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IoT Opens Doors to Home Connectivity

IBM's Watson IoT Platform is being leveraged by window and door company Inwido to provide smart-home data, while IBM is also offering its IoT Building Insights solution for commercial building intelligence.
By Claire Swedberg
Jul 26, 2018

Swedish window and door company Inwido is providing intelligence with the products it sells, by employing Internet of Things (IoT) data from sensors, using IBM's cloud-based Watson IoT Platform. The solution was made available to Inwido's customers in May of this year, and approximately 500 users are currently running gateway devices using the technology on IBM's platform.

Inwido, the largest window supplier in Europe, is one of the top suppliers of doors. About 70 percent of its sales are made to consumers, either directly or through distribution channels. For several years, Inwido has been in the process of expanding its product portfolio into smart systems, which provide sensor-based, automated responses to specified conditions, including sounding alarms in the event of a break-in or other problem, or detecting changes in light or temperature levels. The system is intended to provide higher security, as well as a greener environmental footprint and lower energy costs for home owners.

Inwido's Johan Ambuhm
As part of that effort, Inwido acquired an alarm company in 2012 to begin building what it calls a smart-home ecosystem. "This was a good way for us to start learning and piloting in a smaller system," says Johan Ambuhm, Inwido's business-development and digital solutions VP. The firm began developing IoT-based systems in 2016 and 2017, he says, before deciding to work with partners on a scalable solution for a large percentage of the company's products.

"In a smart-home ecosystem," Ambuhm says, "there are typically several partners working together, providing solutions related to energy, light, alarm and entertainment," among other features. "Our window and door offering supports this ecosystem." The company began working with IBM to adopt the Watson IoT Platform into its windows and doors, and has now begun making connected doors and windows as part of what it calls its smarter-home project. The firm intends to have half of all its products connected by 2020.

The Inwido solution consists of three main features, according to Jens Dahle, IBM Global Markets' associate partner for digital transformation and enterprise. Those features consist of accessories or sensor devices (controlled through gateways), the IBM Watson IoT Platform, and related mobile applications that give home owners access to related data. In addition to the sensors, Inwido offers a variety of supported appliances, such as window or door handles; blinds; thermostats; light, temperature and humidity sensors; and magnetic strips that link to the system.

Inwido builds these appliances, from a variety of technology providers, into the windows and doors to enable residents to be alerted regarding whether doors and windows are open, closed, locked or unlocked, and to monitor the light levels for automated shading in windows. The system also works with sensors deployed throughout a home using the Inwido solution. This can include connected blinds, thermostats and controllers.

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