laporta, inventor of the Smart Ready® smart standard explains what to look out for when choosing your smart partner.
What makes Smart, Smart?
There are an increasing number of smart products on offer now in the window and door industry, as the market grapples to deliver a solution to the growing demand. However, as the market develops, architects, specifiers, builders, manufacturers and end users mustn’t lose sight of what it is to be smart. It’s imperative we understand what it means to be truly smart and how you can tell which products are smart and which are playing at being smart.
People often underestimate the difficulty of making things simple – but simple is the only way for products to succeed on a mass scale. Inventors and designers who genuinely deliver simple, need to start with the end user. Steve Jobs was well-known for telling his software and hardware engineers to create products they couldn’t live without.
Smart to last the distance
So, what’s the smart answer for the window and door market? Simple smart products that have been designed with the end user in mind, concentrate on monitoring and reporting on the status of homes, and not mechanically operating them, for now at least.
That’s why Smart Ready® promotes simplicity through a simple set of requirements and works with all certified suppliers to adopt mass market products, and not smart tech that has no real and credible benefit to the homeowner. But what kind of things should you look for in a window or door smart system?
The key to smart in windows and doors starts with the battery. You can only have certain smart features if you have the right battery and then the battery needs to last, because if consumers have to change batteries in their device too often, the smart tech will very quickly become a fad. However, developing wireless smart products with a battery with a long life is one of the most challenging electronic technical issues to overcome. The minimum requirement for a battery in wireless smart products should really be no lower than 1000 mA. Making it more challenging, is the fact long-lasting batteries need to be small enough to fit into aesthetically pleasing smart units that work within standard window and door profile features, offers simple fabrication and doesn’t alter any practical use of the window or door.
The next challenge is range of the wireless signal connection. A lot of the current smart product hubs are found directly plugged into the router or sit next to the router for best connection results. Smart products for windows and doors are very different because of course they don’t all sit next to the router – windows and doors are spread all over the house, often over multiple floors, and doors are at opposite ends of the house – so the wireless signal from the sensors fitted in a window or door will need to be sent over significant distances through walls and floors. So special focus is needed in this area, especially for aluminium windows and doors which significantly reduce signal strength because of the dense material. Hug Technology® a technology partner that is certified Smart Ready® has resolved this issue with new clever super signal sensors and repeatable home hubs that simply plug into any power socket around the home and still maintains great signal strength to the home internet router.
Another useful feature to look out for on a smart window and door must be the alarm system. The Smart Ready® certified system developed in partnership by Sac® and Hug® Technology – as well as being a simplistic home alarm, also has an advanced and impressive early warning alarm system built directly into the Hug® sensor that lets people know when a window or door is experiencing any level of tampering, alerting people before any burglar actually gains access to the property, rather than after, like with most other alarm systems. If someone is at home, this should prevent the burglary altogether. And if no-one is home, the system automatically can send you a live text message or even call a neighbour to ask them to check the building and see if everything is OK. It’s an advanced alarm system that also meets all requirements of the Smart Ready® simplistic standard.
Simple isn’t easy but it’s a must
Making products simple and useful is never easy, but it is without doubt absolutely needed to ensure smart windows and doors have a future and reach the mass market in the most effective way possible. Simplicity works. Working with the Smart Ready® certification standard makes it all possible. Smart Ready® does the thinking for you and guides you through the process.
Say hello at smartready.com. Follow at www.linkedin.com/company/smartready