Owing to WFH trends, adoption of smart home devices/connected appliances is on the rise. What are some of the trends and innovations across home automation that you’re seeing?
WFH has become the new normal for the working professionals, access to an office like ergonomics might be difficult for all however, smart products are fulfilling the needs and are easily available to the people. With many appliances that people have in their homes today, more people are looking for smart homes with advanced systems and better connectivity. Products that provide ease, comfort, and next-gen experience through automated, voice-enabled, and remote-controlled devices are on the rise, especially products that facilitate security and hygiene.
Covid-19 spread has increased awareness for hygiene and security therefore, a surge is expected for advanced security products that ensure safety for homes. With the WFH scenario, some of the high-tech and non-touch products such as Voice-controlled products are highly preferred, apart from those products like smart switches, smart sockets, smart locks, video door phones, remote controls, smart cameras, smart doorbells, energy monitoring, and control systems, etc. will see a rise in demand in the post-covid19 era.
Panasonic Life Solutions India, combined with unparalleled Japanese technology today, delivers superior quality and a top-notch range of solutions ranging from Smart and low power consuming inverter based Appliances, Building Materials, and Manufacturing Electrical Construction Materials to Home Automation. The company aims to make users’ life simple, safe, and convenient.
How is Panasonic Life Solutions (Anchor) extending a solution to the smart home concept through – Miraie? How is the concept of Miraie different from other platforms available in the market?
With the literal meaning of the MirAIe being ‘future home’ in Japanese, the platform is aimed at empowering the routine lives of our consumers with comfort, convenience, and seamless connectivity across all Panasonic appliances and electrical devices . The platform presently hosts India’s largest range of connected ACs, Geyser, Smart Doorbells, Fans, and Smart Plugs & Switches among other devices and appliances in the near future. The plan is to drive optimum output and expand the connected product portfolio further looking at the home automation surge in India.
Conceptualized and developed at Panasonic’s India Innovation Centre, the solution features include in-built intelligent diagnostics that detect issues in advance, to leverage Google’s Voice Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa technology to offer seamless and hands-free operations and control devices with voice commands. Apart from this, it also offers e-warranty services for all products.
MirAIe is compatible with Google and Alexa, which can engage with Panasonic and other devices through these platforms seamlessly. In fact, any appliance (non – smart or non-Panasonic) can be made part of the connected ecosystem through the use of Vetaar smart plugs and switches; that are seamlessly integrated with MirAIe. We expect this technology to allow people to embrace the next generation of connected living by Panasonic.
Please elaborate on the IoT /Smart offerings that you have?
We have unveiled the first range of IoT products that is available in the Indian market which includes Connected Air Conditioners, Smart Door Bell, and Plugs and Switches. Let us take an example of the AC here – besides just a simple on/ off functionality, our AC hosts unique feature – sleep profiling which allows users to set the room temperature for different parts of the night allowing uninterrupted sleep. The integration can be extended to Ceiling or Pedestal fans wherein the Fan speed can be synchronized with the smart AC to offer an optimum sleeping condition. If you are driving home on a hot summer afternoon, MirAIe synced with your Google maps will send you a prompt to turn on your AC when you are 15 mins from home. Our Smart Plugs and Switches not only allow users to operate smart devices but also the conventional devices in this connected world. The smart Door Bell allows one to know who’s at the door even when not at home, ensuring safety and security for the family.
The intuitive MirAIe platform helps recognize usage patterns and suggests optimal modes extending the best comfort for consumers. Also offers features such as E-Warranty and AMC management, OneTouch-service request, proactive maintenance notifications among others.
With diverse consumer preferences available for home automation, can Miraie provide seamless connectivity with other brands?
The connected ecosystem is the next big thing in the home automation space. At Panasonic Life Solutions and Panasonic, we are consistent in innovating with the rapidly changing technology landscape and fast-evolving consumer preferences. Speaking of MirAIe, yes, it can provide seamless connectivity and facilitate in managing the devices remotely, apart from its compatibility with Alexa and Google.In addition, MirAIe is compatible with Google and Alexa so you can engage with your Panasonic and other devices through these platforms seamlessly.
Consumers focus on utility than technology being used, how will you convince them to buy IoT products?
Everyone today prefers technology that is high-tech in nature, and IoT is the way for convenient, smarter and connected living. This trend will continue to set in the next decade and is expected to grow in the near future because the demand for IoT and AI products will increase tremendously. Today’s tech-savvy consumers use a variety of devices to connect using the internet for interacting with different services. Open systems provide enhanced convenience, lower installation costs, and greater control over cost outgo. These systems allow products with the best competencies to be chosen for the task to be accomplished.
The result is a more effective BMS (Building Automation System) solution, which is not held back by any proprietary software controls People are looking for options to make their homes smart, comforting, and convenient hence, IoT products are and will be the next big thing.
Designed to work in tandem with Google Assistant and Alexa, what are some of the potential challenges that you are foreseeing and how do you plan to address them?
Currently, the pandemic has impacted businesses across all sectors, with stalled projects and limited project launches, this is a short- term concern and hopefully, this will turn the tides soon. Our focus on the project’s business (B2B/B2G) remains as one of our key priorities and we aim maintain to our direction in this space for medium to long term. Seamless connectivity is always a challenge especially with the RCC construction which Indian homes and commercial infrastructure use, unlike many of the Countries in West. This is the primary reason we chose Zigbee as a communication protocol, which although marginally expensive ensures uninterrupted connection.
Voice is a great enabler and opens up the use of IOT products (devices and appliances) to elderly people, physically challenged people and children; but the higher adoption will depend on development of voice engine in various Indian languages and dialects.
The other major challenge we see is to gain the trust of customers as the entire transaction data will be held on our servers and assurance for privacy and data protection will have to be given.
Is Miraie only for consumers, or do you plan to expand to realtors in future, enabling them to create smarter homes? Please throw some light on the roadmap ahead.
Products like MirAIe are a breakthrough in the home automation space. While these products will create value for Individual homes (bungalows and apartments) primarily; these offer a great opportunity for Real estate developers to differentiate their projects by offering home automation capability at a very reasonable cost; which at present costs at least 5 times more to automate a room. When a customer purchases a home, the first thing they would look at is the amenities provided that ensure convenience and safety. Connected living is the next step towards enriching our lives, making them more convenient, safer and energy efficient. MirAIe will become an integral part of our lives, not only at home but also at our workplaces, hotels and hospitals.