SMART AU­TO­MATED HOMES

Arada has be­come the first de­vel­oper in the UAE to launch smart home tech­nol­ogy as stan­dard through­out a sin­gle project

Facilities Management Middle East - - MARKET UPDATE -

Ama­zon.com ac­quired Ring, a man­u­fac­turer of video door­bells, in a deal val­ued at more than $1 bn in March this year. The ac­qui­si­tion, be­lieved to be Ama­zon’s sec­ond big­gest af­ter it pur­chased Whole Foods last year for $13.5bn, is the lat­est in a string of moves that sig­nal the com­pany’s am­bi­tions to en­ter new mar­kets and sec­tors.

Ama­zon’s con­trol in the smart homes sec­tor strength­ened with this deal as it al­ready had the Alexa, Ama­zon’s vir­tual as­sis­tant. The Ring ac­qui­si­tion also in­creases Ama­zon’s fire­power to com­pete with Google’s Al­pha­bet Inc. which ac­quired Nest Labs for $3.2bn strength­en­ing its own home au­toma­tion unit in 2014.

This demon­strates the po­ten­tial in busi­nesses such as Ring, and the value it com­mands in the mar­ket. Sim­i­larly Google’s Nest Ther­mo­stat is be­ing con­sid­ered as a key com­po­nent in smart homes.

Nest man­u­fac­tures smart-home se­cu­rity fields and smart ther­mostats, smoke de­tec­tors and se­cu­rity cam­eras that work with both Google and Ama­zon’s vir­tual as­sis­tants.

In Au­gust, Ring an­nounced a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Hitches and Glitches (H& G), a home main­te­nance com­pany which is part of the Farnek Group, which would see H& G re­tail Ring prod­ucts via its on­line store and in­stall the smart home se­cu­rity prod­ucts in res­i­den­tial com­mu­ni­ties in the UAE.

We are also wit­ness­ing the buy-in from de­vel­op­ers in Arada’s $6.53bn (AED24bn) megapro­ject, Al­jada in Shar­jah.

The Arada Smart Home tech­nol­ogy will be in­tro­duced in ev­ery unit of the

lux­ury Misk Apart­ments build­ings in the 24 mil­lion square foot city, pro­vid­ing ben­e­fits and en­ergy cost sav­ings to home­own­ers.

In the process, Arada has also be­come the first de­vel­oper in the UAE to launch smart home tech­nol­ogy as stan­dard through­out a sin­gle project, it claims. The smart home sys­tem will al­low buy­ers ac­cess to a num­ber of fea­tures, rang­ing from re­mote front- door ac­cess and 24-hour video se­cu­rity through their mo­bile phones, to the abil­ity to amend tem­per­a­ture and light­ing, as well as man­ag­ing util­i­ties.

Home­own­ers will also be able to switch to their favourite mood light­ing, en­able mo­tion sen­sors within their apart­ments, and open and close blinds and cur­tains re­motely. Each of th­ese fea­tures can also be con­trolled by voice ac­ti­va­tion as well. Arada is adding this new tech­nol­ogy to each unit free of charge and it will be op­er­ated by a cen­trally man­aged and well se­cured build­ing mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem.

In Novem­ber last year, Ring launched the Ring Video Door­bell

2 in the Mid­dle East. While, Google launched the Nest Ther­mo­stat in the UAE last month for $272 (AED999)

Ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey ini­ti­ated by the Bri­tish In­sti­tute of Facil­ties Man­age­ment (BIFM), 57% re­spon­dents have said that au­toma­tion will ben­e­fit data man­age­ment. But go­ing against the grain, 40% of the re­spon­dents feel that re­sis­tance to change will be the big­gest dis­ad­van­tage of au­toma­tion in FM.

While de­vel­op­ers such as Arada have taken a quan­tum leap, the ball is well and truly in the court of the FM sec­tor that deems it­self ready to take on a project such as this. With tech­nol­ogy prov­ing to be not only an en­abler for change, and in many as­pects forc­ing it, then with­out doubt only those or­gan­i­sa­tions that can adapt will sur­vive.

The Misk Apart­ments will fea­ture smart fa­cil­i­ties in the fi rst of its kind de­vel­op­ment.

Google aren't far be­hind Ama­zon with their Nest Ther­mo­stat re­tail­ing in the UAE.

H& G re­tail Ring prod­ucts via its on­line store and in­stall the smart home se­cu­rity prod­ucts as well.

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