Published On: Thu, Sep 15th, 2022

Smart homes are smart for business

There is a plethora of reasons why homeowners change their windows and doors. The desire to improve the aesthetics of a home remains top of the list for large numbers of property owners. Then we have distress purchasers, where existing doors and windows have just come to the end of their life. Increasing the security of the home has always been a key driver, and has been facilitated by innovation in locking mechanisms and robustness of materials. Today the most important contributing factor driving consumer demand has to be energy efficiency. It is the headline news that leads into the conversation about replacing existing windows and doors. Homeowners now understand the link and are tuning into the idea that it’s better to insulate a home than to invest in new ways of making more heat. 

It is often the simplest messaging that instigates and ignites a product’s growth and market penetration. The British public now understands the link between double-glazing (or even triple-glazing) and energy efficiency. This has be-come even more pertinent with the rise in the cost of living – any methods for reducing energy bills are being welcomed with open arms. We often talk about the new normal and, in the case of the cost of living, realists are waking up to the realisation that costs are unlikely to be put into reverse, so they need to tackle the situation. When it comes to energy usage, using less of it is a good starting point. Investing in insulation is a logical move to reduce energy consumption. 

Our livelihoods are all reliant on giving property owners reasons to change their windows and doors, or to specify glazing in new buildings. We are fortunate to tick so many boxes, from aesthetics and fashion to security, energy efficiency and necessity. Our sector is always searching for new areas to uncover and de-velop. There is a growing movement within our industry that is gaining traction, with the belief that smart homes are smart for business. The UK smart home sector is worth about £6.5 billion and is estimated to grow to around £12 billion by 2026. More importantly, household penetration will rise from 45.8% in 2022 to 84.8% by 2026. Smart locking products are more commonplace and new systems are becoming readily available. In many ways this innovation is following the same path we witnessed in the early days of composite doors, bifold doors and energy-efficiency focused products. It is something that is going to be hard to ignore. Innovation and technology are concepts that need to be embraced. It is only recently that I fully immersed myself in ApplePay. Standing at an event surrounded by millennials, foraging around for my bank card while everyone was just tapping with their phones, made me realise, as a tech savvy person, that I was falling behind. Technology makes life easier and that’s the point. It needs to be simple and user-friendly and have an entry point for all individuals whatever their competence. 

This is why I think the latest innovation from Ultion will drive the smart technology revolution in our industry further. Its new KeyTag is simple and uses the Apple Find My Network to help locate an Ultion key when it is lost. We now have a host of products available, from KeyTags to smart locks to sensor systems, that are easy to install and use, that turn windows and doors into functionable smart home products. If you haven’t realised already, it’s becoming D-Day for smart technology in the fenestration sector. Smart homes are definitely smart for window and doors businesses. 

John Cowie