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Meeting the demands of the smart home industry

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Chairman of Netatmo, a company creating connected consumer electronics that aim to make home life easier, Fred Potter tells us why he came up with the idea and how it’s real life solutions and not gadgets that really make this possible.

Can you tell us about Netatmo? What is it exactly and how does it work?

Netatmo is a leading smart home company creating simple, beautiful smart solutions for a safer and more comfortable home.

Since 2012, Netatmo has launched thirteen devices and accessories to meet the main demands of the smart home industry. The company offers different solutions to automate the home and make life easier, from its first product in 2012 to today. In addition to its main product range, Netatmo collaborates with key industrial leaders with its “with Netatmo” programme to expand its reach and continue to grow strategically with smart integrated solutions that fit in your home’s infrastructure. Thanks to this strategy, Netatmo can bring simpler, easier and better home experiences.

In November 2018, Netatmo joined the Legrand Group, the global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures.

What problem/issue does Netatmo address?

Our home is the most intimate space we know. It is where consumers spend nearly two thirds of their life.

The comfort and safety of the home is at the heart of our day-to-day concerns: automating repetitive tasks with intelligent objects must free the human from this mental burden.

Our mission at Netatmo is to develop products that offer users a safer and more comfortable home.

We are committed to designing products that are:

  • Beautiful, because your interiors deserve the best,
  • Intelligent, so that you don’t have to spend your time worrying about them
  • Useful, because no one likes gadgets

Where did the idea to create Netatmo come from?

When I founded Netatmo in 2012, I wanted to reinvent the products of our everyday life, make them better and smarter. With our first device, Netatmo’s Smart Home Weather Station, I wanted to create a product that provides real answers to consumers on social and environmental issues. We realised that by connecting a classic weather station to the Internet we could change the way people use it and make it even more useful. We have pursued working in this direction ever since: making all home objects smarter and thus the user’s life easier.

Fred Potter
fred potter, chairman, netatmo

What social/cultural factors helped in the decision? Why was it the right moment to launch the business?

When I launched Netatmo in 2012, I could already sense an expansion of smartphones and Wi-Fi use. With these two elements, I believed that the future of our home would be the smart home. In the meantime, smartphone and Wi-Fi installation base saw a huge growth, thus accelerating the development of the smart home. For instance, between 2013 and 2017 the number of smartphones increased from 969 million to 1.5 billion.* Wi-Fi penetration also continues to be more and more prevalent, especially in developed countries.

What did Netatmo look like when it was first developed? How has it evolved and what has fuelled that?

At its origins in 2012, Netatmo was a company with a few employees and one product available on the market. Since then, we have launched 12 other devices and accessories to meet the main demands of the smart home industry. In addition to its main product range, Netatmo collaborates with key industrial leaders with its “with Netatmo” programme to expand its reach and continue to grow strategically with smart integrated solutions that fit in your home’s infrastructure. Currently we have 250 employees and since November 2018, we have joined the Legrand Group.

I think that what has fuelled this growth is that at Netatmo, even though our smart products have unique functions and work with extremely sophisticated algorithms, we ensure that their technological complexity is completely invisible to users. We design objects that are simple to install and use – even though they integrate cutting-edge technology.

Netatmo products meet the main needs expressed by consumers when it comes to smart homes: they are designed to improve comfort, optimise energy efficiency, and increase security.

All of our product features are available for free. No subscription or additional fees are required to use them.

Fred Potter

Home is the most intimate space we know. It is where consumers spend nearly two thirds of their life.
The comfort and safety of the home is at the heart of our day-to-day concerns: automating repetitive tasks with intelligent objects must free the human from this mental burden

Fred Potter
Chairman, Netatmo
France

How do you see Netatmo developing in the future? What do you think this will be influenced by?

We will keep on developing products and services following the four commitments that embody our DNA:

  • Durable design: no planned product obsolescence.
  • Privacy at its core: from the conception phase, we ensure that we can guarantee data protection.
  • Useful & reliable: our products make your life easier.
  • Thoughtful notifications: we notify our users only when it is important.

With the acquisition by Legrand, we will rely on Legrand’s solid reputation and power to build an even stronger Netatmo brand and strengthen our growth. Our goal is to rely on the huge distribution network of Legrand, and on their strong reputation, to expand our presence in Europe and in the areas where we are not present yet.

What kind of companies do you work with? Does Netatmo adapt to different sectors/types of business?

We work with building industry leaders through our “with Netatmo” programme. Among our partners, we count companies such as VELUX, Muller and Legrand. Our aim is to create connected solutions integrated into residential home infrastructure, whether new-build or renovation. For each collaboration, our teams worked with our partners to define the best functionality and address the best use-cases according to their needs.

How do you think technology such as Netatmo is bettering/changing people’s lives?

Netatmo products meet the main needs expressed by consumers when it comes to smart homes: they are designed to improve comfort, optimise energy efficiency, and increase security. For example, our Smart Thermostat and Smart Radiator Valves help users manage their energy consumption more effectively thanks to heating schedules based on their habits. Our Smart Outdoor and Indoor Cameras protect homes against break-ins. With the Smart Home Weather Station, users can monitor their indoor and outdoor environments in real time.

Users can create customised scenarios to interconnect their smart Netatmo products or connect them to other home devices, following different combinations.

As a result, the Netatmo smart home is safer, more efficient and more comfortable.

What kind of projects are you currently working on?

Our teams are working on developing new features for our existing products and services. They are also developing new products that will soon be launched on the market, like the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell for instance.

From a business perspective, our goal is to rely on the huge distribution network of Legrand, and on their strong reputation, to expand our presence in Europe and in the areas where we are not present yet.

Can you tell us in what capacity you work with BNP Paribas Real Estate?

Our partnership with BNP Paribas Real Estate aims to promote smart home solutions in the new–build industry. An initial common achievement has been the opening of “Issy Preference”, a residential smart building, the first building integrating Legrand’s and Netatmo’s smart solutions in each apartment. The owners can remotely control their heating, roller shutters or lighting via the Home + Control App or with their voice assistant (Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant).

How does working with companies like BNP Paribas Real Estate develop the idea of Netatmo?

Working with BNP Paribas Real Estate shows that the building industry is convinced by solutions that make residences more comfortable, more energy-efficient and safer. Our successful collaboration underscores the relevance of our products and solutions. It strengthens our leading position in the European smart home market and enables us to consolidate our position in the professional distribution.