The July/August digital issue of ERT is out now! You can view the digital issue here.
The smart home represents a huge opportunity for the electrical retail sector. As more of our everyday electronics and appliances have the ability to be controlled remotely or by voice, the way we all live in our homes will inevitably begin to change.
Some smart gadgets are just simply fun to have around the house – I’m sure most of us have the ability to shout at a voice assistant to ask it to play music. But capabilities have extended far beyond that now, not least because Amazon, for example, launched the Echo in the UK about three years ago; of course, if its functions and abilities didn’t develop during that time there’s no doubt it wouldn’t be as popular today as it is! It’s natural progression, I guess.
Away from smart speakers, lighting is another area that’s seeing a bit of a transformation with technological advances. Remote and wire-free switches are coming into the market – which add another level of smart convenience to the home. In this issue, I speak to John Shermer, who is the Founder of Lightwave – a smart home brand that offers fully integrated lighting and heating automation solutions.
He tells me all about how this market sector is changing. In terms of Lightwave’s light switches and plug sockets, he says initially people are surprised when they realise the products are retro-fit, so rather than extra cabling and wiring and people having to redecorate their homes to install other products like these, the benefits speak for themselves.
The opportunity for retailers here is to showcase how these products work; by having things like these installed in their stores the ‘wow’ factor can be demonstrated as well as their ease of use. Turn to page 33 to read more.
Also this month, The ERT Interview is with Howard Grindrod, UK MD of Hisense. I met with him at the company’s Leeds office and we spoke about how the brand has integrated itself into the UK consumer electronics market since it began trading here back in 2013.
He says he feels the company has achieved a lot during that time, and looking ahead he feels in a very good position to get involved in future technologies – mostly thanks to increasing brand recognition and that consumers are now thinking of Hisense for their next big-ticket purchases.