When it started more than a decade ago, to be frank the Internet of Things (IoT) was never anything more than a conversation starter, inspiring living room chatter and boardroom discussions on the way of the future for homes and offices because the topic deflected towards tangibles. However, growing awareness about commercial and mass technology has led to a general increase in popularity for IoT-enabled gadgets, which is especially true here in the UAE, a regional benchmark for technological progress.
As reported in a section of the Arab media, the UAE is among the leading markets for smart home systems in the GCC. The sector in the Emirates is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.8 per cent during the period 2016-22. However, challenges remain.
Popular but complicated
A report last year in Gulf News penned by Jyoti Lalchandani, Managing Director of global market intelligence firm, International Data Corporation, points out consumer demand for IoT and smart home applications facing a challenge in that consumers haven’t yet bought into the idea of a truly connected home. “An inherent complexity in installing and operating smart home devices is putting off many consumers. And this is exacerbated by a general lack of awareness around the benefits that an integrated IoT system can bring to the home,” says Lalchandani in his column.
With most supermarket and ecommerce sites packed with offers on the latest in IoT home components, from AI televisions to refrigerators that can talk, it’s true that individual home components are seeing a rise in demand, however an integrated IoT solution for home or office spaces is yet to experience that demand surge, which could change soon.
Vojtech Dvorak, Project Manager, Smarteon, a Czech company that builds smart homes and with its regional office in Dubai, has been building residential villas in the capital and in Dubai for interested clients for a few years now.
Speaking to Gulf News a couple of years back on the successful completion and handover of a project, a smart villa in Dubai, Dvorak stated that the one-size-fits-all mantra does not work for smart homes at all. “Every client has a different set of priorities,” said Dvorak, adding, “for some, comfort is critical, while others value long-term sustainable solutions, such as an efficient water management system.”
But there is no negating the fact that the emphasis still remains on safety overall, something that Ring understands.
Ring a bell?
One of the most valued global brands in home security and automation systems, Ring has consistently provided premium solutions in the home security space for years. Responding to a query on how the brand was evolving its product portfolio to match emerging trends, Mohammad Meraj Hoda, Vice President of Business Development – Middle East and Africa at Ring, says, “Ring is committed to keeping homes and communities safe and connected, and we hope to change the way homeowners view security by keeping an eye on their family and property.
“Ring reimagined the doorbell so consumers could respond – using a smartphone – to someone at their front door at any time and from anywhere in the world, while simplifying the technology with the combination of App, Cloud and Security hardware.
Safe and secure
“More and more homeowners are taking precautions to keep their homes safe and secure and protect their families and property. Homeowners have also realised the convenience that smart home security can provide when they can see and speak with visitors from anywhere.
“Ring is constantly innovating and introducing new products to the market. New security solutions for whole home security including security devices for cars and an autonomously flying indoor camera are innovations customers can look forward to in the near future.”