Making the right smart tech choice

By Sarah Gyde, marketing director at Mila.

Mila announced at the FIT Show that we had become the exclusive distributor of Mighton’s Avia smart lock into the UK trade market, and we are now supplying the product from stock.

Long before smart windows and doors were voted as the ‘next big thing’ by 76% of those attending the Glazing Summit in September, Mila had already recognised the scale of the opportunity that exists for our customers.

As well as our own market intelligence from the UK, we had looked at research from Scandinavia, where Mila Denmark operates and where smart locks already have 20% of the market. This indicated that almost 40% of homeowners want their home to be smart in the future.

As an independent manufacturer and distributor, we were in the fortunate position of being able to scour the market to identify a smart tech solution that we think best fits the needs of the UK right now.

For us, what really makes the Apple HomeKit compatible Avia secure smart lock stand out from the many other smart tech solutions now available is that it is so fabricator and installer friendly. As our customers get to grips with both the opportunity and the challenge of integrating smart solutions into their product offering, we think, at this stage, the priority is to choose products that are easy to fit and easy to sell.

For fabricators then, Avia comes with a standard sized backplate and works with all standard multi-point locking systems on PVC, composite or timber doors from 44mm to 70mm. It is also fitted on the inside of the door, with a standard tamper proof Mila SupaSecure PAS24, SBD-accredited handle fitted on the outside, so it can be easily integrated into most production set ups. And, it comes with the reassurance of a traditional key and cylinder for back up in emergencies, addressing the one big concern that installers tell us they often face from consumers.

It obviously has all the features which tech savvy homeowners expect in terms of remote opening, secure access control, monitoring and audit trail, and is compatible with a key fob, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and home hub. It uses a secure Bluetooth connection for easy pairing and set up and has industry leading data encryption technology.

Like most smart locks, Avia is ideal for the new build market and I do expect customers to win significant amounts of business here, but this is rapidly becoming a very crowded and competitive sector.

Where we think Avia scores most highly is in the fact that it can be retrofitted using the standard sized backplate. This opens up a huge additional market for installers in particular – not just in revisiting projects they themselves have installed over the last few years, but also in targeting niche sectors of the market where there are clear benefits to being able to remotely control access to the home. That includes things like holiday lets, elderly care facilities and home deliveries.

We have analysed the size of the retrofit market just in private homes to be in excess of 1.5 million doors, so the potential for Avia is clearly vast.

As we all know, the smart tech market is moving incredibly quickly so Mila is certainly not standing still in terms of our offering. We are already looking at further products to add to our range, which will suit the needs of the UK as the market matures and develops, and which we think will complement Avia perfectly.

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