In 2022, Overkiz’s new Kizconnect® connected solution aims to meet the expectations of professionals and users for ever greater performance and security. We sat down with Benoît Loutrel and Adrien Della Gatta, the two managers responsible for the development of Kizconnect® apps and gateways.
How did a solution like Kizconnect® come about?
AD: At Overkiz, the hardware and software teams work hand in hand because we consider a connected solution to be a unified whole. This necessitates integrating the software from the early design phases, ensuring technical validation and taking safety into account upstream. An approach that eliminates unpleasant surprises while increasing efficiency.
BL: And then Kizconnect® was born from the collection of needs and their conversion into technical specifications. We always begin with our customers, who are the manufacturers, developers, and service providers. They want to start the connected process and develop their offer quickly, easily, and affordably. However, they must also ensure the highest level of security and compatibility for their own customers—the users. Kizconnect® apps are constantly evolving and are constantly integrating new products and features.
What were the main challenges?
AD: The two living room and electrical panel gateways have been significant challenges, whether we’re talking about plastics or working with the latest protocols. They have already been significantly reduced in size, with only seven units for the DIN Rail! The living room gateway has four embedded protocols, including Wifi and Zigbee 3.0. And the electrical panel gateway is the most comprehensive and complex product developed by Overkiz. It has an RJ45 wired connection with the ability to switch to wifi, USB connectivity, and a plug for adding an EnOcean module. Not to mention the five radio protocols, including Zigbee 3, which comes embedded! And it all installs in a matter of minutes…
BL: Another major challenge was to meet Somfy’s quality requirements as a member of the Somfy Group. Critical prerequisites include adhering to the brand’s performance criteria, which are far above average in terms of qualification, as well as ensuring optimal software and electronic security. Somfy’s compatibility catalog is uniquely extensive. We are talking about the world leader in openings! This necessitates the highest level of certification as well as a dependable and powerful cloud capable of hosting and interoperating with these 6,000 devices—and those yet to come.
Kizconnect® is the result of the latest advances in IoT. What benefits does it provide to professionals and users?
AD: From the Kizconnect® living room gateway, users enjoy a unique window to the home. It makes the greatest brands interact—from Google or Amazon voice assistants to IKEA and, of course, Somfy products. It is designed to work with everything, everywhere.
Designed for new residential and small non-residential properties, Kizconnect® DIN Rail allows developers to market “connected homes” based on selections from our catalog, and buyers can integrate new equipment over time. Multiple Kizconnect® DIN Rail can also be connected to control an entire façade for non-residential buildings.
BL: The Kizconnect® app enables professionals to provide their clients with a simple and easy-to-use management tool that is personalized with their logo, icons, and colors.
In addition to comfort, programming scenarios allows for increasingly fine energy management, such as instructing the heater to switch to eco mode when the windows are open or activating the sunscreens when the amount sunlight exceeds a certain level. Combined with the Consumption Monitoring feature, users have complete control over their home’s energy performance. With their finger or voice, users can control their shutters, lights, gates, alarms, and thermostats.
As for installers, the Kizconnect® Pro app was designed to save time and improve their work quality. They follow step-by-step guidance to register their Kizconnect® gateway, pair devices in just a few clicks, and then immediately test them. It’s quick and easy!
What are you working on now, and how do you see the future?
AD: Ecodesign will increasingly guide the way we work. As a Somfy member who has been committed to ecodesign through the Act for Green label for years, we are reducing energy consumption in our products and accessories and ensuring their recycling. Kizconnect® gateways recently obtained this certification.
BL: The future is determined by the needs of customers. For example, the Kizconnect® app includes the ability to send notifications and personalized marketing messages to users because the relationship is always more central. The customers of our customers want more freedom and more autonomy. Their satisfaction is just as important to us. We are already working in this direction for future updates.