Today we will talk about Smart Home Development with RnD manager Dmytro Kuriatnyk from SPD-Group.
Q: Can you give us your perspective on the current state of a Smart Home market? How Smart Home Products will impact the world’s economy?
“Intelligent Homes are going to be huge in the coming years, as the global Home Automation Systems market will grow over 79 billion US dollars. 25% of households in the United States already have an automated device of some kind, but home automation systems are still not that popular. The biggest corporations in the world, like Apple, Google, Amazon already invest in Smart Home technology, but market is still fragmented. The interoperability is slowly getting better, Zigbee Alliance had presented universal standards for wireless capabilities, that enable gadgets from different brands to securely exchange information and integrate new devices into existing Smart Home Systems. At the moment hardware device manufacturers have Z-Wave protocol that supports one thousand IoT devices.
On the other hand hardware manufacturers give more access to software integration for vendors: for example, Amazon enables manufacturers to build their own voice interfaces into Echo speaker on Amazon Lex platform. Now software along with hardware developers can connect to Amazon’s IoT. While Google’s hardware solution list is not that big, it supports more than 500 types of devices from over 200 manufacturers for Google Home and Google Assistant but existing systems often do generic functions, that are not enough for specific use cases. That’s how we started, we needed a platform that combined both IoT and non-IoT solutions, and Google didn’t support the required pull of sensors at that moment. Such solutions as air quality analyzer are expensive, so we could achieve such functionality cheaper in our custom solutions.”
Q: Why are you interested in Smart Home development?
“In the last few years, Smart Home had grown from innovative to adopted technology, so now there are plenty of leading IoT companies providing their solutions. Our team here at SPD-Group is building custom IoT solutions, providing additional functionality for specific use cases. Did you know that now, in 2018, almost 7.5% of houses are using Smart Home devices? In 2022 this number is expected to rise to 20%, making Home Automation industry one of the most promising in the Internet of Things. That’s why we are interested in doing this, however, we don’t limit ourselves to Smart Homes development, or just providing multi-protocol IoT solution development from Smart Home to Smart City. We are currently making the best out of such trending technologies like Computer Vision, Machine Learning, also leveraging advantages of Cloud Computing.”
Q: So how much it cost to build a custom Smart Home solution?
“In most cases, you either have installed devices, or you don’t want to invest an enormous amount of money on costly and time-consuming development of the new hardware. Let’s imagine that you have all the necessary hardware devices like IoT sensors, smart speakers, thermostats and other gadgets for your intelligent house project. Your requirements may vary, the scale of the project, IoT platform, as well as the IoT devices manufacturers you choose. We are often asked to do a cost estimate for Smart House software app development. The development of a complete back-end system for Smart Home custom software solution can cost you around $200 000. Separate mobile apps for Android and IoS will add to that figure another $100 000. Web-based application with the same functionality would cost around $50 000, and it’s necessary in most cases. So, it will be $350 000 for a minimal list of features for the product that can compete on the market.”
Q: There are a lot of Smart Home predictions appearing lately. Can you give us your opinion and which homesmart predictions do you support?
“I support the predictions of Zion Market Research, as they state that by the aforementioned year 2022, Smart Home market will reach $53 billion. I can see how this is possible because Alexa, Google Home, and Amazon Echo are getting more popular and Artificial Intelligence becomes even more powerful. Of course with this growth, there will be more security and privacy issues that should be addressed by Internet of Things companies and it will be a fundamental concern of the whole industry. I think that ease of integration will be a key factor in the success of certain Smart Home systems as the world needs simplicity and flexibility, and those who will be able to provide it will survive. There will be much more use cases for Smart Home, more than security systems of thermostats: we could expect something like appliance diagnostics and energy conservation in the near future. Homeowner data sharing definitely is the next big thing while a smart home hub paying your energy bills and fridge ordering food will be common, I think. As far as voice control goes, I believe it will be used in everything, check the Google Home Hub for example.”
“Well, I can’t tell you about projects under NDA, but one thing I can talk about is our Smart Office project, which is similar in many ways to Smart Home. It was one of our first big IoT technology projects and got us valuable experience to move forward with more advanced and daring endeavors. The goal was to make our own office more convenient and resource saving, as well as increasing security. To achieve this, we choose to monitor the climate in the rooms with notifications sent when the certain parameters would reach a threshold, turning on and turning them off them if programmed. Face recognition technology would be responsible for the access control time-attendance system, and we would also like to have the app for room booking. We had designed are own device for measurement of CO2, noise, light, temperature, and humidity. We gained a lot of experience working with LoraWan and Zigbee, BLE protocols, as well as time series data processing and Big Data aggregation.”
Q: What business results did your Smart Office achieve?
“To the surprise of some naysayers, we actually got tangible business value out of our Smart Office system. Smart Air Conditioning and Automated Lighting let us reduce up to 30% of our energy bills. But it depends on situation. Third party Smart Light Switches had proven to be reliable running on our own custom firmware. There are no room booking issues anymore. Our office space is used to the max right now, increasing the productivity and efficient planning for the whole company. Facial Recognition Access System is now functioning. As a result making our office more convenient and secure place without any hassle with pass cards. Temperature, CO2, and humidity monitoring preserve the health of our staff responding to the slightest change in the climate. SmartOffice is a definite success for us. We continue to support it by implementing even more features, such as Blockchain-based Data Storing, while optimizing existing ones with OTA firmware updates and regular testing.”