Smart homes provide homeowners with greater security and safety.

With the growing emphasis on convenience and safety, the demand for smart homes and automation systems is increasing significantly, says a senior official at Sobha Realty.

While smart-technology integrated homes were once considered a luxury, they are increasingly becoming the norm in today’s fast-paced and interconnected world. With the advancement of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), smart devices are becoming more accessible and affordable, making them a popular choice for homeowners seeking a better quality of life, the real estate developer adds.

In an interview with Gulf Construction, Co-Chairman of Sobha Realty Ravi Menon says: “Smart homes use a suite of cutting-edge devices and systems that puts homes on autonomous mode, offering homeowners countless advantages. For instance, smart home technologies provide maintenance notifications, enable users to have better control of their home appliances, lighting, heating, and cooling systems with the tap of a button or voice commands, and significantly save time and effort. By offering better control over energy usage, smart home automation provides the added benefit of becoming more energy efficient.

“These systems also help identify areas where energy is being used excessively, while monitoring and adjusting usage based on occupancy. Additionally, smart houses provide homeowners with greater security and safety, thanks to systems like video surveillance, motion sensors, smart locks, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and water leak sensors.”

Menon ... home automation set for next evolutionary step.

Menon ... home automation set for next evolutionary step.

“These systems ensure prompt security alerts and real-time monitoring, allowing residents to keep a watch on their property remotely from any part of the world,” he adds.

Simple-to-use technologies and solutions are available to bridge the digital divide for older and less technologically skilled users. With intuitive and less-complicated user interfaces, in addition to support of voice assistants like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, smart homes are designed to be universally beneficial and the reliable way forward, he points out.


Installation & Maintenance

Although connecting everything can be difficult, the right arrangement and device mix can significantly ease daily tasks and offer a comfortable living environment.

Another factor is the costs of installation and maintenance of these smart home technologies. According to Menon, this varies depending on the scale of the smart home system, the specific devices and features chosen, and the region or market where the installation takes place.

By offering better control over energy usage, smart home automation provides the added benefit of becoming more energy efficient.

By offering better control over energy usage, smart home automation provides the added benefit of becoming more energy efficient.

“As smart home technologies require complex set-up and equipment as opposed to conventional systems, their initial installation fees may be higher. The expenses of maintaining them can vary depending on the complexity of the system, quality and reliability of the equipment, and other necessary software upgrades. However, the cost of installation and maintenance has been steadily declining as smart home technologies have gained popularity with the market having more access to the necessary tools,” he points out.

“Ultimately, even though installing and maintaining smart home technologies may cost more initially, the advantages over time in terms of convenience, energy efficiency, and improved security will certainly outweigh these costs. Users are often advised to do adequate research, assess all options, consider their needs and financial situation, and consult experts to obtain a precise estimate of the expenses associated with smart home installation,” he emphasises.



Because smart home appliances are connected to the internet, they can pose some significant security risks and threats such as unauthorised access or data breaches, which raises privacy concerns, he points out.

“Furthermore, any security flaws could jeopardise the entire system since smart home devices are integrated onto the home network. As a result, device security, strong passwords and their regular updating, network encryption (like WPA2), and use of a separate network for smart devices are all essential for protecting your home network.

 “It is also critical to purchase devices from dependable manufacturers who consistently provide firmware upgrades and security patches to mitigate device vulnerabilities. In addition, using secure connections like VPNs, routine firmware and software updates, as well as making sure that smart home remote access is set up securely with two-factor authentication, all contribute greatly to addressing security flaws, resolving system issues, and improving performance. Smart home technologies may also encounter occasional technical issues that necessitate troubleshooting,” he adds.


Sobha Realty uses smart home technologies to raise living standards in its buildings.

Sobha Realty uses smart home technologies to raise living standards in its buildings.

Developers responding to trend

With demand for smart technologies continuing to rise, developers are actively integrating these features into a wide range of home products to offer prospective homeowners with enhanced convenience, efficiency, and connectivity. This trend is visible across various home-related categories, such as appliances, security systems, lighting, heating and cooling, and entertainment systems.  

Sobha Realty is committed to incorporating advanced technologies across all its developments to enhance convenience, efficiency, and sustainability.

“We continuously strive to provide our customers with convenience, comfort, and peace of mind, as a result of which, we leverage the enormous potential of various smart home technologies to raise the standards of living,” Menon says.

“Our teams employ home automation systems that provide homeowners with a centralised interface through which they can manage different aspects of their homes, including lighting, HVAC, security, and entertainment systems. This eventually increases convenience by giving centralised control and automation of essential home amenities. Meanwhile, cutting-edge security systems, including smart locks, video surveillance cameras, and intrusion detection sensors enhance security and ensure safety of occupants by offering remote monitoring, immediate notifications, and the capacity to restrict access to the property. Sobha Realty homes also include solar panels and other renewable energy technologies that produce clean energy to reduce dependence on conventional energy sources and minimise carbon emissions. 

“Furthermore, we have witnessed an increase in demand for sustainable amenities, like solar power and electric vehicle charging stations, as people are getting more environmentally conscious, and have been transitioning to a cleaner and greener living,” Menon adds.


Automation to become standard

According to Menon, home automation has been projected to take the next evolutionary step, as AI-powered platforms are emerging as the ‘brain’ of smart homes, leveraging machine learning algorithms to learn about the occupants and effectively coordinate various features for enhanced living experiences. These platforms can continuously monitor various aspects of the home, such as energy usage, security, and appliance performance, while using machine learning algorithms to detect anomalies, patterns, and trends. With the help of personalised automation, proactive monitoring, and seamless integration of multiple smart devices, these platforms can assist in transforming homes into intelligent living spaces that can adapt to the needs and preferences of occupants.

With its ability to streamline routines, enhance comfort, and increase energy efficiency, smart home technologies enabled by IoT and AI are paving the way towards a smarter, more connected, and more sustainable future for homes.


Future trends

Numerous innovative trends are emerging as smart home technology continues to advance and gain popularity. With voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, artificial intelligence (AI) has become an increasingly important part of smart home technology. Smart homes are becoming more sophisticated and individualised as a result of AI algorithms that understand user preferences and automate various household tasks. The IoT devices used in smart homes is also expected to increase significantly. These devices will continue to become more interconnected and interoperable, allowing seamless automation and communication across various devices.

Through comprehensive analysis of usage patterns, incorporation of renewable energy sources, and the provision of real-time feedback on energy usage, advanced energy management systems within smart homes are emerging as vital tools to optimise energy consumption. These systems help homeowners save costs on energy expenditures and lessen their carbon footprint.

“The use of gesture control has also been on the rise. Security and privacy will continue to be top priorities in the future of smart home technology. Strong security mechanisms like encryption, two-factor authentication, and secure cloud storage are highly prioritised by manufacturers, with significant investments made in this area. With these developments, smart homes have the potential to become more intelligent, interconnected, energy-efficient, and user-friendly in the near future, offering seamless and personalised living experiences,” Menon concludes.