THE RISE OF INTERNET THINGS

The world we live in is constantly evolving with new technologies emerging daily. Carly Baker, Marketing Manager of Yale Door and Window Solutions, looks at the rise of the Internet of Things and explores the impact this may have on the replacement door and window market.

 

 

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the connection of everyday objects to the Internet and to one another. This a term which has been used for many years, but it seems that consumers are now in a place where they are not only comfortable with IoT devices, but expect them to play a role in their everyday lives. 

A ‘smart home’ is a house equipped with lighting, heating, security and other electronic devices that can be controlled remotely via the Internet by a smart phone. With 70 percent of adults in the UK owning a smart phone*, analyst firms predicted that 3.1 million UK homeowners spent a total of £715 million on smart home technology last year. This is forecast to double to £1.4 billion across 7.7 million UK households by 2019**.
Some people think the smart home is about gadgets and gimmicks but, there are real benefits in some applications, especially home energy and home security.

The smart home revolution started back in 2007, when Sky launched an app that could access a Sky box remotely, enabling the owner to activate the record function from anywhere in the world.  In the last couple of years we have seen it move into the energy market, with devices such as the Nest thermostat that connects to a Wi-Fi network, allowing remote control via an iPhone app or the Internet. 

As consumers become more comfortable with mobile technology they are coming to expect these products; they want smart devices that are going to make their lives easier. So what does this mean for the future of door and window technology?

When it comes to windows the possibilities are extremely diverse. By the very nature of the window frame itself being made up of channels, there are opportunities to embed smart devices, also the aerials and power sources for these devices could be hidden away in the windowsill.

Clearly security PIR sensors which can be linked in with home alarm systems offer improved security, but what about temperature sensors on both the inside and outside of the window pane that link in with your home thermostat? Light sensors that connect with dimmer switches in your house when it starts to get dark outside? Auto-powered windows that open and close at the touch of an app?  With the developments in glass technology we may even see windows being converted into monitors or screens one day.

For installers we may see the need to “program” the window after it has been installed or for wiring / power connections to be made as part of the installation process. This is nothing to be scared about, as many other trades have already made this journey.

When it comes to doors, the rise of digital door locks is a security technology that can be seen here and now. In the future though it is easy to imagine doors that open and close through facial recognition. There is also potential for more commercialised products which offer remote opening and closing on domestic doors. It’s possible that we may even see the re-emergence of the porch, with homeowners being able to remotely open the outer door to allow temporary access for deliveries to be left in a secure, waterproof location.

The IoT may excite homeowners but they also understand the importance of balancing convenience with the need to feel safe and secure. No one wants to compromise their home or data for the sake of a shiny new gadget. 

There is lots of debate surrounding the standardization, security and privacy of connected devices and at this stage it is unclear how this will play out.  It’s hard to tell what the future will hold but one option that is looking likely to attract consumers is a centralised hub that supports multiple wireless technologies.

The IoT of things is still in infancy but as it continues to advance and affect our everyday lives, it is understandable that consumers will have concerns. As the trusted experts in home security, Yale Doors and Windows is in strong position to help its fabricator and installer partners navigate this emerging market and secure profit in this sector, with tested products that offer guaranteed protection from criminals, as well as potential hackers.

For further information about the digital products available from Yale Door and Window Solutions please visit www.yaledoorandwindowsolutions.co.uk or follow @YaleDWS on Twitter.

* Mintel, 2014
** The Telegraph, 16 Jul 2014