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ABB opens smart home design to everyone with launch of ABB-free@home® automation system

Electrical Engineering

21/04/2016

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group has launched its new ABB-free@home® automation system developed in response to calls for smart home devices that can control more than 60 functions including lighting, heating, blinds or door entry from a smartphone or tablet.

ABB-free@home is a major step forward as it opens up the home automation market to electrical installers and wholesalers. Previous home automation systems required the specialist knowledge of expert installers and distributors and so the new system is a breakthrough that will bring smart home technology to a much wider customer base.

The system has two major benefits over previous generations of home automation equipment: it is fast and inexpensive and it has an interface that is straightforward for consumers to use.

ABB-free@home is simple and straightforward for electrical contractors to install – saving both time and money. The system connects directly to a homeowner’s wifi network and integrates a variety of smart devices to enable their personal smart home. Its switches and displays are intuitive and simple for installers to understand, meaning that an installer can learn the system in only a few hours, increasing their expertise in this sector.

“We wanted to solve two issues in the home automation industry and help electricians meet the ever-increasing demand for home automation. It’s easy to learn about ABB-free@home and quick to install. Moreover, it is simple for end users to use via their choice of device, whether that is a smartphone, tablet or a computer. And no expensive software license is needed.” said Christian Schiemann, ABB’s UK Product Marketing Director for Wiring Accessories and Intelligent Building Control.

Once it is set up, the user can view and control their home devices from anywhere via a free app on a computer, tablet or smartphone. The ABB-free@home app optimizes all the images for display on the chosen device, overcoming an issue faced by users of previous generations of home automation systems.

As well as launching the new system to the market, ABB has also established an ABB-free@home academy for electricians and installers, which offers face-to-face training at seminars across the country and also e-learning modules that can be accessed via abb.com.

Lighting can be integrated into ABB-free@home with little effort and individual timer programmes can be entered for control of heating and blinds. There is an option for a central master switch that turns off all the lights in the house at the touch of a button. Networked living options can also be integrated into ABB-free@home such as temperature control in individual rooms for optimum energy efficiency or a presence simulation function, with time-dependent activation of lights and shutters. The system can be integrated with ABB-Welcome® and with numerous switch programmes and it is possible to change or extend the functions at any time.

By combining ABB-free@home with the door communication system ABB-Welcome, it is possible to link door communications and home automation and use a tablet or smartphone to see who is at the door.

For further information or to organise some free training please visit ABB-free@home or contact us on 0333 999 9900.

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