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Sun 1 Oct 2006 04:00 AM

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EON sees huge potential for smart home services

Dubai-based start-up aims to tap demand for home networking applications

In a bid to tap growing consumer demand for home networking solutions, business partners Arun Nagar and Leon Beuyukian have established EON Smart Home, a new Dubai-based retail and consultancy business.

The company’s first retail outlet, which recently opened in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates, is the first of several planned for the GCC market. The store is designed to showcase the latest home networking technologies and their associated benefits to consumers.

“There is no limit to the potential applications of smart home technology,” said Beuyukian. “We aim to show consumers just how easy it is to use. EON will provide complete solutions rather than just sell individual items.

“More importantly, we won’t just sell separate products to customers – we will show them how to get the best solution to suit their needs and install it for them.”

Beuyukian said Dubai’s current property development boom provided major commercial opportunities.

“Dubai residents are early adopters of new technology,” he said. “With 700,000 new apartments planned for development in Dubai, there is a huge potential market there for smart home solutions.”

Nagar, who is also the founder and CEO of mobile phone distributor and retailer, Cellucom, claimed consumers in the GCC were ready to embrace “the lifestyle a smart home provides”.

“This is an exciting venture and there is no better place in the world to launch it than Dubai,” he said.

The burgeoning market for smart home solutions is generating major interest in the consumer electronics sector, with some of the industry’s biggest players placing it at the forefront of their commercial strategies. In June, Samsung established a smart home demonstration area in Etisalat’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi to showcase the technology and its potential applications to consumers.

Meanwhile, archrival LG Electronics staged a special presentation to media in Dubai last month, in which it outlined its vision for the development of home technology solutions.

Speaking at the event, H. G. Lee, president and chief technology officer of LG Electronics said the company had invested more than US$100 million in its home networking division HomNet.

He said the division had contracted more than 50,000 homes globally since its formation in 2004. He claimed the GCC markets – and Dubai in particular – held huge potential for further commercial expansion. LG currently manufactures a range of network-capable appliances, including refrigerators and washing machines.

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