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New-generation handymen get smart in the home

China Daily | Updated: 2021-06-21 07:46

Home appliances maker Midea will promote its IoT ecosystem linking all products of the company to HarmonyOS. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Digitization is trend, but traditional services still in demand

The notion of the "handyman" has changed in recent years with the emergence of smart-home devices programmed to switch on the television or switch off the lights.

Services provided by handymen today include synchronizing gadgets and appliances to a Wi-Fi network, enabling them to "talk" to one another.

Through this series of connected devices, or the internet of things, high-tech handymen carry out repairs remotely. The sector-with its emphasis on electronics, artificial intelligence and information technology-has had no problems attracting young talent.

In Singapore, Eski Quek, 35, co-founded the home automation company Home Action Party with his brother Aaden seven years ago. A typical day for them involves connecting a residence wirelessly.

"Our main home automation services include ensuring good network and Wi-Fi coverage so that property owners can seamlessly and remotely control their homes through an app on their smartphones," Eski Quek said.

"The home automation app keeps both the homeowner and our service team in the loop."

The Queks' company works on about three new projects a month and employs five full-time staff members, each of whom has a national certificate in electronics engineering.

Many homes today are equipped with smart bulbs, plugs, sensors, security cameras and other devices.

For example, with a smart speaker, it is easy to switch smart lights on or off, dim them or change the color of the bulbs. A smart plug can be set to turn on a plugged-in kettle at a specific time each morning, so that there is always hot water when the occupants wake.

Sensors that detect motion, temperature, brightness and humidity are key to making a home truly smart. The information collected by these small, low-power devices is sent wirelessly to a smart hub, which collates and uses the data to trigger specific actions. For instance, a smart bulb switches on automatically when a motion sensor detects a person entering a room.

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