Welcome to the first Connected Home Consortium IoT in housing update. In this issue we have a preview of our upcoming pilots and the latest from the smart thermostat world. Plus details of our events programme for the autumn.
Smart Thermostats and Smart Thermostat Pilots
Last month saw the release of our first IoT market analysis. We evaluated the top smart thermostat products on the market for their suitability in the social landlord context. We found that although lots of the technology out there can provide great energy savings to residents the products do not yet offer the kind of functionality that could enable landlords to find a return on investment. Enabling a social landlord to identify fuel poverty or where a tenancy has been abandoned are just some of the additional value that a smart thermostat system could provide. Using a smart thermostat device as a hub for additional sensors that could enable an older person to live for longer in their own home is also a key feature which landlords will require as technology is used to provide more aspects of care in the home.
Since going live with our paper we have begun discussions with a number of smart thermostat manufacturers who are keen to get their systems talking to housing management platforms. Delivering useful business insights from the sensor data collected. Housing management system providers have been very open to working with connected technologies and we hope to have a number ofpilots demonstrating how a smart thermostat can raise jobs in HMS up and running after the summer.
New in the connected heating game
A testament to how quickly technology is moving in this space is the emergence of Switchee. Switchee is a new smart thermostat system which is aimed specifically at the social landlord market. Their product features a range of additional sensors including humidity to enable a landlord to address issues of damp, condensation and mould remotely. The thermostat interface enables landlords to send messages to the resident including advice on energy saving along with ability to schedule visits from the maintenance team. So new it was not included in our initial market analysis we are keeping a firm eye on Switchee as a one to watch in the connected housing space.
Also since our report, Hive have released version 2 of their smart thermostat system with a new shiny physical interface and the ability to control multiple heat circuits. They have announced a range of connected product which work using Hive as the hub, these include a motion sensor and a door opening sensor (that could be used to detect if someone is in the room and to activate the heating). While they haven’t yet demonstrated how these devices could add value in the landlord context it is clear statement of intent that British Gas’ Hive are moving away from being just an energy product and attempting position Hive as an IoT hub.
More housing IoT Developments
It is not only smart thermostat manufacturers that are making progress in this space. A new end to end sensor solution that has been in development over the last year is on the horizon. ZONR group are on the brink of releasing a system which monitors room temperature, humidity, water usage and boiler status and promises to be able to identify and diagnose boiler inefficiency while filling an asset management system with live data from right across the housing stock. ZONR will be able to tell you which boilers are under-performing and which homes could have mould or damp, right from your housing management system, They also claim that automatic job raising is just round the corner.
Connected Home Consortium Blue Maestro Pilot User Group
Last week we launched an online user group for Connected Home Consortium members participating in the Blue Maestro Tempo sensor Pilot. CHC members are invited to share their experiences of piloting the Bluetooth temperature, humidity and pressure sensor with others involved in the pilot to encourage collective learning. Users can share effective use cases and ask others where best to trial their devices. The Blue Maestro team will be on hand to offer any technical support where necessary.
If you are participating in the pilot and are not yet part of the user group send an email to jay.saggar@connectedhome.io for an invitation.
Upcoming Events and Publications
In early October we will be hosting a round table event with communications infrastructure experts Arqiva. Arqiva are the company behind much of the mobile phone network in the UK and have rolled out one of the most potentially disruptive internet of things communication technologies around. The small round table event will be for those housing providers who are interested in exploring the use cases for deploying machine to machine communication infrastructure and understanding where and when alternative communication solutions would be more appropriate.
The event will take place on October 13th if you are interested in attending or finding out more drop an email to jay.saggar@connectedhome.io
The Arqiva round tablewill coincide with the release of our guide to home and wide area network connectivity in housing. The guide will open up the often confusing and contradictory world of communication protocols and set out exactly which technologies are appropriate to which housing applications.
Connected Home Consortium and Halton Digital First Event
The Connected Home Consortium will be teaming up with Halton to deliver an IoT Digital First event. Building on the success of last year’s Digital First event, we will be showcasing the most exciting IoT developments in the housing the space. Expect hands on demos of new technology and an update from our smart thermostat pilot projects.