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It’s Really Not That Smart

Information Technology


July 1, 2018, 8:51 am

Ivano Ianelli, CEO of Dubai Carbon (DCCE) has been using his personal Dubai home as a testing ground for any ground breaking smart home technology hitting the Dubai market. He staunchly believes that, in his current role at Dubai Carbon, he cannot recommend a product or a service unless he himself wholeheartedly approves of it. Therein launched a trial journey of many years and many more dirhams spent.

When Ianelli converted his regular Dubai villa property into an integrated tech-enabled home in 2003xx, he used the firm ABB, which was then, the most mature smart home infrastructure available and used widely in the hotel and hospitality industry.

However, technology then was obviously very different from technology now.

Nowadays, rather than having a backbone wired infrastructure, which is basically where the money goes, the market is flooded with a lot of mix and match products that can be bought online and integrated. So, while Ianelli’s villa was a Dhs 250,000 plus investment, the same infrastructure can now be replicated for approximately Dhs 10,000, making a smart home dream a definite reality for residents.

According to Ianelli, all that is needed to start with is a master processing unit – a sort of ‘Siri’ for your home.

This central component can guide all the other linked elements to trigger on and off. You could choose from Google Home, Apple’s Homepod or Amazon’s Alexa.

Ianelli opted for the Alexa and recommends the ‘Works with Alexa’ section on Amazon, which is filled with a wide range of compatible products to control everything from lighting to curtains and air conditioning, really anything that can be operated remotely or through a set of instructions.

“You can create a list of tasks that kick off to a trigger and create a personalised ambience,” says Ianelli. “One of the funniest ones I programmed is ‘couch potato’. When I say that to Alexa, she closes the curtains, turns on the mood lighting, television, selects the movie library page, dims the overhead lights, puts the AC to my preferred temperature, and turns on the ambient lighting function on the TV.”

However, smart home technology, as most of us know by now, is not just about the luxury of having everything done for you at the press of a button. Along with the massive convenience comes one of the biggest advantages – it is a fantastic way to conserve energy and thereby utterly necessary from a sustainability viewpoint.

“Alexa can be informed of your timings to know when to switch on the AC and the lights, rather than keep them running all day,” says Ianelli. “When I leave my office and start heading home, my geographical location sets off the ‘go home’ trigger. In this way, we retain our habits and creature comforts whilst simultaneously reducing our usage of resources. This is the key component of sustainability.”

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