ABB has launched the 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 systems from a smartphone or tablet.

What ABB-free@home does is open up the home automation market to electrical installers and wholesalers, hoping to bring smart home technology to a much wider customer base.

ABB states that electrical contractors will find the system simple and straightforward to install, connecting directly to a homeowner’s Wi-Fi network – integrating a variety of smart devices.

“We wanted to solve two issues in the home automation industry and help electricians meet the ever-increasing demand for home automation,” explains Christian Schiemann, ABB’s UK product marketing director for wiring accessories and intelligent building control.

“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,” he adds.

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 optimises all the images for display on the chosen device, overcoming an issue faced by users of previous generations of home automation systems.

Lighting can be integrated into ABB-free@home 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 also possible to link door communications and home automation and use a tablet or smartphone to see who is at the door.

The official UK launch of the new system will take place at the 100% Design exhibition at Kensington Olympia, September 23 to 26.

Not stopping with ABB-free@home, ABB has also established an ABB-free@home academy for electricians and installers, which offers face-to-face training at seminars across the country, as well as e-learning modules that can be accessed via abb.com.

Electricians and contractors are invited to register for free training on ABB-free@home by visiting ABB’s stand at the Elex Show at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena on September 17 or 18.

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