Security aspect drives German smart home market

More and more consumers in Germany are using smart home solutions and the demand for more security is one of the biggest drivers. Market leaders in the USA show which technologies are best suited for security products in smart home networks, and how the current trend can be used to boost sales.

For many years, smart home products were primarily associated with convenience. Early adopters of smart home solutions were either seen as technology lovers, or simply deemed as too lazy to get up to turn the light on themselves. This formerly common view has changed fundamentally. Today, consumers from all walks of life use smart home applications, and for many, smart devices are no longer just a means to increase convenience or to reduce their energy consumption.

Looking at the three smart home areas that were the most popular in Germany last year, it quickly becomes clear that security solutions are top of consumer’s priority lists more than anything else. With a growth rate of 7% compared to the previous year, video surveillance was the second most popular smart home solution in 2021, closely followed by alarm systems. Only smart lighting was used more frequently (29%). As smart lighting is often used to deter burglars, the aspect of security will have without a doubt contributed to the sales figures too.

Providers turn to ULE radio standard

The question manufacturers of smart home and security solutions are facing now is how they can meet the new needs of their customers. According to experts, the latest developments in the US could provide the answer. Homeowners in the US already spend over 500 US dollars on average for smart homes and security equipment. For vendors like ADT – the largest security and home automation company in North America – this makes for a huge market. Since 2020, ADT are using the ULE (Ultra-Low Energy) radio standard for their popular DIY product range “Blue”.

Other providers have followed suit and are also using ULE for their security solutions. “Security solutions must work absolutely reliably – even in larger houses,” says Ulrich Grote, chairman of the ULE Alliance. “With a range of up to 50 metres indoors and 500 metres outdoors, ULE offers the same range and stability as the DECT standard, which has been tried and tested for decades, but ULE requires significantly less energy. This makes ULE the ideal wireless standard for battery-powered security sensors for doors and windows, as well as for other areas in the house.”

Good prospects for manufacturers

One of the vendors already offering ULE-based security solutions in Germany is Gigaset. Deutsche Telekom also have ULE-based door and window contacts in their smart home product range. And while the Berlin-based company AVM does not offer dedicated security products itself, it enables its customers to connect the security sensors from Deutsche Telekom with their FRITZ!Box router, which supports ULE and which is being used in the majority of all households in Germany. This way, AVM’s smart LED lamps, heating thermostats, wireless switches and smart plugs can be combined with the ULE-based security sensors from Deutsche Telekom thanks to the open standard ULE.

Given the increasing demand for smart home and security solutions, other manufacturers may launch their own ULE-based products soon. Whether local vendors will come out on top, or manufacturers from countries like the US, will depend on how quickly the companies will adopt to the demands of the consumers.

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