1 – Is one radio protocol currently being installed more than another on the global smart home and smart building market?
In my view, there is clearly no protocol today that is becoming more established than another, especially on a global scale.
On the contrary, the choice of a radio protocol will depend on the use case to be addressed. From the simple remote control of lights to the control of the entire electrical installation of an entire building, each project has different needs. Depending on the project, one or more protocols will be more or less relevant than others.
It is therefore important to clearly identify the needs before choosing the protocol and according to this protocol, define the most suitable technology.
2 – What do you think of CHIP and how do you see its future in 5 years’ time?
I think CHIP is the answer to the problem raised in the first question. Today there is a plethora of protocols dedicated to smart home and/or smart building and it is sometimes difficult to know which solution will best meet the need.
Most radio protocols exist for several years and have evolved to meet new needs that have emerged over time (number of products to be considered, new types of products, security of radio exchanges, etc.). The birth of a new protocol such as CHIP is the promise of universalizing the answers to the different needs we have today, based on solid knowledge acquired through the development of the different protocols we know.
Within 5 years, I believe that CHIP will have become the universal protocol for smart homes and will have made it more accessible to the general public. We will then consume the smart home as we consume smartphones today: we will choose a main solution and then we will choose home automation accessories compatible via CHIP to complete our solution. CHIP will then be the default protocol that we will choose without asking questions, as when we buy a wireless headset or speaker: we do not peel off the datasheet to find out if it will be compatible with our smartphone.
3 – At NodOn, we believe that smart places adapt to the needs of populations and users. How can innovation promote this in the short term?
The smart home as we know it today is not always easily accessible to everyone. Today, users have the choice between closed solutions (often based on proprietary protocols) which are simple to use but can quickly become limiting depending on the range of products available or open solutions (based on free protocols, such as Zigbee, Bluetooth or EnOcean which we fully master) which offer a wide choice of products and brands thanks to the interoperability of the protocol, but are often more complex to use.
The development of a protocol such as CHIP, which is intended to be a single protocol between all solutions, is a typical example of innovation that will promote the adoption of home automation and more generally intelligent places by the general public.
4 – Which technology do you think rhymes the most with “innovation” and “simplicity”?
For me, simplicity is both the vision of the end user, which I have when I’m at home installing and using smart home products daily, and the vision of the engineer, which I have when I design smart home products.
Obviously, as a user, I want to have a solution that is easy to install and use daily. However, experience shows that developing a solution that is simple to use is more complicated in terms of product development.
The main complexity found in smart home is in the pairing of products with each other during installation. While we have become accustomed to “plug and play”, the smart home world has never really modernized, and the pairing process is often still quite complicated.
New methods of pairing via “commissioning” have recently been developed that allow the user to easily pair products with each other directly via a smartphone. In other words, for me, the technology that rhymes the most with “innovation” and “simplicity” is the QR Code (and the associated commissioning solution). It may sound simplistic, but the QR Code contains all the essential information about the product, such as its unique identifier or security keys.
This means that for every product there is a unique QR Code, and this is where things get complicated. At the start of production, it is necessary to generate unique identifiers and associated security keys, which must be injected into the product and integrated into a QR Code that will be generated and implemented in the product’s packaging.
One of our strengths at NodOn is that we have our own production lines through our parent company Altyor and this is a process that we master very well and that we are used to implementing on our various products.