Stay warm – at the touch of a finger

In the future, intuitive heating technology solutions will become more and more prevalent in managing our homes – in other words, houses will become “smart homes”.

These solutions are based on apps or portal-supported applications that make it possible for those who live in the house to conveniently manage both their heating and their hot water supply – whether they’re on the sofa or out and about. This brings three benefits to smart homes at once: life becomes more comfortable, and energy saving is made easier and more effective . Smart home portals improve heating services, too, by letting house occupants grant service technicians online access to the heating system so they can troubleshoot problems and adjust the settings remotely.

Benefits of the Internet of Things for residents and homeowners: smart home portals increase comfort and convenience, plus they also make energy saving easier and more effective.

Staying warm

People living in the houses of tomorrow will no longer need to adjust their heating directly at the source – a device usually located in the basement. Instead, they will be able to configure and manage their heating online. It doesn’t matter if they are at home or somewhere else: remote access via the portals allows residents to change device and timer settings, program extended periods away from home (vacation), and much more. They can adjust their heating to their individual needs – for example, they can turn it up or down if they return home from work or vacation sooner or later than expected.

Saving energy (and money!)

Online portals help users of smart home solutions in their efforts to save energy. Specifically, they provide clear details of individual energy consumption and evaluate recent months’ meter readings and how the temperature changed over that period. If the heating system contains an integral solar energy component, its output is also included in the analysis. Several of the portals also offer customized tips for saving energy.

Staying secure

Intelligent, connected devices make our lives easier, but also delve into our private lives – especially when it comes to the smart home. Against this backdrop, data protection should be the top priority for all smart home solutions. Web-enabled heating systems are not only more convenient to use and manage, but also easier to maintain and repair. To fully exploit its “smart” potential, heating system connectivity should include not only the occupants of the house, but also the company in charge of installing the system. For data protection reasons, this kind of access is something customers have to agree to, but it leaves them in full control: they determine if and to what extent the installer has access to data, and they can revoke that permission at any time. This means users can enjoy all the benefits without sacrificing peace of mind.

Troubleshooting made easy

All heating systems at a glance – installers can better plan their service.

Portal-supported applications change heating-related services in a multitude of ways. How? Junkers HomeCom has taken the lead here: in the case of a malfunction, its installers receive a detailed alert that lists possible causes, spare parts and the estimated time to solve the issue. This allows them to fix the problem more quickly and efficiently, because they can better prepare for a service call out to the customer’s home and bring the necessary spare parts and tools. There’s no longer any need to travel out to the site just to gather information. What’s more, the installer has an overview of all scheduled maintenance and can inform the customer of when the next service appointment is. And lastly, the portal enables the installer to adjust the heating system settings remotely and to support the customer in managing the system – helping house occupants avoid service calls and all the associated effort and costs. Junkers HomeCom has won the Robert Bosch Innovation Award 2015 for this smart system.

What experience have you had with the smart home?

 

About the author

Thomas Matthis

Thomas Matthis

I am a computer science engineer. Right after completing my studies, I started working at Bosch Inc. in Farmington Hills (USA) in 1999. At that time, I was employed in central IT, where I developed web software for e-commerce systems for many Bosch divisions. In 2006, I became the product manager for Bosch e-commerce systems, including international rollouts. As the head of ERP and BI development for Bosch Packaging Technology, I gained a lot of experience in enterprise IT, mostly SAP. In 2010, I became CIO of Bosch Solar CISTech GmbH. From 2012 to 2014, I was in charge of IT infrastructure for Gasoline Systems worldwide. Then in 2014, I returned to software development as Product Owner of the IoT “Connected Products Portal” project at Bosch Thermotechnik GmbH. The product is known in the German market as Junkers HomeCom and Buderus Control Center Connect, and will be rolled out to additional European countries in 2016.