The term ‘smart home’ first started to be known among Vietnamese home developers around ten years ago, when a handful of start-ups began researching and developing smart devices for homes.
The past five years have seen a boost of nearly 200% in the number of newly-built homes that include smart devices. At the same time, the number of smart home suppliers has greatly increased. Indeed by the end of 2018, there were approximately 20,000 homes in Vietnam that have at least one smart device. Most of these devices are, however, based on non-KNX standards such as ZigBee and Z-Wave. This is in contrast to Europe, where KNX has a leading position.
Growth of KNX in Vietnam
Looking back to five years ago, there were only three KNX suppliers in Vietnam, and all were small. KNX was almost unknown among architects, consumers and even in the major universities. This lack of KNX-aware engineers, architects, users and managers was the biggest obstacle to introducing KNX to Vietnam.
In the past two years, however, things have changed dramatically, thanks in large part, to two key drivers. The first was the Worldskills ASEAN competition, dedicated to South-East Asian countries, which required all smart home teams to use KNX. This really helped to increase awareness of the protocol.
The second driver was that two major national buildings in Vietnam, namely the National Assembly Building and Vietnam National Convention Center, were fitted with KNX. These prestigious projects have done much to put KNX on the map.
Opportunities for KNX in Vietnam
There has also been a significant increase in the number of certified KNX Partners over the last few years: in 2018 there were 50 KNX certificates issued in Vietnam, compared to only 1 in 2012.
While the absolute figures are promising, their relative size is still modest: in 2018 there were only a handful of KNX solution providers in Vietnam, and only 5% of newly-built smart homes were using KNX. When one considers that the population of Vietnam is around 95 million, the country has a GDP growth of 7% and a government that is embracing modernisation, it is obvious that there is a huge opportunity for KNX.
Promoting KNX in Vietnam
My company, Vietek has taken a leading role in promoting KNX in Vietnam. We work hard to be the place to go for KNX expertise, and we have trained the majority of KNX engineers and technicians in Vietnam over the last few years. We have invested heavily in KNX R&D, and we have a clear vision of how smart homes can benefit from the technology.
In order for the KNX market to grow in South East Asia, we need to make it extremely easy for users to control smart devices of different standards, and to boost KNX training at universities, training centres, architect practices and construction firms. We are looking to partner with other international KNX providers, and we plan to lobby at governmental level to get KNX recognised as a major standard in Vietnamese smart homes.
There are great opportunities for KNX in Vietnam, and I hope that through this article we will connect with other KNX providers to help grow the market and share in the endless possibilities offered by Vietnam and South East Asia – the world’s fastest growing region in terms of GDP.
Bui Huu Long is the CEO of Vietek, KNX specialist and supplier of the Vity Smart Home, which, when combined with the Vietek mobile app, allows control of KNX, ZigBee, Z-Wave, and Wi-Fi smart devices.