The market for smart home technology is booming. More and more things are able to make decisions and perform actions on their own - completely without human intervention, as things talk to things. For example, the washing machine communicates with the solar system on the roof and only starts when the sun is shining and there is enough green electricity available. Or the air conditioner automatically orients itself to the number of people in a room and goes on or off, regulating the strength and direction of the airflow based on where people are in the room.
Comfort, personalization and changing demands for buildings to deliver more flexible workspaces able to react and adapt to property owner, tenancy, and occupancy demands are key areas for growth in the smart home and building market. The transition to smart buildings essentially depends on the ability to understand who is in a space, how they move, the impact of that presence and movement, and what settings for heating/cooling, lighting, audio and more that person prefers on a given day and time. A range of new sensors, microcontroller and supporting technologies able to detect, report and process either new parameters or existing parameters in far greater detail make it possible.
(A smart air conditioner solution is equipped with semiconductors that see, hear, feel and understand its environment and is connected to the Internet of Things. ©Infineon)
According to the European Commission (“Energy efficiency in buildings”; Feb. 2020), residential, public and office buildings account for one of the largest shares in global energy demand. In the EU, buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions. This in combination with the current energy crises and the rising energy prices explains the increasing demand for smart energy management solutions. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) predicts, that intelligent sensors make it possible to reduce the energy consumption of buildings by 30% and to turn buildings into smart buildings. According to studies by ABI Research, energy management takes advantage of many of the sensors already used in home security applications, as the system can also detect occupancy in the home and reduce energy consumption accordingly.
(By using highly sensitive radar sensors, smart devices are able to detect the presence and absence of people and therefore switch between on mode and energy-saving deep sleep mode. ©Infineon)
Manufacturers that previously focused on owners of single-family homes are increasingly targeting their solutions at managers of apartment blocks, extending the reach of smart building technologies to the apartment sector. The smart home is thus moving into the B2B space. According to ABI Research, the smart apartment market in the US will become a US$ 4 billion annual opportunity for those device providers that can adapt their smart home offerings to the specific demands of smart apartments.
You see: Microelectronics is the core of every smart and energy effcient solution. Sensors, actuators, microcontrollers, communication modules and security components underpin every IoT device. Infineon’s system solutions, including software, let new functions and services link the real with the digital world. Together with our customers, we build smart IoT solutions to decarbonise both economy and society by increasing energy effciency. This is our contribution to preventing climate change and improving quality of life at the same time.
The smart home/building market is also being driven by new standards such as Matter. By facilitating connectivity and interoperability, Matter is set to further boost this sector. ABI Research predicts that by 2030, more than 1.5 billion Matter-certified devices will be shipped annually. Therefore, our special attention in the next article will be on this Matter standard. Stay tuned!
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