The popularity of voice assistants has unlocked a new market for smart lighting solutions in India. We explore the trend and also interact with Syska to know what the future holds for smart lightning
Smart assistants such as Siri, Alexa and products like Google Home introduced the concept of voice-based appliances last year. While the practical usability of these assistants is still rather tentative, it has led to Indian households exploring the world of voice commands for controlling the various devices in the home.
The most popular of them has been lights, a market which led to sudden and massive growth, mainly thanks to a handful of smart lighting providers jumping in to the bandwagon and offering a diverse product portfolio.
ACE companies in smart lightning market
Syska positions its WiFi enabled smart bulb as a product that lets you control the lighting in your home via your mobile device. The product allows you to operate parts of your home lighting even while you are away from home. At home you can instruct your voice assistant to change lighting colours or switch them off.
Syska’s latest addition is a smart table lamp. Once it is synced with Alexa, it can be controlled using voice command to choose from three different colour temperatures – Warm White, Day Light, and Cool White — as well as 3 stages of brightness
Philips, on the other hand, is all about colour choices. You can instruct Alexa to change your living room colour hues to ‘tropical’ or ‘night’. The company has also smartened its integration with voice assistants to let you tag and name the various lights in your room, thereby allowing you to turn on your desk light and time it to switch it off at night when the reading light comes on. The company markets its smart lighting solutions under the brand name Philips Hue
In early 2019, Signify (formerly known as Philips Lighting), launched its Internet of Things (IoT) platform, called Interact enabling its customers to unlock the full potential of connected lighting for the IoT.
Wipro takes colours to the next level by claiming to churn out 16 million colours from one bulb, without using a communication gateway. This essentially means you can create a network of such smart bulbs and make your home a discotheque of sorts.
Use of voice assistants common
While each brand is attempting to differentiate its offerings by adding minute frills, the common use of voice assistants across all of them is the biggest selling point. A few of these bulbs might have featured on supermarket shelves even before we imagined that we could command a machine to do tasks for us.
Indeed, it seems to be a deliberate market strategy to let customers get their hands on smart lighting devices in the same outsets where they are shopping for an Amazon Echo or a Google Home smart speaker. They are now seeing momentum and market share. We can expect to witness more creative applications in smart lumieres in the weeks to come.
EFY ACE’s exclusive interaction with Gurumukh Uttamchandani, Executive Director, Syska Group
Que 1 – Has the popularity of voice assistants boosted the market for smart lights?
Few years ago, no one would have imagined having a solution like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant in real life which allows you to control the lights in your home or office through voice enabled commands. However today, smart solutions such as these are making our lives so easy that we don’t need to get up to switch on / off the lights. The combination of Alexa and Amazon Echo smart speakers has made the setting up of a smart home extremely simple. Now you can control your smart lights with voice. Once synced with Alexa or Google Assistant, SYSKA Smartlights can easily respond to voice commands given by the user.
This technological innovation is surely impacting the lighting industry because consumers are looking to purchase Alexa or Google Assistant enabled smart lights or bulbs. In addition to using voice commands, users can also download the Syska Smart Home app to control these lights. The app gives you the option to choose your shade of light from a spectrum of over 3 million colors.
You can also set alarms for when you want the lights to switch on or switch off. Additionally, in order to create your own pre-formatted lighting theme, SYSKA smart lights give you an array of options to set the mood of your home based on your requirement.
Que 2 – As voice assistants mature and IoT becomes more popular, do you see Syska creating more products?
Syska believes in innovation first. We at Syska understand the needs of consumers and we strive to introduce products & solutions in the market that benefit consumers. Syska has always had the first mover advantage and we aim to serve consumers by providing innovative solutions. We understand that ‘Smart homes’ is the future and there’s a lot we can explore in this segment. In October 2018, Syskapartnered with a global IoT player Tuya Smart to bring smart home capabilities in India.
With the partnership, we aim to transform every Indian household into a smart home and have since introduced a range of smart home products with an aim to convert every home into a smart home. We have also introduced two new smart products – Syska Smart Bulb and Syska Smart Table lamp in the market.
Both these products are aesthetically appealing and offer a wide range of features to users. Additionally, we have launched the Syska Smart Plug and Syska WiFi Spike Buster to help users transform their homes into smart homes.
Que 3 – What is your marketing strategy?
Syska Group has invested Rs 25 crores in marketing and R&D to build the smart home category in India. We are going to adopt a two-pronged strategy in terms of product availability – for those who would like to experience the product benefits, the smart home portfolio will be available in leading retail outlets and modern trade showrooms. Evolved customers would be able to engage and buy these products from e-tailers.
(This story is written by Vishnu Anand. He is working as a technology and business journalist under the guidance of veteran journalist Anand Parthasarathy (Ex-The Hindu).