Source: Promo | Tuesday, 22.11.2022.| 14:52
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A New Smart Home Culture of Living is in Line with Your Lifestyle (VIDEO)

Illustration (Photo: Travel mania/
If we could pick just one word to mark the technological progress of the 21st century, a safe choice would be the adjective smart. We wear smart watches, use smart phones, and watch programs on smart TVs. Even objects such as chairs, lamps and glasses have become "smart" in modern society. It would seem that the broad use of this designation has somewhat ruined the initial idea, so today we can rightly question its true meaning.

In the world of technology we would call a device "smart" if it has some form of "intelligence", i.e. if it can "think" in a way. The same goes for smart homes that provide more than just remote control of appliances. These intelligent systems provide comfort and security at all times.

The Path to Comfortable and Safe Living

The concept of smart homes is well known in the West, while only a small number of people in Serbia are familiar with the advantages of this new way of living. As explained by our interlocutor Vladimir Šijačić, Director of the Pametan stan company and ABB`s distributor and system integrator, smart buildings "think" in accordance with predetermined rules set by the system installer or the users themselves. Therefore, this is not about artificial intelligence making autonomous decisions. You can relax, smart houses will not take over control of your lives.

A smart building, whether house, apartment or business space, is designed to make life easier for its user and make it more cost effective. Automated control of electrical installations, such as lighting, blinds, motorised shades, heating and cooling, as well as control over household devices will ensure their optimum use, and provide us with easy living without the need to think about too many details. Furthermore, all appliances in smart buildings are properly turned off, thereby increasing the safety of living. This knowledge ensures we can sleep tight.

Whether we are at work or at home, our day often consists of routine tasks that do not vary much day to day. Going to work at a certain time means locking the house, adjusting the heating or cooling temperature and turning the alarm system on. All these actions can be automated to save time and make sure they have actually been done.

Šijačić explains that for each of these situations we can have a "scenario" that will initiate a number of actions on the electrical installations and devices in the home and thus quickly align the environment with our needs.

"If, for example, you want to watch a movie, you can play the 'watching a movie' scenario that will automatically darken the room, turn on the TV, offer you a list of movies and perform other actions to provide you with an ideal environment for watching a movie", explains Šijačić, adding that the same is true for other scenarios, such as "going to sleep", "travelling", etc. The point of smart home systems is to group a number of actions so we do not need to walk from switch to switch, pressing them, or to avoid having a dozen remote controls on our table, which is certainly not the most practical solution.

Saving Every Kilowatt

The increase in fuel and electricity prices during the past few months has made us check increasingly often whether we have turned off all lights and household appliances not actively in use. With smart homes we do not need to worry about this anymore. In fact, we can be certain the appliances have been on only when the use of electricity was lowest.

Let us say that during heating season we turn the heating on at four in the morning, as the electricity is cheapest then, but nobody really likes the idea of getting up from their warm bed so early. Smart homes have a solution for this. Heating will be programmed to turn on at the crack of dawn, providing us comfort and maximum savings.

According to Vladimir Šijačić, energy savings are highest in heating and cooling buildings, and lowest in lighting, as the market is dominated by LED lights that in themselves do not use a lot of power. However, regarding exterior lighting, we need not worry about the time for turning the lights on, as a smart home is equipped with a timer that precisely "knows" when the sun sets and when additional light is needed.

Taking everything into consideration, we should be aware that a smart home can save us up to 40 percent of heating and electrical power, notes Šijačić.

How to Get a Smart System in Your Building?

If you like the idea of your home working for you and performing most of the routine tasks, it would be good to know when and how you can install it.

Our interlocutor explains that users have at their disposal wired and wireless smart systems, where wired systems involve setting additional installations during construction. Therefore it is best to think about smart systems during the initial phase of construction and in collaboration with the architects, as wired systems provide greater communication stability and security compared to wireless systems.

Nearly all smart systems distributed by our interlocutor's company are made by the manufacturer ABB. This company is known for its ideal solution for communication with other devices.

"The communication between the ABB-free@home smart system and other devices is achieved based on a 'cloud to cloud' system. ABB practically has their own cloud containing information about your system, while appliances such as the washing machine in your home have their own cloud with the relevant information. Connections are made at the 'cloud to cloud' level, with paramount importance given to communication security against external intruders and continuous improvement of communication", says Šijačić.

A Smart Home in Line with Your Lifestyle

ABB has produced myriad technological solutions that dominate global markets. One of them is the ABB-free@home system that is becoming increasingly popular in our region.

ABB-free@home relies on the KNX system, with over 30 years of tradition. The ABB-free@home system is completely open to all manufacturers, meaning we can have many appliances by different manufacturers in our home and they will successfully communicate among themselves.

Dejan Dešić, Sales Manager for the buildings, transport and infrastructure segment of ABB, notes that this system offers users capabilities they do not have in the KNX system, as they no longer need a programmer.

"The user no longer needs a system integrator to program their equipment, one who needs to enter the user's apartment to change the software every time the user wants to change anything to make things function differently. With the ABB-free@home system the user has avoided the cost of hiring a programmer. Now they are the one doing this whenever they wish, adapting the system to their own habits. Another advantage of this system is that the equipment of a manufacturer such as ABB is considerably more economical in price than equipment for the KNX system", says Dešić.

He says the first smart building in Serbia was built in Belgrade, on Terazije, followed by a number of commercial buildings, such as the flight control building in Surčin and luxury villas, while recently there is increasing consideration given to smart home systems in mass-housing construction.

Recently, investors from Novi Dorćol have recognised the advantages provided by smart home systems, and opted for ABB as a reliable manufacturer present across all continents. A total of 4,300 smart home devices were delivered to the building in Novi Dorćol, for 225 apartments with a surface area of 16,800 square metres.

A total of 950 scenarios were created, and six meteorological stations were set up on the building, informing users of the weather and warning them of hazardous situations.

All indications show that the time of smart buildings is yet to come in our region, with many projects under preparation to save energy and provide maximum comfort to satisfied users. At a time when the price of fuel and electricity is reaching a historical maximum, smart homes stand out, along with renewable energy sources and other energy efficiency measures, as an efficient solution to help us overcome the energy crisis.

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