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ActiveMania targets GCC with smart home bundle

Self-installed home networking bundle scheduled for Q1 launch in GCC region

Digital home solutions and IPTV solutions provider ActiveMania aims to bring digital home networking technology to the masses in 2007 with the launch of its self-installed digital home services retail bundle.

The solution offers a point of difference in the digital convergence market as it brings smart home technology to existing residential buildings, providing consumers with access to technology that has previously only been available in new residential developments.

“With this solution we are targeting those consumers that are eager to embrace the digital home technology revolution, but who do not live in exclusive apartment buildings or villas located across the GCC region,” said Dr Gaby Kassab, chief managing consultant for ActiveMania.

Scheduled for launch in the key GCC markets of Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE this quarter, ActiveMania is planning a second wave of launches targeting the remainder of the region in Q3, 2007.

“We have chosen to launch this solution in the relatively mature markets of the region initially, as the company feels that consumers in these countries will be more familiar with the technology and willing to install it in their homes.”

Kassab said that educating consumers about the concept of digital smart home technology would be key to ActiveMania’s marketing strategy.

“The design and marketing of this product will heavily emphasise the simplicity with which the kit can be installed by end-users,” stated Kassab. “Many consumers are intimidated by the latest technologies but our marketing strategy aims to counteract this.”

While reluctant to reveal actual figures, Kassab said the package would be “moderately” priced as the company targets a wide consumer base through its “store-instore” showrooms located in power retail and hypermarket outlets.

“We’re in the process of working with Microsoft to develop showrooms that will display our solutions to consumers in a number of retail outlets including power retailers and hypermarkets such as Carrefour,” he said.

Kassab claimed the solution would also be the fi rst to support both Windows XP and Vista platforms, while future versions will be available with Arabic, Farsi and Urdu interfaces.

“We plan to make the technology available to as many consumers in the region as possible,” said Kassab. “The initial product will feature an English language interface as standard, but more ‘localised’ applications will follow.”