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D-Link: Home is where the smart is -1
By Veronica Chen 2014-07-23
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D-Link is a leading global networking solutions provider for enterprise and consumer markets. With 189 sales offices in 66 countries, the company’s next mission is to find its way “home.” D-Link’s Head of Global Marketing Quenton Miao sat down with us to talk about the company’s plan to become a global designer, developer, and manufacturer of smart home solutions.

In May 2014, D-Link made its first foray into the smart home market with the launch of its WiFi- controlled smart plug, the aptly named WiFi Smart Plug. Shortly after, D-Link announced its WiFi Motion Sensor and the mydlink Home app, a home management app for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

These three elements form the basis of the company’s smart home strategy. Users can pair their D-Link Smart Plugs with WiFi Motion Sensors to make home appliances respond to motion, such as setting the lights to turn on when someone walks in a room, or a fan to keep the living room cool while a person is present, or music to play when a user steps on the treadmill. The mydlink Home app provides a simple way for users to set and manage automation rules and schedules, as well as view live feeds from D-Link home security cameras.

D-Link’s stream of announcements in the first half of 2014 is only the beginning of its Connected Home Initiative. “The home is becoming increasingly ‘IP-cized’. This is D-Link’s strength, so it is a very logical step for us to capitalized on the growing interest in smart home,” said Quenton Miao, Global Marketing Head at D-Link. “With more than 27 years of experience developing networking and communication solutions, we have all the ingredients to build a compelling smart home offering.”

## What sparked D-Link’s interest in smart home?

About 15 years ago, I was Factory Director at D-Link. Telephones were analog at the time, and the transition to digital was picking up momentum. I didn’t even know how to test the keypad on an IP phone. But, it was a necessary for us to adjust, and it was a logical step for telephones to turn digital.

D-Link has always been a pioneer in IP (Internet protocol) data communication. With advances in communication technology and the transition to digital and IP, many industries have become relevant to us; factories, industrial facilities, retail businesses, office buildings—they have all taken a similar path. Now it’s finally making its way into residences.

So, smart home is actually coming to D-Link, not the other way around. We’re not taking a leap of faith into the market; we’re taking another logical step.

## What role does D-Link hope to play in a smart home?

Our mission is to become the core of a smart home, which we believe is the smart home hub or gateway. All smart home services and features, be it security, safety or automation, rely on the hub. Everything is on the hub, and the performance of software and services are highly dependent on it.

Think about your home computer. Over the past 20 years, we have gone through at least five or six generations of PCs. Why do we upgrade? We want new features, more powerful performance, new applications, better aesthetics, convenience and more. We think smart home hubs will take a similar route, where users will continually upgrade to get a better experience.

That’s why we see the hub as a tasty cake in the smart home market. Sensors, on the other hand, is icing on the cake. They are essential, but they also have a longer product life; users won’t upgrade sensors—they will replace them when they cease to function.

Another cake is the home camera. Adoption of home cameras is picking up not just because of security concerns, but because the camera is the ‘window’ to the ‘soul’ of connected home. There are so many ways you can apply what the camera captures to achieve a high level of home control.

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