The smart home market in Italy is not yet successful, but quite dynamic: in 2017 it grew by 35%, as reported by Internet Of Things Osservatorio of School of Management of Politecnico di Milano, hardware and software solutions (often developed by startups) are improving and multiplying to make the home safer, greener and more comfortable. The distribution channels for smart home products are also improving, becoming easier to install and more DIY [“do-it-yourself”] and therefore easier to sell through e-commerce.
Powahome is a young company, which has created very small devices that can be installed in the electrical system and which is used to remotely control switches, electrical sockets and motorized roller shutters, without the need for control units. Installation time is 2 hours, with no changes to the existing electrical system. Existing mechanical switches continue to work, yet becoming smart. Powahome makes them accessible from anywhere with a smartphone app that can be customized to meet the user’s needs. The system works with Wi-Fi technology and does not require additional control units to be installed and configured as it relies on the wireless network already used to browse the Internet.
Interaction with the Google Home voice assistant, which allows users to manage third-party devices directly through voice control, responds to a growing market trend: a Capgemini survey in fact suggests that in three years time 40% of users will prefer a voice-assistant rather than apps and websites. “Being able to use the voice control feature increases the level of comfort for the user, making the use of the devices easier and user-friendly,” added Longo.
Through the Company’s website, startup sells directly the devices, which seem particularly suitable for facilities such as offices and hotels, where remote control of the lighting system, sockets, electric shutters through a simple app can be extremely useful.
Insurance companies are keenly interested in the world of smart home startups, thanks to the clear opportunities to create new policies and services that can be offered by combining these technologies. The relationship that can be created between companies and smart home startups is therefore synergic and positive in all respects: on the one hand, insurance companies can improve and modernize their offer, with benefits for customers as well; on the other hand, insurance companies represent an alternative and very powerful distribution channel capable of driving the market for smart home technologies.