‘When it comes to smart home, technology is not always in the first place:’ LEEDARSON Group

‘When it comes to smart home, technology is not always in the first place:’ LEEDARSON Group
"Technology is placed in the first place for most of IoT companies. To us, solving users’ pain points is the core value that LEEDARSON wants to deliver in the IoT arena.” Said Kellen Yang, Sales and Marketing Director of IoT Business Unit of LEEDARSON Group in an interview during IFA 2017 where LEEDARSON, a leading ODM for global smart home and lighting brands, presented a wide spectrum of product lineups covering different communication protocols and technologies.

During IFA 2017, the leading European consumer electronics show in Germany, LEEDARSON demonstrated four display themes that represent the company’s priorities: total smart home integration, intelligent office and retail solutions, great interoperability between devices, and the latest technology innovations including voice control and lamp cameras. The booth scheme was a clean reflection of what the company would like to offer in this promising IoT market.
Kellen Yang, Sales and
Marketing Director of
IoT Business Unit of
LEEDARSON Group


“This is our second time at IFA. We’d like to share our ideas of smart home integration and also how the technology can be applied in other markets, outside the home application,” explained Yang.

Commenting on the smart home market, Yang cited a two-to-three-time growth in the quantity of shipments compared to 2016 in LEEDARSON. “However, there are different popularities among the regions. Home security products are more popular in the US, while lighting and energy management controls have a much better customer reaction in Europe. As for protocols, retail channels prefer BLE or Wi-Fi based products whereas project markets prefer Zigbee or Z-Wave solutions.”

Solving pain points

Despite the growth in shipments, Yang underscores that currently smart homes are still not high enough in the end-users’ interests. “According to a statistic published in the first half year of 2017, 21 home sensor brands in France and Germany together contribute a revenue of only six million Euro at the retail-price level. To me, this figure is small. We see the gradual acceptance of smart home products in Europe, but more education and improvement is needed” said Yang and added that “The hesitation toward smart home technologies right now is due to the poor interoperability between devices and unstable performance. While a diverse portfolio allows the supplier to fight on multiple fronts in the market, it does little to solve users’ real pain points.”

Adopting an end-user centric approach

As growth in the smart home business has not peaked yet, LEEDARSON has been gaining the key insights to conquer the smart home market challenges through its local customer management experiences in China.

“In LEEDARSON, we have a special department named Solution & Inquiry Management (SIM). They face the Chinese end users directly. The department collects and analyzes the questions asked by end users. And based on these questions and using scenarios, SIM proposes the possible next-generation products to solve users’ problems. LEEDARSON designs the products per customers’ feedbacks. So that we are confident of our new products better solving users’ real problems. We do not let R&D and technology dominate the product development.”

To fully comprehend worldwide users’ needs, LEEDARSON has local staffs and product managers doing in-home tests in different countries. They test and examine if the product designs match the demands of the real users in their countries.

To overcome the interoperability challenges, LEEDARSON deploys three paralleled departments to support the four product teams. They are “RF & Connectivity” “Software” and “X-Lab.” RF & Connectivity Dept. is in charge of module and firmware designs, while the Software Dept. is dedicated to APP and cloud solutions. X-Lab, on the other hand, develops the algorithms, voice and gesture control and facial recognition for smart home and other new applications. “We have 350 R&D staffs around the globe within LEEDARSON to work on IoT related product developments,” cited Yang.

Beyond smart home

While LEEDARSON has streamlined its department deployments for IoT business, the company is putting more muscle to their extension in smart office and retail management markets. Coming from a solid background of lighting, “We have customers and partners in diverse sectors such as campus, business, entertainment and other facilities. With the experiences in those projects, LEEDARSON has found the similarities of technology applications.

In China, LEEDARSON has a solution for classroom management. With a simple button, the projector, microphone, lights, curtains in the classroom are all set automatically to the perfect position and level for lectures. “Similar concepts can also be found in commercial areas. In this way, lighting control can have a greater value to our lives and business,” explained Yang.

Yang further takes “Day light harvesting sensor” as an example. It is a smart dimmer that senses indoor sunlight level, and automatically adjusts light lux according to it. “The sensor has been used in smart home. It can be used for campus and smart office lighting control.” Yang said that LEEDARSON has been developing the product working with shading control as well.

The other targeted market LEEDARSON is approaching is retail. In a grocery shops, sensors and remote controllers are adopted to create better shopping ambience and save operational costs. “The temperature/humidity hybrid sensor working with door/window sensor can be applied to stabilize the shop environment. For food chain stores, our temperature/humidity sensor can be helpful to monitor the freshness of commodities,” illustrated Yang.

Beyond that, LEEDARSON is aggressive in taking cameras into the next level. Its X-Lab has been developing video analysis software to help retail entrepreneurs’ operation and marketing management. “With the software, shop owners can easily track the visitor traffic flow, which is important for merchandise supplying, allocation and promotion campaign development of shop management. Facial recognition capabilities embedded in the software can further facilitate the shop owner in developing VIP or loyalty programs.”

With its strong footholds in China and US, LEEDARSON plans to start its smart retail solution offering in these two markets. Intelligent office solutions, however, will be kicked off in Europe first. “Thanks to the lighting business, we have long-term customers and solid requirement of office solutions in Europe,” said Yang.

More interoperable and affordable

Yang believes the existing product ranges of LEEDARSON are sufficient for the current smart home requirements. “Right now, our priority is not to create new product items for smart home, but to work on how to optimize and refine the product by providing easier use or control and better integration with other devices. Also affordability is a key factor to increase user acceptance in the market. We know that end-users are still unsure about whether investments in smart home is worthy or not. LEEDARSON strives to provide better affordable products with better quality” concluded Yang.


Product Adopted:
Lighting Control
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