The VELUX Group, the globally leading roof window manufacturer, has released the world’s first ‘plug-and-play’ system for smart sensor-based operation of roof windows, blinds and shutters for use in homes worldwide.
VELUX ACTIVE with NETATMO - an integrated system in one kit - addresses increasing global demand for smarter, healthier homes. With this new product, VELUX enters the fast-growing smart home market with a solution going beyond simple convenience to creating better and healthier indoor living conditions in homes around the world.
Built on the newest smart-sensor technology, developed in collaboration with French tech company and smart-home leader Netamo, the VELUX ACTIVE smart-home system integrates the newest smart sensor technology and thus thinks and acts on the consumer’s behalf. Smart sensors monitor the temperature, humidity and CO2 concentration inside the home which activates the system to automatically control the roof windows.
It is the first smart-home system launched within the global window business that succeeds in combining – in one solution – a smartphone app, an indoor climate sensor, a departure switch and an internet gateway run by advanced algorithms controlling the fully-automated operation of both roof windows, blinds and shutters to improve indoor climate and prevent overheating.
„We are extremely excited to see how consumers will respond to our smart-home innovation, making homes more comfortable and healthier by enabling homeowners across the world to improve their indoor climate in an easy way“, said Peter Bang, CFO, The VELUX Group.
It is a system designed on science-based indoor climate parameters in joint collaboration with VELUX engineers and Netatmo tech experts.
„VELUX ACTIVE with NETATMO is the result of two stunning technologies; high standard VELUX windows and Netatmo’s know-how for creating simple and useful products. Our teams worked together to create a breakthrough solution not only easy to use and reliable, but also beneficial for user’s well-being.“ explained Fred Potter, founder and CEO of Netatmo.
The system comes with its own app allowing people to manage their entire indoor climate control system according to personal needs and external weather data via a few touches on their phone.
For customers with an iPhone and iPad, the smart-home system also connects with Apple’s smart-home app Apple Home, enabling homeowners for the first time ever to operate their roof windows, blinds and shutters using voice-control assistant Siri.
Smart algorithms manage your indoor climate for you
Sensors placed in the room register when it is either too hot or too humid or when the concentration of CO2 is too high and sends this information to the system’s gateway in order to rectify the situation. The indoor data is then processed along with weather data in a gateway, using advanced algorithms to calculate if the indoor climate can be improved by opening the roof window or rolling down blinds or shutters to prevent overheating.
With this new system, VELUX has moved the roof window from being a stationary product to an interactive, intelligent unit with the potential to constantly evolve through developing further algorithms to control the system.
“This is the first version of our smart-home system, which we will continue to develop based on feedback from users. By virtue of its digital nature, we’re able to constantly improve it, which means users as an add-on automatically receive the newest upgrades and added functions, as we advance the software,” continued Bang.
„Adding smart-home features and integration opportunities to our core products ensures we’re now part of this growing consumer need, which hopefully bolsters our products’ long-term attractiveness. We’re adding a health and wellbeing dimension to the smart-home universe and pushing innovation in this area to the next level“, added Bang
Smart homes are the future
Worldwide, the smart-home market is currently valued at around $31.4 billion and predicted to grow to around $53.45 billion by 2022 (Statista 2018). By plugging roof windows into the ‘smart’ world and creating a solution that is compatible with various smart-home platforms, as well as connecting with other smart products and apps, VELUX has created a solution which will strengthen its consumer relevance in the years to come.
VELUX hopes to significantly increase sales of its motorised windows following the release of this new system as tech-savvy consumers flock to own the latest technology for their home.
Healthier indoor climate drives consumers
The rising number of unhealthy homes is another strong driver behind The VELUX Group’s strategic move into the smart home marketplace.
With one out of six Europeans living in unhealthy buildings, characterised by damp, lack of daylight, inadequate heating during the winter or overheating during the summer (Healthy Homes Barometer 2017), there is a huge potential for renovating the existing building stock – VELUX ACTIVE offers a solution to these issues.
Modern-day living has turned us into an indoor generation, spending (according to World Health Organisation) up to 90 percent our time indoors, making the air we breathe just as important as the food we eat or the water we drink.
However, few people are aware that indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outside, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. In a recent worldwide YouGov survey, 8 out of 10 Americans and Europeans stated they were unaware that indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air.
Another survey also highlighted a perception gap between the recommended ventilation requirements for a modern-day home and consumers’ understanding of adequate home ventilation. 82 percent of Europeans believe that they ventilate their homes a lot but, in reality, only 40 percent ventilate for the recommended two to four times a day. VELUX ACTIVE offers a solution to insufficiently ventilated homes with its automatic regulation of indoor climate and airing intervals.
By offering an intuitive solution to improving the indoor comfort of millions of people’s homes, VELUX is future proofing the business for years to come with a truly innovative product, making homes healthier.