Touch&Heat announced the field test phase of their “NFC-radiator project.” With the support of DigiFed for European funding, the project is accelerating the deployment of new electric heating products that improve energy efficiency by using Near Field Communication (NFC) and mobiles apps to make the configuration of energy saving features easier and more efficient. In this field-testing stage, the first European consumers are trying the new NFC functionality in Germany, France and the United Kingdom. NFC-enabled radiators
According to the French ADEME (l’Agence de la Transition Ecologique), fully equipping households with programmable radiators can reduce annual energy consumption of by up to 15% — an important contribution to meeting EU sustainability objectives.
The new NFC products allow installers and owners to connect a mobile phone automatically and securely to a specific radiator with an intuitive tapping gesture, and without entering access codes. Users configure the daily heating schedule and other features in the app. The new configuration is transmitted by NFC with a second tapping gesture. The same configuration can be rapidly and efficiently applied to several radiators with the same tap gesture. Using the mobile app improves users understanding of programmable settings and eliminates the need for printed user manuals. Installations are simplified by the no-pairing communication at close proximity.
This also eliminates the need to create accounts or enter codes while still ensuring confidentiality of product settings and reducing opportunities for hacking.Previous generations of electric radiators either lacked programmable controls or relied on LCD screens and push button controls. EU sustainability requirements no longer allow the sale of non-programmable heating products. Products that used LCD/push button controls proved to be inefficient and complicated for both installers and consumers. As a result, fewer than 20% of owners programmed their heating products, in spite of the potential for energy savings.
The Touch&Heat project is a collaboration of three European companies with complementary expertise that encompass the complete chain of product development from innovation to manufacturing:
· Lucht LHZ Elektroheizungen – a German designer and manufacturer of heating appliances.
· Cotherm SAS – a French SME designing electronic thermostatic controls.
· IoTize SAS – a French start up designing wireless and NFC solutions for connecting appliances to mobiles and networks. NFC-enabled radiators
The project is supported by DigiFed for European funding that has helped the project partners accelerate the development, testing and deployment of the new NFC heating products.