A smart home is an idea that has ignited people’s imaginations and dreams for decades. Many people associate terms such as smart, autonomous and self-learning homes with science-fiction borderline terms. There are many notions and stereotypes of Smart Home and Internet of Things in the general consciousness, but many of them are not reflected in the experiences related to their use. Mikołaj Pertek, Director of FIBARO in Poland has shed some light on one of the most dynamically developing industries at present, namely the Internet of Things. Many believe that it will soon drastically change the way we look at real estate use, especially in the world of digital revolution.

Is the installation of smart home solutions currently a big investment?

The basic smart home system supporting one installation or functionality currently fits in the range of 3500 – 5000 PLN. For example, the FIBARO Home Center 2 which is the heart of the system and the basic lighting control system in the home consisting of 5 points based on FIBARO Dimmer 2 is a cost of about 5000 PLN. Such an installation will already make it possible to manage the house lighting remotely and control the cost of energy consumption for this purpose. Over time, the system can also be extended with new functionalities. Installation process is virtually a non-invasive one and can be installed within one day with the help of a trained installer. The system is entirely wireless so there is no forging of walls and boreholes!

Do smart home systems currently available on the market do support only a narrow section of the needs of household members?

If we choose a closed to compatibility with other brands system, there is such risk. Therefore, the best practice is to choose a solution with a large number of integration with external suppliers which allow you to manage multiple functionalities in one place. FIBARO integrates dozens of solutions from different manufacturers and allows you to control lighting, air-conditioning, heating and audio systems from external manufacturers, such as BOSE or YAMAHA via one home center. This way you can adjust the solutions to your individual needs.

Is smart home vulnerable to hacker attacks?

This risk is low – today’s systems undergo rigorous testing and certification in order to be allowed on European markets. If a system runs online and performs particularly demanding processes such as voice control, they normally use a cloud computing solution from a recognized manufacturer. For example, FIBARO when using Alexa, one of the voice assistants available on the market that works with Amazon Web Services solutions is secured with protocols used in banking standards. What’s more, FIBARO also works offline, so you can use it even if you don’t have the Internet or don’t want your smart home system to be part of a global network. This significantly reduces the risk of external attacks, but prevents remote access.

Smart home systems are rather associated with a strong connection to the structure of the building. So, in case of moving, is it not possible to take them with you?

It all depends on which system has been chosen. Our smart home system can usually be disassembled in just a few hours and moved to a new location. Its components create an wireless network to communicate with each other and are fully mobile. So no matter where you are, you can always have your smart home right next to you.

Design of smart home systems elements is usually not at the highest level and usually does not meet the expectations of the most demanding customer. How do you design your products to meet the diverse needs of your customers?

While a good smart home system should be invisible, it is often technically impossible to do so. Therefore, it is worthwhile for the most visible devices included in it to have an attractive, yet neutral appearance, so as to be able to adapt to any interior. Some of the products of FIBARO portfolio are available in official Apple distribution which has been setting trends in terms of design for many years.

Most of them will be presented and tested during the 4Design Days in Katowice, where at our stand we will present the Polish smart home system which turns out to be successful all over the world. I also invite everyone interested in the subject of IoT to listen to our lecture entitled “Smart, energy-efficient and comfortable – these are the apartments of the future”, which will be held on the second day of the fair.

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