Australia is a growing market and even people renting apartments are buying a lot of smart home products, because it’s now more affordable, according to Jerzy Zywicki, Director of Digital Home Systems, a Melbourne-based distributor of smart home products and systems.
Zywicki offered some common uses cases in Australia today. People want to be able to check if their garage door is open or not, and close it remotely when necessary. Many people also want to be able to control home temperature before they arrive home, so there may be some kind of geofencing connected to the thermostat at home to change the temperature automatically.
Many people want to be able to unlock the door remotely for a guest, or to provide a PIN code to let the guest open the door on their own. These technologies are now more affordable and available for the mass market. It has become “mainstream,” and the market is growing at least 50 percent a year, Zywicki said.
Commenting on the smart home market, Zywicki said, “Last year we saw a number of voice-control systems like Google Home, so the big companies started to promote new ways of controlling house. That is the enabler to actually create an enormous interest in the market last year.”
“We spoke with Taiwanese suppliers. They said smart home installation and interest were pretty much doubling last year,” Zywicki continued. “We actually reach this phase of development where the market is growing on its own. There is enough installation in the market already for homeowners to share experience and boost the demand even further.”
Smart security systems and whole home automation, based on Vera or Fibaro controller, are currently the most in-demand products in the market, according to Zywicki.
Many smart products are wireless, and people don’t have to call installers if they want to set up very simple installations, Zywicki said. If you want whole-home automation, with video and audio, heating and cooling integration, it requires a little experience and good judgment of what products would fit the best. As such, professional installation is recommended.
zConnect Looks for Partners
Established a decade ago, Digital Home Systems has been working with the Z-Wave Alliance and Z-Wave manufacturers. The company works with both online and physical retailers that sell directly to the public, as well as more than 400 professional installers in Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific regions. Digital Home Systems provides trainings and support to its partners when needed.
The company is sourcing pretty much everything in the smart home system, including smart dimmers, switches, thermostats, sensors and a variety of actuators.
Digital Home Systems currently has some 140 products in its portfolio that are sold all over the world. It is also an original design manufacturer that contracts production in various parts of the world.
In 2015 Digital Home Systems launched a new Australian brand called zConnect. It is looking for partners to mass-produce Z-Wave products, like water valves, universal sensors, garage door openers, just to name a few.
Digital Home Systems is looking for suppliers that have enough experience in R&D in Z-Wave to have all those products certified by the Z-Wave Alliance, while meeting Australian regulations. Suppliers should also provide good support. We don’t want to be left on our own after buying a product. Suppliers should provide product updates, warranty and fixes. “We are looking for partners that plan to stay in the industry for the long run,” he stressed.
Z-Wave Simplifies Smart Home Products
Z-Wave is like the de facto wireless standard right now in the smart home industry. Nine out of 10 security companies in the U.S. are using the Z-Wave interface for home control.
“The Z-Wave seminars held at the SMAhome Expo 2018 are pretty much full, as Z-Wave is becoming more and more popular. There is definite demand and interest in Z-Wave in Asia” Manufacturers adopting the Z-Wave protocol have made quality products, Zywicki added.
10 years ago smart home products were too complicated and too expensive, and gradually with Z-Wave, the products became simpler and easier to integrate.
The beauty with Z-Wave is that you can start with the gateway and then add a couple of devices, and you can do it yourself. You can mix products from different manufacturers as the demand rises.
Smart lighting and security products – such as cameras integrated with the smart home system, motion sensors and door/window sensors – are among the more popular products.