From technologies straight from science fiction to standard solutions – 70% of people in Poland today think that in 5 years, our houses and apartments will use smart technologies. Just 7% of respondents are sceptical about the probability of smart homes becoming common in the near future.

The Poles want to live “smart” Controlling devices at home using a remote, tablet or smartphone is gaining more and more enthusiasts in Poland. Many of them cannot imagine going back to doing everyday, routine activities manually and would love to make all their house accessories automatic. This is what the second report on the Polish smart home market prepared by Somfy reveals.

A smart saving assistant

The concept of a smart home is not foreign to us. The Somfy report finds that as many as 84% of Poles are familiar with it. We usually find out about smart systems from Internet articles (50%).
And we associate smart homes mainly with remote control (43%). And this is no accident. The technology of today lets us control a smart home from any place in the world, whatever the time of night or day. All that is needed is a mobile phone and an Internet connection. For many of us a smart home is synonymous with modernity (39%) and… energy efficiency (31%).
Perhaps we are best convinced that a smart home can be friendly not only to its users but also to their wallet when it gets hot outside. The roller blinds will lower automatically and help cool down the apartment thanks to the use of temperature and sunlight sensors. A more effective use of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems rapidly translated into lower bills and monthly energy expenditure decreased by as much as 20%. A smart home will react similarly on colder days. When set up appropriately, the roller blinds will roll up after dusk or at a selected hour, so that natural heat will not leave the apartment which, again, ensures partial energy savings.

We treasure simple and versatile solutions

What other traits characterise a smart home? Functionality (25% of replies), convenience (20%), comfort (20%), practicality (15%)… Everybody has slightly different associations, but they are mostly positive. Mostly, because 5% of respondents replied that a smart home can also be complicated. Is it really so?
“Definitely not. You can install many devices on your own, without the need to schedule an installer. Installation and setup take just a few minutes and you operate the devices with your mobile devices, which are easy to use even for very young children these days. What is more, you do not need any wires to connect the smart systems and they take very little space,” explains Radosław Borkowski, Managing Director of Somfy in Poland.

About dozen or so years ago you could still impress your neighbours with a remote controlled garage door or gate. Today, you have an alternative in the form of the appropriate app on your smartphone, which lets you control the gates and garage doors remotely. What would the Polish people like to use smart control for in the first place?
According to Somfy’s study, we care most for just right temperature, so we would gladly control heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (89%). Only a slightly lower proportion of respondents chose the gate (86%), cameras (84%), alarm (84%) and lighting (83%). In the case of garage doors and gates, Somfy’s specialists went a step further. Thanks to the global positioning function, configured with the Connexoon Access app, your gate or garage door will open several seconds before you arrive home and will close automatically once you are in. A moment later a notification will be displayed on you smartphone that the task was completed successfully. You do not even have to leave your car or touch your smartphone.
But the popularity of smart solutions is not limited to those devices. Most of the respondents would like to have a remote control for: shutters, roller blinds, watering systems, awnings, windows or the door phone. It is getting much harder to find a device that we cannot equip with smart systems.

A smart home takes care of your safety

Even though a smart home is mainly associated with comfort and practical solutions, the Poles increasingly associate it with safety, too. As many as 88% of respondents are convinced that smart homes increase the safety of the home and household members. This was noticed by the manufacturers who started to offer complete safety system packages which really help secure the home against unwelcome guests or unexpected circumstances.
First of all, it is worth mentioning smoke and flooding detectors that warn you about the hazard, for example by sending a notification to your smartphone. Safety systems are integrated with almost every smart device. A drive unit for gates that prevents forced entry is just one of the examples, external roller blinds work in a similar fashion. When leaving for those perfect holidays, you can prepare you home even better. With a special scenario, TaHoma Premium will make sure that your property never seems empty. Just a couple of swipes on your tablet or smartphone just before your trip are enough and your roller blinds and shutters will open and close, while your home will seem full of life to everybody on the outside.

Modern technology does not have to be expensive

The main criteria for selecting devices thought of as relating to smart homes according to respondents include: reliability, technical specification, price, and ease of everyday use. Manufacturers continue to make efforts to match consumers’ needs and design solutions that are intuitive in use, with simple icons assigned to devices. In the coming years, you can expect even more advanced conveniences. One of the most desired functions is the option to control home devices with your voice as standard. In Somfy’s study, 53% of respondents expressed interest in this solution.
As years go by, the importance of the technical specification of smart systems increases. For instance, drive units for rollers or doors are not just quiet and reliable any more. They now offer much more. They can be lowered, opened, and closed at various speeds and the overload function prevents damage to the roller and the door, and even to objects in the operating area. Smart systems can be configured to react to temperature, light, smoke, movement, and humidity. They always try to be one step ahead of you, just to make your life easier.
As technology becomes more advanced, the cost of devices remains the same. Interestingly, the cost of basic smart home control systems, such as Connexoon, is as low as PLN 1,000.
“It has been a while already since smart homes stopped being a technology reserved for well-off enthusiasts of new technologies and gadgets. Today, with really little money, you can bring modernity into your home. And you can really do it step by step, because in the case of TaHoma Premium for instance, you can gradually add more devices. So you can start by automatizing your gate and garage door, then after some time add shutters and roller blinds to the system, and then the HVAC control at the next stage,” explains Radosław Borkowski.
The amount of PLN 1,000 is exactly the price point which the Poles chose as the most acceptable (35% of respondents) regarding the purchase of smart systems for their homes. A similar group (33%) would be willing to shell out as much as PLN 5,000 for smart technologies. Much higher discrepancies were found regarding the point of purchase. Today, it is not problematic any more, because basic drive units can even be purchased from the largest retailers. The Poles purchase the more specialist sort of devices directly from the installers and partner showrooms.

We are becoming increasingly mobile

The study conducted by Somfy shows that nearly three quarters of the owners of smart home control systems are happy with their choice. The majority are also willing to recommend the purchase of this type of solution to others, and 60% of the Poles replied that they would install smart systems in their new apartment.

The “Polska jest mobi” (Poland is mobile) study conducted by TNS Polska in 2015 is a good forecast for the sector as well. It found that two years ago 58% of the Poles were already using smartphones and the percentage has continued to grow in the last years by three percentage points per year. Among the people aged 15-19, 20-29, and 30-39 this ratio was 91%, 88%, and 79% respectively. The authors of the report also revealed that mobile devices are used for payment, shopping, and administrative matters more and more frequently. So the everyday reality of controlling devices inside and around your home is only a matter of time.

By: Marta Witkowska, PR and communication at SOMFY