Interoperability is the key to the success of smart living

After rigorous testing, AdaptEco has announced that the products of two of its digital care partners are compatible.

It has been confirmed that the smart speaker made by ProKNX called Aragon Companion, and Skyresponse’s alarm management platform are perfectly interoperable.

We sat down with chief operating officers, Christian Geisselmann (AdaptEco), Martin Reidevall, (Skyresponse) and Christian Kiefel (ProKNX) to discuss their partnership, why interoperability is so important, and what it means for the future of smart automation. 

First, let’s talk about AdaptEco, the company that has brought you all together. Can you tell us a little about your vision?

CG: We founded AdaptEco to meet a need that we felt was missing throughout assisted living and future-proofed homes. Our company has brought together a unique collaboration of partners that have all developed innovative technology. We call this our Digital Care Partnership. We carefully select specific cutting-edge technologies to design and build bespoke smart care solutions that exactly suit the needs of the clients. By combining various partners, we create digital care ecosystems to meet specific requirements. With AdaptEco customer-centric solutions, people who need extra care can live in an independent and safe manner, thanks to smart technology.

Christian Kiefel and Martin Reidevall, can you tell us how Skyresponse and ProKNX fit into the AdaptEco Ecosystem?

MR: Skyresponse works as the foundation for alarm handling. Our dynamic service builds a nerve system that reacts to incidents and guarantees that the right person, resource or system is always reached. A core foundation of our strategy is to have an open platform that can talk to numerus of devices where our cloud-based system enables the development of new service packages together with our partners’ products. However, it is first when we cooperate with innovative and leading suppliers within different product categories that we start seeing the real differences and benefits and we can start talking about “true Smartness”. Therefore, we are always looking for innovative partners and solutions that can help us achieve our mission, “improving lives in a connected world”. Working with AdaptEco brings our vision closer to reality and we see huge synergies between our two eco-systems as they enable the future solutions already today. The ProKNX solution is also important as it adds another dimension – it is not only a “smart” product that enables new use cases but it also enables the highest level of privacy which is important to build trust in future technologies.

CK: We are pleased to work with both AdaptEco and Skyresponse to integrate our product into bespoke solutions for integrated retirement living and those in need of assisted living. We strongly believe that technology that can be used to extend the time people can stay comfortably in the familiar environment of their homes is extremely important. At the same time, we feel that protecting their privacy is essential, and something that is lacking in the field of voice controlled smart home automation. To this end, we have developed a smart speaker that we call Aragon Companion. Aragon Companion controls smart appliances in the home, and has specific features for making the lives of elderly and at-risk people safer. The assistant runs on-device and without the need for the cloud, therefore also keeps the users data completely private. With the use of discrete movement monitoring devices, Aragon Companion can learn an individual’s routine and alert an outside party if an anomaly is detected. Extremely sensitive microphones in the smart speaker also allow a help call to be triggered verbally from anywhere in the home.

How important do you feel interoperability of platforms and devices is important for the future of the smart automation world?

CK: One of the goals foremost in our minds when developing our smart speaker has been to create a device that is compatible with as many systems as possible. Interoperability is the key to the increased adoption of smart technology by the wider public. We feel it is essential for the future success of the market that users and installers are not locked into one single smart system or solution by their initial choice of smart technology.

MR: The Nordic countries have been in the forefront of the shift in technology for the care sector and apart from the analogue to digital switchover, interoperability has been one of the most key areas of improvement. It is proven that it is not affordable for the next generation care solutions to work in silos instead of utilising all the benefits for the end users with the new technology.

CG: From the perspective of AdaptEco, interoperability of our Partners is essential, and means we can provide seamlessly integrated solutions, delivering an end-to-end service designed to enable independent living. For the smart automation sector as a whole, we believe that operators and service users benefit immensely from a ‘one system approach’. Compatibility of smart technologies ensures smoother integration between systems and devices, allowing for a greater expansion of choice of exchangeable components in a solution. 

If we take a more focused look at the independent living and personal care sectors, how does the interoperability of devices and platforms make a difference to the deployment of smart technology?

CG: I’ll go ahead and answer that one if that’s OK. In both the independent living and personal care sectors, it is imperative that all parts of the smart solution work in harmony with each other to a high level of efficiency. In many cases, it is imperative that smart technology works 200% of the time, by which I mean that the Ecosystem solution developed for each individual is integral to the person’s daily routine. We envision a fully functional, completely reliable solution in which components can be added or removed, depending on the needs of the user. In order to achieve this, all devices must be seamlessly interoperable. We will then work with our clients to ‘layer’ additional tech into the Ecosystem as and when it is required. 

CK: Yes, that is our view at ProKNX as well. I would just like to add that the sustainable benefits of all smart technology being compatible are noteworthy. The need to discard devices that are no longer compatible with new systems is an issue we deal with today that would be largely addressed. The resulting reduction of electronic waste would be significant, helping to keep costs down, and of course, be good for the planet. 

What do you predict will happen to the smart care technology market in the next five years?

CK: We believe that within the next five years, it will be essential for smart technologies to be compatible with as many systems as possible in order to remain viable options for the consumer. Once users of smart products become familiar with the possibility of having a wide choice when it comes to developing their intelligent system, they will be less comfortable with being locked into one single line of products. 

CG: I totally agree with Christian. Interoperability is absolutely key and will play an increasingly essential part as we move forwards. Technology is moving at a rapid rate, we are continually seeing new products and systems that continue to be developed. Our Ecosystem is completely tech agnostic, which gives our clients the confidence that our number one priority is to solve problems, and become a technology services partner for the long term. 

MR: The future of smart technology products is being shaped as we speak, partly driven by all the new gadgets, like Aragon Companion, that have found their way into people’s everyday life. As mentioned, the most important thing is to make it easy to integrate smart systems to get the best effect and value for the end users, both now and in the future.