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Security still the No. 1 focus in smart building applications: System integrator

Security still the No. 1 focus in smart building applications: System integrator
Security is currently the most in-demand application in smart buildings, with surveillance, alarm, access control and intercom as the core functionalities, said HomeScenario Vice President Joel Liu.

Founded in 2007, HomeScenario provides smart building solutions and mainly serve the apartment, hotel, school and commercial building markets.

To enable security in a building, HomeScenario provides intercom as the user interface. The intercom allows users to see visitors, open door and talk to neighbors or the building management.

In addition, the portal allows users to arm or disarm the alarm system, and to monitor live video feeds (from every major camera brands). “Intercom is the portal of smart buildings,” Liu said.

The intercom also has the panic button functionality, so in case of an emergency, a push notification can be sent to the smartphones of the closed ones.

The intercom is integrated with multiple systems to enable security. When door access is granted via the intercom, for example, an elevator will go to the first floor for the guest, who may only go to the resident’s floor.

There is also integration with facial recognition, license plate recognition, garage control, home automation, energy management and public facility booking.

In the case of granting access, the intercom is only responsible for door opening, which may be triggered by a smartphone, an access card or facial recognition.

The intercom can serve as control hub for lighting, curtains, HVAC and audio/video automation. A setup can be enabled so that lights at home will turn on automatically when the homeowner’s car is detected to be entering the garage.

In regards to integration with facility booking, a reservation may be made using a mobile app, which will send a confirmation message to the intercom.

System integrators need to make it first in smart home

The team of HomeScenario initially specializes in network applications and waded into the new smart home sector about 10 years ago. The company currently specializes in providing smart community solutions.

The company works with building contractors and its product is regarded part of the extra-low voltage (ELV) system in a building. While ELV system makes up just one to two percent in the overall construction costs, it plays a critical role, acting like “the brain and the nervous system” in a building, Liu said.

There are mainly three types of players in the smart home industry – consumer product creators, service providers and system integrators. The former two are still experimenting. Consumer products, which are targeted at the whole public, mostly serve entertainment purposes, Liu said. Service providers like cable and telecom companies, one the other hand, can only provide scaled-down smart home solutions.

Liu believes system integrators need to make it in the smart home industry before consumer brands and service providers have the chance. “How can you expect average consumers to install it when even professionals can’t? Implementation has to start here.”

System integrators like HomeScenario work on project-based solutions with clearly defined requirement. They offer products that can live with the building and operate for as long as 8-10 years, along with professional maintenance, as opposed to one-time DIY consumer electronics, Liu said.

Demand for smart buildings seem to be growing. HomeScenario has found more demand in Southeast Asia, in Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam. The company has also branched out in China and in the Middle East, including Turkey and Dubai.

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