Many exhibitors at SMAhome Expo 2017 expressed confidence about the prospect of the smart home industry. One of them is US-based Dome, whose co-founder Felix Chan believes smart devices will be as universal as smartphones within 2-3 years.
Dome sells sirens, door sensors, motion detectors, leak sensors, etc. A more popular product, named the Water Main Shut-Off, is a valve that connects to leak sensor as well as smartphone. It allows users to close the valve from their phone when leak is detected. “Users can do this when they are in the office, instead of coming home to a scene of water pool,” Chan said.
This product also features easy installation. It mounts on an existing water pipe and no complicated dissembling is required.
Dome entered the smart home industry 3-4 years ago. “We work with Z-Wave, and utilize this platform to enter the market,” Chan said, adding that the company’s product marketing is still at an early stage.
Besides common devices like sensors and siren, Dome also offers a unique product called Mouser, a smart mousetrap that is the first of its kind in the market. Mice that enter the cage will be instantly electrocuted.
The trap connects to a smartphone so that users will be notified whenever a mouse is trapped and users can go on-site to remove it. Mouse cages are usually placed in hard-to-reach locations, and Mouser saves users the hassle to constantly go check if any mice have been caught on-site.
All the Dome products showcased at SMAhome Expo are made in China; however, the company is not ruling out working with partners from other countries in the future, “given reasonable prices and amiable cooperation relationship” Chan said. “We will not constrain production to one country,” he said, adding that manufacturing in Taiwan or Eastern Europe is also possible.
As Dome is based in the U.S., the company’s target market has been North America mostly. But after nearly four years in the industry, Dome wants to test waters in other markets. The reason it was exhibiting at SMAHome Expo is to explore opportunities in Asia, Chan said.
Smart home is akin to a “budding” industry in comparison to other consumer electronics products. “As such, there is still much room for development and imagination,” Chan said. “The industry could still shine and we have much expectation.”
Consumer acceptance is the key to wider public adoption. “Since the notion of home automation is still very new, we need to do some education to the market,” Chan said.
Chan said he noticed more people are entering the market. Innovation becomes critical to stay ahead of the game; as such, the products need to be improved and updated “every day, every month and every year,” he said.
Compared with North America and Europe where people are more open to try new products, Asia has a population with different lifestyles and more conservative attitude, which may be the reason for the region’s slower adoption of smart devices, Chan said. He is still confident, however. “I believe smart home products will become more popular in 2-3 years, just like smartphones,” he added.