A little about smart home integrators in Russia

What is Smart Home technology?

S- Hello, gentlemen. My name is Alexander Sakharov. Today I was kindly invited by the head of the KNX Russia Association, Andrey Golovin, to talk about what we are doing, what projects we are doing.

A- Today we will talk about what is called home automation, we will definitely go over the term "Smart home".

C - Favorite term "Smart Home" or unloved by everyone.

A- In your understanding, what is hidden behind home automation?

S- Well, it seems to me that this is some kind of system that allows you to live more comfortably and safely. More specifically, regardless of whether it is an apartment, a townhouse or a cottage, the systems are most often the same. The first is Internet access systems. I can't imagine a modern home without the Internet. The next thing is the climate system - heating, ventilation, maybe humidification. The next is a safety related system. This is video surveillance, access control, maybe leakage control. Then - the entertainment system. Rarely does a house live without music, and rarely does a house lack at least one TV. What used to be called the beautiful word “Multi-room audio-video” now somehow turns out by itself if you use modern smart TVs and smart speakers.

A- And the light? It seems to me that light is in the first place in terms of demand.

S- I forgot about the light. But it is in the first place for apartments, and for cottages it is still the climate. Light is almost always controlled.

A- Let's agree that today we are discussing a private customer. Apartment, cottage, townhouse.

C - We are discussing a private customer. The person has earned a certain amount of money, and it may not be super big. We are considering some such business class. Buys an apartment or a cottage and wants to equip it at a modern level so that it is good, comfortable and convenient.

A- Brief summary of the first question. The owner of the apartment gives priority to lighting, then air conditioning and the comfort associated with them. Then everything related to entertainment - audio, video.

S- Probably. It all depends on the specific customer. Someone bothers more with lighting, someone with the quality of the picture on TVs. Or, God forbid, even put a projector for himself. We are also integrating all this into our control systems.

A- Is the climate in the first place in a country house?

С- In a country house, the climate and security system, i.e. these are access control, video surveillance cameras. “I want to understand what happens in my cottage when I'm not there. Who's there? What happened? What worked? "

A- There are some already established stereotypes - how the customer's demand is formed; what does he want? Agree, the market is full of information coming from the media, from journalists, which fundamentally distorts the picture. Those. smart home today is more of a negative connotation.

S- This is a kind of curse today. Many campaigns try not to use it, but nevertheless the concept is there. Indeed, the negative is always more vivid than the positive. Any negative character in a movie is more picturesque than a positive one. For journalists, willingly or unwillingly, it is easier to tell about some negative moments easier than about positive ones. This is how life turned out. There are many negative aspects in automation systems, and this has its own reasons. Mainly because people underestimate the difficulty of launching them. Now they are much easier to make, they have become cheaper. They have not become cheap, they have become cheaper. But the negativity that has accumulated over this market will scare people away for a long time, who will say: “This does not work. It's insanely expensive. I don't understand why this is necessary at all. " This is the reason why we have gathered. To tell why it might be necessary, to tell the opinion of the installers, people who work with it every day, launch these projects and do it quite successfully.

A- The question is. I agree, the tendency is for equipment prices to go down, and Asian manufacturers appear, which are initially inexpensive. At the same time, the market is being filled with solutions that claim the same weight category, but are simpler. These are the solutions currently offered by cellular operators. This is a bunch of wireless on proprietary or open protocols. But this is all "Do it yourself" equipment. You, as a professional integrator, will not take part in the installation of such a system.

C- Most likely I will not take part in the installation of such a system. Not because she's insanely bad, no. It's just for a different market. If you have 10 applications in your smartphone for controlling something in your home - a wireless smart speaker, air conditioner, convector, then this is not a smart home. These are 10 apps for 10 devices that each work in their own way. The integrated control system works as a whole. The floor will not heat up when the air conditioner is turned on for cooling - this is what the Western market calls a Smart home system.A- And what other objections can there be from the customer? "I have a small apartment, I don't need all this."

S- Good. Do you like to turn on the light in a small apartment when you walk down the hallway? Or do you want the light to turn on by itself? When you walk on it at night, do you want it to turn on 100% or 10%? Do you want music to play in your apartment? You want your TV to show streaming services like Netflix, Amazon prime. If you want it, it doesn't matter what size your apartment is. It doesn't matter if you have 10 TVs or 1. You may not have 100 light control zones, but 5 or 10. But this is your life, your convenience, your comfort. You need a climate too. The air in apartment buildings is very dry.

A- I do not agree with you, because I have just a small apartment, 51 square meters. The windows are, of course, plastic. In winter, it must be dry; ventilation does not work. And the people in the apartment, in fact, exhale water.

C- They exhale water, but some air coming from outside is still there, otherwise you will simply suffocate there.

A- Rare ventilation.

C- I see. But when the air from the cold street enters the apartment and heats up, then its relative humidity drops to 10%. This is the desert level. For normal life, humidity should be 30-40%, this is considered normal. And then a matter of taste. Or filter the incoming air from micro-impurities? This is all done by the ventilation system. Will you just turn it on? Or is it according to the conditions of the atmosphere that you have? And all this is measured by sensors, just those that we use in our systems.

A- This is exactly what distinguishes the “Do it yourself” system, a smart home in a box, from a professional installation.

C- These are two borders of one market. Professional installation and Do it yourself are trying to converge, but there is still a great distance between them, they are still far from each other. You can start with Do it yourself, but these will be pieces, what is called patchwork automation. It will not be a unified system, it will not grow together. It can be connected using Wi-fi, but we will combine different providers at the cloud level, at the Internet level, and not a single system.

A- The main thing, in my opinion, is money. It is very expensive. Lots of dangers. What if it doesn't work? What if not so?

S- And here's another. And I am not too lazy to get up from the chair to press the button to turn on the light on the wall? In fact, in control systems, lighting buttons do not turn on individual bulbs, they turn on scenes. If you have several light zones, if you have backlighting with multi-colored LED strips, in order to customize each one for you, you should have a grand piano of switches. The lighting control system starts the scenes. Scene "Comfort", where you have a warm light, taking into account the peculiarities of people, when, depending on the time of day, the color temperature of the light changes - warmer or colder. In this case, something else can be launched. The scene "I came home" - the light turned on, some of my favorite calm music turned on. I spent a day running between customers, I'm tired, I don't have much time to rest. If my house somehow helps me in this, then, probably, it's good. This is comfort.

A- I talked to a lot of people. Today the customer is ready to pay for his comfort, this is the first argument. Then security, then energy saving, which is "Yes, not bad, but let it be somewhere in the back."

C- Well, while our energy resources are still not very expensive, in comparison with the same Europe. Again, maybe we are a broad Russian soul, we do not save anything and we have a lot of everything. All this will pass. About the price. Complex and multifunctional systems are not cheap. But they have become significantly cheaper in recent years. What previously could only be afforded by a super rich person has dropped to normal business class. We live in a city where housing is expensive. It is believed that a comprehensive management system costs no more than 10% of the cost of housing. There will be everything that you can imagine in this 10%. Either you are ready to spend it for your comfort, or you are not.A- The problem is that it is difficult for the future owner to calculate the cost. Buying a good floor covering, he knows the square, and they tell him - lay so much on the installation. As for the automation system, he must order a project, must order equipment, software, programming, and subsequent technical. support.

C- The elephant should be eaten in parts. At the stage of ordering a project, we proceed from the wishes of the client, he fills out the questionnaires, and we can outline the circle of his wishes. After that, we say that on average, based on the floor plan, the lighting scheme, the number of air conditioning zones, underfloor heating, audio-video, we assume that it will cost so much based on our previous experience. You don't need to make a project for this. The order will become clear. $ 10,000 or $ 20,000, $ 50,000 based on the wishes of the customer. After that, a project is made, where we carefully clarify everything.

A- Will the estimate grow?

S- Usually it grows up because the customer says: "Oh, but I forgot the bow here, I will also have such a beautiful backlight here, I want to control it so much." This is another 8 light zones, which will add another 10-15% cost. This is normal. Then, when the project is ready, where it is clear which cables go where, each cable is marked, then you can take it and make it. The price will not go anywhere, will not rise, there will be no situation that we have forgotten something.

A- How much does the project cost? Are there any norms, from which to start?

C- If we estimate our system at $ 20,000, for example, we say that 10% of this is design. We can estimate, before the start, the total cost of the project based on those wishes, those plans that were provided by the customer. If we have made a project for the customer and he wants to build it all, then we return the cost of the project.

A- The problem associated with the introduction of automation systems, in my opinion, is associated with a low awareness of the customer. They have a designer architect.

C- Who knows nothing about the automation system, because it is not his job.

A- Knows that this is an expensive non-working thing.

S- Usually we somehow do not enter into conflict with architects and designers. But the sooner he comes to us, the easier it will be to build it all in.A- Ideally, it will be if the customer knows that he wants a smart home before he hits hands with an architect.

C - Either the architect can start working - give out rough options for the arrangement of furniture. The customer will understand where he has what is located. And at this moment, connect the installation campaign. We also need to make a start from something. An architect is very important, we are not architects.

A- I had an idea. I wanted to summarize the experience of integrators on the website of the KNX Association of Russia. Each has its own version of the questionnaire for communicating with the end customer. Simply consolidate the best experience into an online solution.

C- Our questionnaire is publicly available at electronhous.ru

A- Tell us specifically about a living object.

S- We just finished an object. Apartment in Moscow, 150 square meters, classic business class. The person applied at the very beginning of the design. He says: "I want a normal control system to be comfortable and convenient." Which we offered him, and then implemented. Internet access from two providers, and inside - wired and wireless. Wireless - two access points. Two providers for increased reliability and balancing. We made a radio survey to understand where the signal is going. Video surveillance was done, but there was no access control, because it was not necessary, because the house itself is guarded, there is a concierge sitting downstairs, you just can't get there. Lighting control - about 200 channels in total. Climate - underfloor heating, radiators, air conditioners, ventilation with air supply from the street and its filtration. Audio multiroom in all rooms, bathrooms, toilets. Video multi-room based on normal good TVs, which we carefully calibrated to get a good picture.

A- What is the technical basis for all this?

C- Underneath this all lies KNX on the management of all engineering systems. Above is the savant system, which has brought together the inzherka and audio-video. Everything in a single program that allows the user to independently create scripts that are synchronized with everything.

A- How much did the customer get up?

C- Expensive and good KNX equipment was used, somewhere in the amount of 20,000 euros. Music of about $ 4,000. Home theater with speakers for 7000 euros and a large TV. In total, everything cost about 45,000 euros.S- I often tell customers if you have a limited budget, if you spent the main money on an apartment and repairs, then lay the foundation now. Buy equipment - air conditioners that you can control so you know what's going on in it. There are such models, you just need to be puzzled by this at the stage of purchase. Provide a minimal control system that costs minimal money. This will allow you to shrink to the amount of 5000-7000 dollars, and then increase the functionality.

A- You just need to arrange an educational program for customers. Where to start? How to build the implementation of your project? What expenses are you in?

C- Our meeting today is the beginning of these very courses. I hope that this will be a series in which you will attract other installers, practitioners, architects, customers. Because there is little information. People cannot understand from Internet resources what systems can.

A- It is necessary to tell real cases, about the practice of application. What was the most successful thing about this apartment?

S- I think the best part is how we put everything in one system. The man himself learned in two days to make himself scenes with curtains and music. The music, the light comes on like this and I feel comfortable, relaxation comes.

A- Did your wife like it too?

S- Yes, but at first she was skeptical about it. What if it doesn't work? Or maybe you have an English interface?

A- And if the customer says: “I don’t want computer programs, I don’t want touch panels, make me using classic buttons”

C- Can be done on classic buttons. He may not even know that a regular switch will trigger an entire scene. He presses the button - we act out the scene. Yes, scene setup and debugging takes some time. It takes a couple of months. It works. Especially KNX systems. If the system hangs inside itself, then it reboots itself.

Link for sourse:Electronic House

This is a text version of a video recording of an interview published on the Electronic House website

#integrators, #Technology, #smart, #house, #automation, #programming, #design, #scripts, #multimedia, #home, #cinema, #remote, #remote, #control, #feedback, #communication

Russian version

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