Smart home is based on networking electronic devices in the home, a vision of the future propagated for years that will become reality in the LocTowers project in Locarno. The technology has three goals: more comfort and self-determination, more security and lower energy consumption.

In a smart home, everyday processes are automated and the devices individually controlled using a touch panel, smartphone, computer, hand signal or voice command, either at home or via smartphone while on the move. The intelligent system makes it convenient to activate/deactivate all the household functions: lights, blinds, heating and much more.

These smart home amenities are part of LocTowers, which is equipped with the smart PLACE system. This is the first project by Swiss Life Asset Managers to include the smart home system, and a second is already being planned.

Smart PLACE enables the lights in LocTowers to turn on and the blinds to close automatically via light sensors when it grows dark. They send information to the central control unit that interprets the data. Actuators, power transmission elements that transform electrical signals and current into mechanical motion or light, process the control unit commands and, for example, close the blinds or turn the heating down.

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In smart homes, digital technology makes everyday life easier for the residents: The LocTowers in Locarno show how the vision of the future becomes reality

The automatic weather system puts the blinds up if a storm is coming
All the functions in the apartment can be controlled via haptic switches in the touch-sensitive screen located centrally in the living area, or via smartphone. In addition to controlling specific functions, the tenant can create scenarios, a good morning scenario for example, when the blinds automatically go up in the morning, the light comes on in the kitchen and bathroom and music is played.

A clearly presented menu helps the residents to operate the system intuitively and improves communication with the property management. When leaving the apartment, all you have to do is press a single button and all electronic devices such as lighting and power sockets are switched off automatically. If a storm is coming and the resident is on holiday, the automatic weather control will retract the blinds or awnings. Another convenient feature is a badge to open all the doors and locks. If this digital key is lost, access is blocked immediately – without going to the expense of replacing a cylinder. 

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Touch panels can be used to regulate the lights in the flats individually.

Energy efficiency through transparency
The system also brings ecological and economic benefits to building maintenance. The smart metering system, which ensures current data for external billing, enables individual residents to transparently monitor their energy consumption at all times. The property management in turn receives access to the consumption data per apartment, which are required for billing. All other data, such as when the blinds go up, remain
local in the apartment. It is possible to create a legally compliant energy consumption statement for any period of time. This forms the basis for charging for electricity, heat, and cold and hot water consumption on an individual basis. In the event of a tenant change, everything can be quickly and easily deleted via a factory reset.

Digital doorbell with a full-duplex intercom
Unlike with other large development projects, there are no doorbells installed at LocTowers. Instead there is a touch panel with integrated cameras and full-duplex intercoms. The person or company can be found quickly by searching alphabetically or by apartment number. The property management can also implement a name change in just a few minutes and at no cost. In the apartment, you can see on the touch panel who is at the entrance and communicate with the visitor via the integrated hands-free system. If you aren't at home, a connection is made to your smartphone so you can speak to the visitor and even open the door if necessary.

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