Switch and sensor specialist EnOcean have called upon independent engineers and hobbyists to shape the future applications of its technology. In 2014 the firm has established a number of strategic partnerships aimed at penetrating the consumer market.
From its inception in 2001, as spin-off from Siemens AG, EnOcean's main focus has been to market and sell its energy-harvesting switches and sensor solutions to OEMs active in the Building Automation and industrial sectors, where maintenance costs and energy savings can be accumulated on a grand scale.
In green buildings, integrators of EnOcean-enabled devices have the freedom of placing controls at their discretion for optimal efficiency and with minimal invasiveness to the structure. For example, installing occupancy sensors that turn off lights in vacant rooms can save up to 40% on energy and operating costs.
This sort of battery-free environmental awareness, benefits business budgets, as well as the Carbon Reduction efforts. It is at the forefront of the Building Internet of Things (BIOT), as we describe in our recent research report - http://memoori.com/portfolio/physical-security-business-2014-2018-access-control-intruder-alarms-video-surveillance/
EnOceans global reach incorporates 150+ manufacturing partners and over 350 EnOcean Alliance members deploying products across hundreds of thousands of buildings worldwide. However, 2014 has seen the firm take large and innovative steps into the consumer market, calling on the independent engineering community to bring new applications to light.
At CES 2014, earlier this year, EnOcean teamed up with chip maker NXP. They demonstrated a solution that uses NFC technology to make it easy for homeowners to set up and add wireless lighting elements to their Smart Home network.
Users need only tap their remote switches against their NFC enabled tablet computer in order to collect the network setup parameters. Individual lamps and lighting elements can then be connected to the network, again using NFC, and then turned on, off, up or down via the physical light switch or an Android smartphone.
This partnership, and subsequent application, follows the launch of the Philips Hue Tap, a four-function switch relying on EnOcean’s PTM 215Z rolling-code energy-harvesting switch module, to send commands to the 2.5GHz Zigbee controlled lights. Another interesting application of Smart Home Technology.
Once configured, the Hue Tap switch offers a shortcut for the smartphone app, so you can obtain different preset light colours and brightness configurations with one tap, equally all devices could be switched off with one simple action.
We cover at length the global market for wireless control of lighting in our report - Smart Buildings: Smart Wireless Lighting Controls 2014 to 2018 - http://memoori.com/portfolio/smart-buildings-wireless-lighting-controls-2014-to-2018/
It is with such applications that EnOcean is hoping to expand and possibly grow faster than with its Building Automation activities alone, according to newly appointed CEO, Dr. Wald Siskens.
“Wild things are going to happen”, suggested Siskens, pondering on the mass adoption of EnOcean’s energy harvesting switches. “We want to be part of the consumer IoT experience, with our solutions fitting in Nest-like hubs and all sorts of connected appliances” he added, alluding to the exemplary Hue Tap switch.