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Life in the Channel: Netatmo’s Sean O’Brien

Netatmo’s Regional Sales Director Sean O’Brien discusses its key product launches at IFA 2019, how its recent acquisition will benefit the company, and the key design principles Netatmo follows to ensure its smart home products stand out from the crowd.

Tell us about your work history and your current role at Netatmo.

I have spent over 25 years working for some of the leading consumer brands across the globe. Recent positions include head of consumer for Samsung mobile computing division and senior sales manager for Lenovo.

In September 2015, I joined the smart home category. The UK region is a growing market in the sector and there is huge interest in smart home systems. That is where Netatmo can play a big role.

In my role as a regional sales director, I am building and executing a global strategy to achieve growth in the UK region, to build upon Netatmo’s existing relationships and to generate new business.

Netatmo was acquired by Legrand last year, how has this benefitted the brand?

With this acquisition, we will be able to rely on the huge distribution network of Legrand, and to use their strong international reputation to expand our presence in Europe, and in markets where we are not present yet. The Legrand brand is the guarantee of excellence. Professionals across the world work with the Legrand products and our sales team will collaborate with Legrand in some areas to strengthen Netatmo’s distribution network.

What products did you launch at IFA?

At IFA we announced the availability of our Netatmo Smart Alarm System with Camera. Featuring the Smart Indoor Camera, the Smart Indoor Siren and Smart Door and Window Sensors, the new Netatmo alarm system offers up a complete home security solution to users.

The Netatmo Smart Indoor Camera alerts the user in real time with precise notifications. It uses facial recognition technology to distinguish between a stranger, a loved one and a harmless movement. When the camera detects an unknown face, the user is sent a real-time alert to their smartphone with a photo and video of the event.

Smart Door and Window Sensors pick up any movement or vibration, indicating that someone is trying to force the user’s doors and windows open. The user thus instantly receives a notification on their smartphone such as “Movement detected at the kitchen window”.

The Smart Indoor Siren works with the Camera and the Smart Door and Window Sensors. It automatically triggers its deafening 110 dB alarm when the Smart Indoor Camera detects an intruder, or if specific Door and Window Sensors detect any movement in these places. The user receives a precise real-time notification on their smartphone, such as “Unknown person detected”, as well as video of the event filmed by the camera.

The Smart Door and Window Sensors are already available for purchase as well as the Smart Indoor Camera. The Smart Indoor Siren also launched at the end of September.

With these launches, Netatmo is expanded its security range, making our offering a truly comprehensive package.

As the smart home market grows, how is Netatmo making sure it stands out from the crowd?

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 technologies. 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.

One key way we stand out from the crowd is that all of our products’ features are available for free. Unlike other smart home products, no subscription or additional fees are required to use the Netatmo ones.

We also believe that users’ privacy and safety is one of the most important topics today. This is why at Netatmo much of our R&D work is focused on data security and privacy. Considerable effort goes into making sure that our users’ data remains safe and private.

Since our first product launch in 2012 until now, we have always designed products according to four principles: 1. Durable design: no planned obsolescence. 2. Privacy at its core: from the conception phase, we ensure that we can guarantee data protection. 3. Useful and reliable: our products make life easier. 4. Thoughtful notifications: we notify our users only when it is important.

What does the company have planned for the next year?

We do not unveil our product roadmap, so I can’t say too much on what’s to come, but our teams are always working on developing new features for our existing products and services. They’re also working on developing and launching products we’ve already announced, like the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell. This is an exciting product for a number of reasons, including being the first HomeKit-compatible smart doorbell on the market.

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