Smart Home, Smart Living, Intelligent Building and AAL: network meeting between Universal Home and IVAM highlights the potential for using high-tech components

The “Smart Home”, the connected, “intelligent” home, is supposed to provide more security, monitor household processes and optimise energy consumption. In Germany 30 per cent of the citizens already use individual smart home components in different areas of daily life, for example to automate everyday tasks or to adapt device settings to their personal needs. The terminalless control, such as voice commands or hand signals, is becoming increasingly important.

As part of the “Microtechnology meets Universal Home” event on November 28, 2018, members of the IVAM Microtechnology Network and the Universal Home network met to discuss concepts for Smart Home, Smart Living, Intelligent Building and Ambient Assisted Living. The IVAM companies informed about micro- and nanotechnological processes and products which are available or in the development stage.

Initially there were three lectures of Steinel, Turck and Gira from the Universal Home group. All presented their ongoing activities and emphasized the great potential for combining microtechnology with IT solutions for the smart home sector.

The lectures from the IVAM Network showed many components and concepts that already exist and could be adapted for Smart Home applications. Sensors play a key role as the sensory perceptions of a smart home, as Dirk Enderlein of TE Connectivity pointed out. The data recorded by the sensors must be transmitted, for example by RFID solutions, as presented by Reinhard Jurisch of microsensys. The technology can additionally be used for targeted energy transfer, so that many sensors do not require a complex power supply. The recorded data are then transferred into a cloud, must afterwards be intelligently analysed and the results forwarded to the users as recommendations for action. How this is implemented at Trilux was demonstrated by Martin Peters from com2m.

In order to be able to actively control the Smart Home, actuators are required in addition to the sensors, as Dr. Frank Bartels of Bartels Mikrotechnik explained in his talk about micropumps, e.g. for the operation of switching elements. A special application example came from Dr. Oliver Humbach of temicon, who presented energy-efficient microstructured lighting elements that can adapt to different needs of residents.

In a small accompanying exhibition, the Kunststoffinstitut Lüdenscheid showed the role of a wide variety of plastics in Smart Home products. The Fraunhofer-inHaus-Center presented various camera systems that allow to observe people, detect dangerous situations and automatically respond to these with an emergency call.

Afterwards, requirements and solutions for the areas “Ambient Assisted Living”, “Intelligent Building”, “Lighting Concepts” and “Smart Household Appliances” were discussed in small groups in the form of a “World Café”. There were a number of ideas that can be partially implemented with existing technologies and products, but some new development work is required. The participants of the event have already agreed to appoint individual meetings in order to discuss concrete applications. The representatives of both networks see great potential in future cooperation and will develop further activities from the results of the first meeting.

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