The intelligence of a genuinely ‘smart’ home knows no bounds, says Shawn Ang, General Manager of JUNG Asia — the possibilities are limitless and dependant on the user’s imagination and requirements

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a “smart home”? For most people, it could mean being able to turn on and off electrical appliances remotely through their smartphones. However, what a true smart home can do is way beyond that.

Originating in Germany and pioneering modern building technology since 1912, family-owned JUNG has been at the forefront of developing a comprehensive range of automation systems for lighting, blinds, air conditioning, security, and more. Known for innovation and precision, products from JUNG combine technical expertise and timeless design. They are sought after by top architects and interior designers worldwide, and are used at iconic locations globally, from the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg to the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore. 

We speak to Shawn Ang, general manager of JUNG Asia, to learn more about how a well-designed smart home system can elevate and future-proof our daily living environment. With more than 21 years of industry-specific knowledge in B2B sales, business development, and smart-building technology, Ang has been instrumental in executing projects for the well-heeled across the Asia-Pacific region.  

LS 990 in Les Couleurs® Le Corbusier: JUNG has the exclusive rights to distribute LS 990 switches in all 63 original colours.

1. In today’s context, what elements truly define a smart home?

In broad terms, automation has a rich history, particularly in factories, where diverse mechanisms respond to a button’s command. However, a modern smart home transcends mere automation — it possesses inherent intelligence. Our daily lives are seamlessly intertwined with smart devices like phones and watches. When personal devices are connected to a smart home system via the Internet, the system can recognise occupants through their individual devices. From there, it customises tasks like changing lighting and entertainment conditions based on the pre-set preferences of the specific person. Imagine returning home, opening the door, and experiencing ambient lights turned on, your favourite music playing — everything tailored without the need for you to physically manipulate controls and switches around the house. Nonetheless you retain the option to override the system at any time or experiment with the settings whenever you feel like it. 

Envision a life where your home anticipates your needs — the air conditioning activates when your GPS-enabled smartphone indicates you’re 2km away, the automated gate starts opening when your car is 200m away, and coffee is ready upon waking and so on, completely elevating your daily living experience.

LS 990: The iconic LS 990 switch was designed by JUNG in the 1960s and used worldwide

2. Could you highlight key trends and preferences, showcasing variations in terms of home automation systems (e.g. most requested functions/elements) between different countries in Asia?

In a more mature market like Singapore, consumers prefer comprehensive smart home systems, evolving from basic controls to media management and information access. Smart mirrors displaying current temperature and outdoor air quality are gaining traction, particularly in China and Indonesia due to pollution concerns. Post-Covid, there’s heightened awareness of monitoring air quality and statistics that are relevant to daily well-being. Voice controls, now considered a standard feature in Taiwan’s smart homes, offer convenience, especially for users with impaired mobility. 

In essence, I would say that the current key trends in the region include home automation systems capable of monitoring air quality, controlling media systems, and voice-operated functionalities.

Envision a life where your home anticipates your needs — the air conditioning activates when your GPS-enabled smartphone indicates you’re 2km away, the automated gate starts opening when your car is 200m away, and coffee is ready upon waking and so on, completely elevating your daily living experience. -Shawn Ang, General Manager of JUNG Asia

3. What are some interesting requests you have had from customers?

A customer, having acquired a nine-room penthouse, sought tailored smart systems for each room, encompassing access times, lighting, and unique moisture controls. Leveraging his proficiency in system programming, the homeowner optimised the capabilities of the JUNG KNX system. This included managing intricate tasks like tailoring access permissions for specific individuals at designated times, programming diverse scene settings, and implementing real-time monitoring of indoor air quality parameters such as CO2 and moisture levels — where the system, in turn, intuitively adjusts dehumidifier and ventilation controls accordingly.

Another memorable instance involves a homeowner in China (not a direct customer) who requested a smart system for a vast cellar containing more than a thousand bottles of wine. The system, capable of voice commands, allowed the owner to specify the desired vintage, prompting the system to retrieve the relevant bottle(s) without the need to search through the entire collection.

4. Switches often occur as an afterthought (or at times, even overlooked) in home design. What sets the JUNG KNX system apart, and how does it bring substantial benefits to homeowners?

Firstly, the patented LS 990 big rocker switches from JUNG LS Range consist of ‘big rocker’ style switches dating back to the 1960s, that integrate form and function. Evolving over 40 years, the LS Range is crafted in both plastics and genuine metals like stainless steel and brass, reflecting JUNG’s meticulous attention to detail. JUNG is also the only manufacturer of light switches, sockets, and operating controls in the 63 original colours of Les Couleurs® Le Corbusier. With the exclusive rights, we incorporate architectural colour design into the field of electrical installation. 

Secondly, JUNG excels in building automation systems, because we are one of the brands that collectively developed and pioneered the KNX open protocol. We therefore have first-hand knowledge of how to integrate and maximise the potential of the KNX system, because we have been involved in its programming right from the start. This puts us in a unique position because our engineers and programmers know at the back of their hands what works and what doesn’t, and are also able to ensure that our automation systems are future-proof. 

Integrating third-party security systems with the JUNG KNX System allows remote home monitoring, including security camera feeds and door control. The JUNG KNX system, compatible with virtual assistants like Alexa or Siri, streamlines various smart home functions through the JUNG Smart Visu Server App app. The Smart Panel 8 touch display offers a comprehensive solution, featuring the Smart Vision graphical interface for easy KNX device operation. Whether using the wall-mounted panel at home, or managing the home automation system remotely via a smartphone or tablet, users can control lighting, shading, temperature, music, and more. This personalised approach prioritises comfort, convenience, and home security, enhancing our daily living experience.

From a design perspective, our streamlined switch system eliminates the need for what we call the ‘piano effect’, where a long panel of switches is required to control multiple functions, resulting in a less desirable appearance and also a rather confusing user experience. Our F 40 and F 50 pushbuttons are highly acclaimed by architects and interior designers due to their sleek and versatile design, seamlessly integrating into virtually any aesthetic.

JUNG KNX Pushbuttons: Being a pioneer developer of the KNX open protocol, JUNG is an expert in integrating automation into designer switches.

5. In what ways can an automated home contribute to fostering a more sustainable lifestyle, aligning with contemporary environmental concerns?

Contrary to some beliefs, a home automation system doesn’t consume more power than our daily household usage without the system. The JUNG KNX System optimises appliance usage, turning them off when not needed. For example, the living room’s heating or air conditioning can automatically turn off when a sensor detects no movement for 30 minutes, or adjust lightings and temperature conditions based on occupancy or the time of day. These actions significantly reduce energy consumption.

In addition, an efficient smart home system enables homeowners to be more aware of their home’s energy consumption by tracking usage in real time through energy meters (only available in European markets). These meters provide insights into everyday energy consumption, helping identify areas of high energy use and allowing for informed decisions on energy consumption and the implementation of effective energy-saving measures.

As a premium supplier of building technology, JUNG aims to achieve sustainability goals in both the manufacturing process and the efficient use of energy in product usage. In November 2021, over 50 individual products, from switches to sockets and KNX push-buttons, were awarded the Bronze Cradle to Cradle certification® following an elaborate testing process. This certification demonstrates that these products have no detrimental influence on people and the environment throughout their entire life cycle. All the materials used can either be returned to the biological cycle after use or remain permanently in a technical cycle through recycling and reuse. JUNG is currently the only switch manufacturer to have achieved this.

Made in Germany Manufactured in Germany, JUNG products adhere to rigorous quality standards, with meticulous attention to the smallest details.

What is KNX? 

In the early 1990s, 15 well-known names in the European electrical manufacturing industry came together to jointly develop an open standard that would enable different electrical appliances and systems to communicate more effectively and allow a standardised system of control in terms of home and building automation. According to statistics, around 62% of industry professionals across the globe choose to include the KNX system for their smart home projects. In simple terms, think of it as a language through which various electrical appliances and systems communicate. Here’s the low-down: 

Universal Standard: The KNX bus line is the main central nervous system for all automation, and serves as the worldwide benchmark for home and building automation, providing a standardised platform to control lighting, HVAC, security, energy, and more. It is unique for its open-source nature, allowing collaboration with KNX partners globally.

Wired System: KNX operates through a wired system, ensuring robustness, security, and scalability for deployment across various settings, including residential, commercial, industrial, and maritime applications. Its advanced topology contributes to a reliable and versatile network.

Residential Focus: With a 30-year track record of stable performance, KNX is a preferred choice in residential settings due to its excellent security and data protection features, crucial in smart homes. KNX Secure, in addition to its intelligence, implements the world’s first manufacturer and application-independent security standard for smart buildings. It ensures all home-related data are encrypted and protected, preventing unauthorised manipulation and recording.

Efficient Communication: KNX facilitates seamless communication among diverse devices, enabling centralised control and monitoring. Unlike proprietary protocols, KNX is an open standard embraced by over 300 manufacturers. This ensures interoperability and a vast array of compatible products, creating an efficient and convenient building management system.


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