1VALET provides smart home equipment for high-rise buildings
While the home security market has been revolutionized in many ways by the proliferation of smart home technology, the primary focus and application of these solutions has focused on single-family homes. However, Multi-Family Dwelling Units (MDUs), such as apartments and condos, still represent a largely untapped market, but this is rapidly starting to change as property managers look to the enhanced capabilities presented by IoT devices. today to provide tenants with a safer and more secure environment. smarter lifestyle.
One company that has been at the forefront of this movement is the Canadian company 1VALET, which provides a platform ecosystem for integrating various IoT systems into a high-rise building. According to Adrian Wang, Vice President of Business Development at 1VALET, the company was originally founded with the goal of helping reduce operating costs for homeowners through technology that could provide access and control capabilities to distance.
“We recognize that there are a lot of companies tackling what’s in the suite in the single family home, townhouse or low-rise building, but what we’re looking at is the integration – not just within the four walls of the unit itself, but all of the common areas relating to this building,” says Wang. “What we’re trying to create here is this unified platform that connects stakeholders and disparate property managers into one platform, so it’s all about that integrated experience for developer, property manager, concierge and resident.”
Wang pointed out that 1VALET primarily focuses on the software aspect of facilitating these build technology integrations, with the only hardware exception being the entry console they offer, which comes in several different form factors, including a 42-inch standing entry system, as well as a 43-22-inch and 22-inch wall-mounted entry system.
A next generation smart building system
Much like a commercial access control system in an office building, tenants in buildings equipped with the 1VALET solution can use digital keys on their smartphone to gain access to their residence. Alternatively, residents can simply have their face scanned to gain access if they are comfortable with facial entry technology, the acceptance of which continues to grow exponentially, according to Wang.
“We’ve seen very high traction with this, ranging from 60% to 80% in most of our buildings. Especially in urban centers, we find that many residents find this to be a popular feature set because they don’t need their keys,” he says.
Residents can also use the 1VALET app to receive video calls from the building’s entry system to see guests and grant or deny them access.
While they can integrate with any access control system, Wang says they have “more sophisticated integrations” with Salto locks where they can provide additional encryption of key fobs, key fob management systems and coupling with various CCTV systems.
“We tend to start with Salto because they have the best API integrations that we can tie into, but if it’s an existing HID system or ICT system, we can link there as well. connect, so it’s not a problem for us,” he adds.
Additionally, the company has also taken these remote capabilities a step further for tenants by allowing guests to access guest invites.
“It’s been popular with asset managers, property managers, but also residents of the building,” says Wang. “Now the experience is that if you’re having a party in the dining room, you’ll have to let the janitor know if there’s a janitorial building to manually open and close those doors. This is a very complicated and annoying process, so we circumvent this by simply allowing [residents] to leverage guest access – they can tie that to any particular door – and send a code to grant them access… and that allows seamless access to visitors.
According to Wang, 1VALET also provides couriers, such as UPS, FedEx and Amazon, with easy access to buildings to ensure tenants won’t miss much-needed deliveries.
“We work with all the major couriers and what we’ve done here is we’ve patented the scanning process where we’re able to check the tracking status of these parcels coming in and if it’s verified or validated that this package is in transit, the door will automatically open for them, allowing them to drop it off at a package room or locker system,” he explains.
Predictably, demand from high-rise building residents for this feature has skyrocketed following the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition to access control, the platform also offers residents a host of in-suite integrations, including the ability to control their thermostats, lights, and shades through the app. The app also serves as a messaging platform where tenants can communicate with property managers regarding maintenance and other customer service requests.
For owners, the company provides a 1CONNECT management application where they can remotely control access as well as view a building’s security camera feeds.
“We also partner with various third-party monitoring centers, so if people are looking for active monitoring of their buildings, we can provide that service as well,” Wang adds.
An Emerging Opportunity for Integrators
Wang says the company’s platform can be found in major cities across Canada as well as several US states, such as Texas and Florida, with upcoming projects in New York and Los Angeles.
“We are moving very quickly in the states and only launched there about six months ago, but we are seeing strong market traction in the states right now and are looking for security installers to partner with to install our entry consoles and obviously sell different solutions that we have for these asset managers,” he says. “Based on the feedback we’ve had in the market, it seems like a very compelling solution because most of these asset managers, like our CEO did, they bundle that into a package, so it’s an ability for them to increase their rents and charge more and obviously increase the value of their assets accordingly.
According to Wang, the company has already started to expand its dealer network in the United States and is actively recruiting and talking to various channel installers.