What is the future of Home Automation systems in India?

Date : 9-August,2019|Read: 5 mins

Home automation systems are an upgradation to the mechanisation processes wherein human efforts are needed with the machinery equipments to operate various loads in homes. It involves automatic controlling of home appliances using different technologies and controllers over desktops, laptops smart phones or tablets.

This system is primarily implemented by sensors, controlling devices and actuators. The sensors detects light, motion, temperature and other sensing elements, and then transmit the data to the main controlling devices. 

Controllers are personal computers/laptops, touch pads, smart phones, etc., attached to the controlling devices like programmable-logic controllers that receive the information from the sensors, and based on the program, control the actuators. 

Actuators are the last of the controlling devices like limit switches, relays, motors and other controlling mechanisms which finally control the home equipments. Communication plays an important role in this home automation system for the remote access of these operations. A smart home system also provides continuous monitoring through video surveillance with cameras, scheduling, and energy saving operations. This is the best solution even for the elderly and the disabled persons to operate equipments.

Home automation systems have long been considered as an exclusive product invented for the unimaginably wealthy or those residing in the first world countries. Technology has developed so much that in today's times anyone can afford home automation systems, customized to individual needs. 

In the past, people were not willing to spend extra money to use technology of that kind. Someone who is spending Rs.40 lakh to buy an apartment won’t be willing to spend extra 10 to 12% to install smart facilities.

It must undergo the revolution that smartphones created in the India consumer market. 

Smartphones would not have become accessible if several companies had not come up with affordable options. 

But in the past few years,with a median age of Indian population rising to around 28 years and people successfully getting employed buying homes by the time they are 35-38 years old, there is now a social class that has disposable income that they can easily spend.They are often either technophiles or are accustomed to the latest technological advancements; or people who want to find ways in which they can enhance their day-to-day living experience especially the time that they spend at home. Therefore, personal comfort and convenience is an important driver of their decisions when spending money on their homes. Many of these households additionally have situations where both the partners are working and have elderly parents or children at home. Security is important for such families and they will not mind spending an extra buck to keep their loved ones safe. 

Catering to such families are more and more real estate companies which are offering smart homes and have fallen into the means of an average home buyer.

It is estimated that by 2025, the average household in India would have a smart home solution since prices have come down significantly and are getting adapted to suit the Indian lifestyle. There has been a steady growth in the last few years but major metros like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru still remain the top locations in terms of acceptance of this technology.                

With the boom in the realty sector more home buyers are opting to add automated systems to their properties. Some real estate companies give you the option as an add-on while others hire third-party operators to offer all-inclusive solutions. 

The planning for automation starts right from the beginning, when the electric layout is laid. It is possible to automate an old house but the cost of retrofitting will be higher. A wireless home automation system will be costlier but more convenient and safer.

The new age wireless home automation technology has shown the way for wire-based automation products to provide a far more comprehensive service that is based on 5 important factors:

  • Ease of usage
  • Instant access
  • Affordability
  • Ease of installation
  • Energy efficient products.

What can be controlled?

Security

A CCTV surveillance system will record in low light and will cover a wide area. A practical and cost effective solution would be a video door phone like ones from Crabtree. It can be linked to remote door mechanisms like the Trane electronic main door mortise lock. Both Zicom and Eureka Forbes have such systems for under Rs 25,000 and fingerprint or biometric locks for about Rs 15,000.

Climate Control

One can access the air-conditioning system from a mobile device and control it from a distance.

Other devices

You can open and close the curtains with the click of a button, have a remote to open the front gate and sync your home entertainment equipment with a remote or application. You can additionally control ovens, freezers and refrigerators.

Lighting

From sensor based LEDs to integrated entertainment hubs that switch off automatically, there are plenty of options available in the market for the consumers. This is one segment that has plenty of options to choose from and falls within the budget of different kinds of consumers.ABB has presence sensors ranging from Rs 3,000-Rs 7,000, while timers and switching units are available at a cheaper rate for Rs 2,500. ABB brightness sensors that control lighting cost about Rs 3,000. Schneider Electric sensors helps you control lighting with the help of a mobile device.

Ecosystems are originating that allow consumers with a broad range of options in typical home automation products like sensors, actuators, switches, alarms and many devices or appliances are additionally being created with direct ability to integrate into home automation systems, such as cameras, thermostats, video doorbells, air conditioners, microwaves, washing machines and more. So it is likely that many of the next generations of appliances will be ''home automation ready", like many of the LED bulbs that are available in the market and can be easily connected to WiFi. Smart nodes are add-on devices that can be used to retrofit other devices. These smart nodes for instance can transform your conventional switches to transform into home automation systems. Much of this technology is easily available because of the dropping prices of electronic devices. Many aspects of home automation cost 1-3% of well-priced homes. 

Benefits of home automation

  • Energy Monitoring

Many home automation companies provide energy consumption monitoring devices to help it's consumers keep a track of the electricity that is consumed. Home automation systems are being created that are both intelligent and adaptable. In recent years, the home automation market has seen cycles of rapid changes, which has led to the advancement of smartphones and wireless data service. 

Smoke and Gas Leak sensors trigger local alarms. They can also be monitored centrally for entire buildings thereby ensuring security. 

  • Elderly and disabled care

Home automation companies have empowered users to control their homes using a mobile app. Smart home products such as sensors and automatic door locks provide safety and independence to the users of such products.

  • Working parents

Working parents devote a substantial amount of time in taking care of their children, but home automation can make this tedious job easier. With the help of smart security, parents who go to work everyday, can check in on their children keeping a watch on their children by using online tools. 

Future of Home Automation in India

  • India is home to a huge construction industry. In cities like Bangalore where construction is in full swing, home automation will catch up with the trends. 
  • Home automation companies are focusing on robust product development.
  • This will cause the advancement of the home automation systems.
  • We will all soon be living in an assisted environment.Assisted reality will become accessible and will be used in mundane tasks. Devices such as Google Home and Amazon's Alexa are the latest voice-controlled devices making home automation easy and accessible. 
  • Automated systems that can be operated over high-speed Wi-Fi with a powerful smartphone is popular, and the growing availability of Internet-connectable gadgets is driving market growth. Reduced energy consumption and the availability of a broad range of products is anticipated to boost the home automation market in the coming years.
  • India is a prosperous nation with an annual growth rate exceeding 7 percent. There is an ever-increasing income rate among at least the upper half of all wager-earners, with Indians being bitten by the consumerism bug. In the large cities, a 3 BHK flat costs an average of Rs 1.5 Crore, and an additional 20 lakhs is spent on furnishings. New home buyers will not mind spending a little more to make theirs a smart home.

Home automation has arrived in India and is here to stay. With the advancement in technology, this system will become common and the most usable of products in the modern consumer market. 

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