A smart ECOsystem to fully control your home.

A pioneer in Switzerland in the installation of home automation systems, the Smarthome® team entrusted us with the complete development of their system: an Android application for a tablet acting as a controller, iOS / Android applications for remote control and a "cloud" solution for storage as well as the relay of instructions sent via the apps.

From collaborative user-centered design to agile & iterative development, this project has called upon all our specialists' talents to lead it to success.

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Design for users

The iterative design was an essential asset for the successful completion of the assignment. This approach, combining design workshops with the participation of the Smarthome® team and weekly functional tests, allowed us to truly experience the system as the end user, and even sometimes redesign the system’s features in order to maximize its usability.

Monitor your household's consumption in real time.

The intercom sends a live video stream to the tablet.

The alarm is activated when departing home.

An evolutive architecture, with solid foundations.

Our engineers – assigned to the development of the various components of the system – worked together to provide a robust base, but also an architecture that would allow the addition of features in the future. In an agile environment, the project is in constant evolution to allow a sustainable development according to the users’ needs and the requirements imposed by the latest technical standards.

Some technical challenges

The Smarthome® system, despite its ease of use, presents many technical challenges. In fact, each of the connected object must be able to be controlled from a physical controller (switch, thermostat, etc.), with the tablet acting as a home automation controller, as well as with the help of mobile applications that could be used from anywhere worldwide. The multiplicity of input devices for each element therefore poses an obvious synchronization problem which we solved with the help of so-called “reactive” programming.

This programming paradigm replaces the “variables”, a memory unit that can be read and written at a given time (much like a post-it), with a continuous flow of values controlled at each module. Each interface element wishing to display the current status of a module subscribes to the corresponding feed and is thus automatically updated each time the status of the module changes, regardless of where the command was transmitted from. It remains to be discussed what the “source” of these data flows is…

This is a portion of our "device lab".

The thermostat sends data to the tablet.

The installer mode for Smarthome® professionals.

A few lines of code....

Behind the scenes.

Connectivity and data flow

We chose, somewhat against the current trend, to make the data flow reside in the tablet acting as a home automation controller rather than in the cloud. This means that the latter is responsible for directly controlling the modules installed in the household (lamps, heaters, blinds, etc.) and that any order from another component of the system must go through it (except for switches directly wired to the lamps).

Since the tablet is physically located in the house, this solution guarantees that no sensitive user data leaves the house without prior action on their part.

In addition, it reduces the functionality of the cloud infrastructure to a simple command relay between the home automation controller and mobile applications, thus allowing end-to-end encryption to ensure the confidentiality of orders during transfer.

Finally, the decision to support only a few exemplary modules among the true wilderness of the connected objects market, allowed us to ensure a very high level of quality and to unburden the end user of a difficult choice, leaving them the opportunity to immediately enjoy their smart home.

A few words from the Smarthome® team

We first met the Apptitude team in May 2018. We outlined to them our project to create an application for our home automation solutions and they immediately hooked on it. They brought a real boost to our project and thanks to their fresh and dynamic external vision, our simple application creation has been transformed into a real project to develop a complete and unique product.

All this would not have been possible without close collaboration between our teams! We are delighted to have found in Apptitude, a dynamic partner who cared about our needs.

Donatien Presutti
Sales Manager, Smarthome S.A