R+T 2021: Smart Homes and Drives

Networked technology is automatically providing a cosy atmosphere. Photo credits: Rademacher

Smart solutions for maximum efficiency: automation providing the highest level of comfort – Focus returns to hot topic at R+T 2021

The success of the smart home continues. Few other sectors have seen such rapid development at R+T in recent years. “Of course, digitalisation has equally made an impact here, as is the case in other areas too,” reports Sebastian Schmid, Department Director of Technology at Messe Stuttgart. For more than ten years, Schmid has been responsible for the world’s leading trade fair for roller shutters, doors/gates and sun protection systems and has thus had the opportunity to closely follow market developments: “Initially regarded as belonging to the realm of science fiction, the smart home is now a key aspect of our ongoing digitalisation and enjoys an almost lifestyle status.”

Best results

But what does that mean, in concrete terms, for product development? “The choice and variety of applications continue to grow and these applications are, without question, specifically tailored to market conditions. In addition to the convenience factor, which incorporates user friendliness, there tends to be a focus on energy efficiency and also security,” explains Schmid. All incorporated systems can be coordinated with each other to deliver the ideal solution – with retrofitting options casting the net even wider.

Such as Elero GmbH, for example, a company providing all-round smart solutions for integrating motorised roller shutters, Venetian blinds and awnings in radio and smart home systems. “With our Revio-868 and VarioTec-868 radio receivers, hangings can be easily retrofitted and operated using a hand-held transmitter or app,” explains Enzo Viola, Managing Director of Elero. The benefit is undeniable, considering “automated sun protection not only improves quality of life, it also offers significant saving potential thanks to reduced heating costs and greater energy efficiency.” Furthermore, it contributes toward better security. With the Centero Home smart solution, for example, users have the option of programming certain tasks to be carried out during a specific time period. Viola: “Privacy screens or sun protection can be automatically adjusted and lighting or music can give the impression that the owners are at home, discouraging potential intruders.”

Comfort, efficiency and security also go hand in hand for Rademacher. “In our HomePilot Smart Home, the networked technology automatically creates a cosy atmosphere,” says Marketing Manager, Peggy Losen. “Owners arrive home in the evening to a comfortably lit, pleasantly heated living room. Even the roller shutters are lowered as the evening sets in. There is nothing left for the user to do, everything is taken care of.” This is all carried out either automatically, using a hand-held transmitter, wall switch or with the HomePilot App via smartphone or tablet.

Maximum convenience is achieved with home automation systems – HomePilot responds to both Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. Since November 2019, it is also possible to control Philips Hue smart lamps using the HomePilot Smart Home. The Philips Hue Bridge is used to integrate the lamps into the HomePilot. The lamps are then appropriately positioned and connected to tripping devices.

Inside and out

Interior sun protection can also be quickly and easily integrated into smart home solutions via wireless motorisation, which proves particularly effective in preventing unwanted glare. Somfy is introducing two new drives here: Somfy Roll Up and Somfy Sonesse. “Both models are suitable for all types of hanging and window size and thanks to the integrated lithium-ion batteries, installation and operation are particularly convenient and straightforward,” explains Stefan Korte, Head of B2B at Somfy GmbH. There is also no more tedious and costly milling of control channels, thus saving time, money and effort. Even the upper and lower end positions are quickly positioned via remote control. With the integration of the Somfy Roll Up and Somfy Sonesse into the TaHoma central smart home system, the hangings automatically adapt to the respective weather conditions using sun and temperature sensors. Korte explains: “Living spaces, for example, are thus shaded from strong sunlight even when there is nobody home – visually, interior sun protection is a superb design feature, provides additional air-conditioning and contributes toward a pleasant atmosphere.”

The PowerView smart home system from MHZ also boasts the simple operation of interior sun protection at the touch of a button, either from home or when on the go. The smart communication unit comprises a bi-directional radio-controlled motor, the Pebble remote control and the hub. “The quiet radio-controlled motor can be operated using a battery or via the power supply. Thanks to its lean design, the battery itself is fully integrated into the sun protection product for nearly all systems,” explains MHZ Managing Director Andreas Kopetschny. The automation system is compatible with all products and suitable for vertical and horizontal Venetian blinds, roller blinds and pleated blinds. Kopetschny: “The straightforward 6-channel remote control Pebble is the heart of the PowerView system. The transmitter is easily programmed into the radio drives and controls the sun protection systems individually, in groups or for the entire room.” With its simple, modular design, the PowerView system can provide the right operating concept for any requirements. The basic communication unit for a move into automation comprises a bi-directional radio-controlled motor and the Pebble remote control. Using additional components, the functions and interfaces of the automation solution can be expanded at any time.

Smart prospects

Taking a look at the latest product innovations, one thing is clear – developments are taking a smart pace.

“Trade visitors will be provided with extensive information relating to the latest smart home trends at the upcoming R+T 2021. And keeping in mind the discussions we have had with our exhibitors, I can say this much: R+T 2021 is set to unveil plenty of innovation, taking approaches previously unseen in this area,” confirms Sebastian Schmid. Taking place once again in 2021, the Smart Home Forum will also explore these trends with a series of professional talks. All things considered, visitors to R+T in Stuttgart 2021, the world’s leading trade fair for roller shutters, doors/gates and sun protection systems, can expect to find themselves in the smartest of hands.