We sat down with Michael Bailey Smith, Director of IoT Business Development for Alliance BOD member LEEDARSON to talk more about the company’s goals, visions for the future and involvement in the Z-Wave ecosystem.
Established in 2001, LEEDARSON is a leading provider of lighting solutions, security and intelligent lighting control, sensing and communication systems and specializes in smart, energy-saving technologies. LEEDARSON has become a widely respected organization in the connected home and IoT markets, offering solutions built for residential, commercial and industrial applications and continue to integrate Z-Wave interoperability into its many product lines.
When and why did LEEDARSON join the Z-Wave Alliance?
We joined in January 2017 because as LEEDARSON is growing in the IoT space, we know that Z-Wave is a top wireless protocol, particularly in the security industry which is where we wanted to start bolstering our efforts.
We’re also well-known for our lighting experience and expertise, so we feel that we can help improve the Z-Wave presence and voice in that space as well.
As the first Chinese company to be a board member, and the world’s leading IoT ODM manufacturer, we feel well-positioned to provide input and feedback to help drive and expand Z-Wave’s global leadership position in the connected devices industry.
What are the most valuable benefits of being a member of the Z-Wave Alliance?
For us, we think that some of the key benefits are the go-to-market attitude and strategy that the Z-Wave Alliance has, more so than other Alliances that we’re involved with. We also value the Alliance’s openness with customers and board members, and everyone in the Alliance is helpful and wants one another to be successful. Even though there are some elements of competitive business amongst one another, we feel well supported from the whole Z-Wave ecosystem.
What value and perspective does LEEDARSON offer to the Alliance by being a BOD member?
We work with so many customers throughout the world, including North America, South America, Asia, Europe, and beyond so we offer a global perspective to the IoT world compared to companies who only focus on one region. We have lots of insight into the unique factors and opportunities in these markets that we can offer the Alliance membership.
What would you say is the next biggest trend in the smart home space?
Voice control is a huge trend right now and is only going to become more prevalent in the IoT space. Here at LEEDARSON we’re finding new and innovative ways to include voice control like smart lighting built into fixtures and putting smart hubs directly into fixtures. I also think that AI is becoming a lot bigger, including new tech like predictive analytics, where you can walk into a room and based on the pattern of the last four or five times you’ve entered that room and switched on a light or turned on music, your home will recognize these patterns and automatically do it for you while leveraging smart technology. It will also be interesting to see how that same use of predictive analytics plays out in the commercial space as well.
Our customers love our innovation and willingness to push the boundaries – and it’s certainly one of our stronger suits. We have a tremendous amount of resources dedicated to R&D and engineering – over 400 employees dedicated solely to engineering and creating new IoT solutions that both meet current trends and push the boundaries of where smart technology is going.
We also have our facility in Taiwan called XLab. Our XLab focuses on advanced IoT technologies and feeds that information and new designs back into our traditional engineering and R&D.
Pictured left: LEEDARSON smart
home products in a Z-Wave Pavilion
at an industry trade show.
How does the European smart lighting market differ from the U.S.?
In terms of maturity, I think the North American market is the most mature, followed by Europe and Asia. In the North American market, energy is inexpensive compared to other places in the world so smart security is the biggest market, followed by energy management. So, you see the biggest players in the IoT space representing a lot of the security market. But in the European market, the bigger IoT players are the telcos and energy companies because energy is more expensive there and the need for reducing energy expenditures is higher due to government mandates.
We’re seeing that utilities are slower to adopt IoT technology here in North America, but I think that we’ll see that change in the coming years and conversely, we’ll also see some changes to market drivers for IoT such as security in Europe as well.
What about other global markets – how do they compare?
The Asian market is moving slower than both the European and North American markets. They’re currently more focused on using IoT for air and water quality management due to challenges the regions have there, but I think that will change. We’ve already seen a few telco and utility companies begin to offer IoT-based management programs and incentives across Asia, and there are tons of developing smart home companies in the Asian market.
Visit www.leedarson.com for more information and follow on Twitter at @LeedarsonGroup and LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/leedarson/