Siam Cement Group (SCG) is working with China’s leading technology company Tuya Smart to promote smart home technology in Thailand.
The two companies announced their partnership at the Techsauce Global Summit 2023 held in Bangkok recently. Their collaboration is aimed at exploring additional smart business opportunities, such as growing SCG’s smart product line, enhancing its Internet of Things (IoT) services with integrated hardware and software solutions, and advocating for the smart transformation of Thailand’s real estate sector, both companies said.
The partnership calls for both sides to jointly develop a new landscape of smart real estate in Thailand using SCG’s channel resources and local market expertise, as well as Tuya’s core technology, solutions, and global deployment strength.
SCG is the largest cement and construction materials producer in Southeast Asia, while Tuya Smart is a global IoT developer and service provider.
Smart home tech made easy
“We want to make smart home technology a consumer product that everyone can use – not just the DIY people, not just the tech people – but anyone can benefit from the technology,” said Apirut Vanchaam, Chief Digital Officer of SCG.
“My slogan is Don’t mind”. That means, don’t mind the technology, just mind the benefit that you get from the smart home.”
He said smart home technology “has come a long way” – almost 10 years in the United States. And today China has become the world’s biggest smart home producer.
The technology has been developed to become “very efficient, very practical, and very affordable for the user”, according to Apirut. “But the only thing that prevents the smart home technology from taking off is that it is too complex. There are a whole bunch of devices that need to be connected together and maintained,” he said.
The SCG executive was speaking during a recent Techsauce panel discussion entitled “The Cube: Energizing Disruptive and Scalable loT-Driven Solutions for Smart Home, Smart City and More”.
His fellow panel speakers were Tuya Smart Co-founder and President Liaohan Chen and Ross Luo, Tuya Smart’s General Manager of the Asia-Pacific Region.
Bringing smart homes to Thailand
Apirut said that SCG decided to partner with Tuya because Tuya’s Cube Solution enables SCG to deploy its private platform quickly and affordably.
Cube Solution is expected to help SCG enhance its smart home brand, develop a smart home management system, and offer intelligent transformation support to fulfil the demands of a variety of real estate industry customers.
“SCG and Tuya are working together to bring smart homes to Thailand first, and hopefully to the region and to the world, and make it a consumer product,” Apirut said.
He pointed to the huge potential of smart home technology as it involves the Internet of everything – an ecosystem that unites people, IoT devices, data, and processes.
“The business value of the Internet will be much more than the apps and the social media combined because there are hardware devices involved. And there will be millions or billions of devices around the world,” he said.
“Smart home is just a starting point. From smart home, you move to smart community, smart city, and you move to the whole country. So, imagine the amount of investment, technology, devices, benefits, and business value.”
IoT ecosystem for smart homes
Apirut said SCG and Tuya are not just building smart home technology, but also an IoT ecosystem.
“We have a concept called smart home application. It’s very similar to a mobile phone application. But instead of downloading the apps to your phone, they are going to your house,” he said.
The SCG executive invited developers, designers and makers of software and hardware to join a platform developed by SCG and Tuya for smart homes.
“Come check us out and talk to us. This is an opportunity for everyone, not just us. In the next five years, this is going to change the world more than social media and the application combined,” Apirut said.
SCG, established in 1913, is Thailand’s leading business conglomerate with three core businesses –cement-building materials, chemicals, and packaging.
Tuya Smart, founded in 2014, is a Chinese provider of artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT platform as a service. The company provides a cloud development and management platform to developers, brands, and OEMs to program, manage, and monetize smart home and IoT devices.
Chen, the Tuya Smart president, said that he expected his company’s partnership with SCG to help transform traditional cities into smart, interconnected and intelligent urban environments in Thailand and also in the Asia-Pacific.
Partnership brings ‘great synergies’
Tuya’s GM Luo pointed to “great synergies” between SCG and his company in their partnership.
“We are pretty strong at the platform side and SCG is a big brand name with a good channel and very strong tech trends,” he said, adding “By working together, we can really offer end-to-end solutions.”
According to Luo, Tuya Smart’s comprehensive technical support includes providing the platform, building the product ecosystem, and offering the supply chain.
“We leverage our core strengths and capabilities to the clients to help them work on their own products and also their own solutions to the consumers. We bring the advanced technology to the actual benefits of the consumers – not only for the consumers but also for the businesses,” he said.
Luo also noted that over the past year or two, there have been some exciting trends in the smart home sector. Consumers’ access to smart products has greatly improved, which has led to a rapid growth in demand.
“People realize that what they want is not the product itself. But it’s some kind of lifestyle and actual benefits that they can get,” he said.
Luo reckoned that despite the “very exciting potential” in the market, there are still challenges. And the major challenge is the connectivity issue.
A big problem is that smart products from different makers are not always interconnected, and consumers need to download many apps to use them.
Tuya’s partnership with SCG is addressing the connectivity issue, Luo said. “We are creating a unified platform. No matter which brand or which kind of product, you can use one single app to control them.”
He said that in solving the interconnected issue, the platform brings “the best experience to any user”.