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Phuket's Techworx is leading the field in custom smart home solutions

The home-automation industry is booming and experts predict that “smart-home” technology adoption rates are set to increase rapidly as the customer base transitions from early adopters to the mass market.

Mark Knowles

Tuesday 9 May 2017, 10:39AM

Techworx is owned and operated by expats Kay and Daragh O’Higgins.
Techworx is owned and operated by expats Kay and Daragh O’Higgins.

Perfectly poised to take advantage of this boom is Phuket-based company Techworx.

Owned and operated by expats Daragh and Kay O’Higgins, Techworx offers bespoke home and yacht automation solutions to their customers in Phuket and across Southeast Asia.

Daragh, a qualified electrical engineer with 35 years experience, and Kay, a qualified interior designer and home stager, agree that the industry is set to explode due to a combination of factors.

“It’s going to make a huge progression because of the ‘internet of things’. The equipment that is necessary to make a smart home is also now considerably cheaper than it used to be.

One of the biggest things pushing home automation is integration with security, energy-saving and home health monitoring systems,” says Daragh.

“It used to be that a high-end villa automation system would cost about B1 million, but now you can do it for a third of the cost. Things are smaller, faster and wireless, which makes installation and retro-fitting much easier,” he adds.

With Daragh’s extensive experience and team of highly-trained engineering staff, Techworx has landed contracts throughout Thailand as well as Bali, Hong Kong and Singapore.

“In this business it’s very important to keep up to date, so we give our staff a lot of training, often direct from the manufacturers,” he says.

Many of these regional contracts have been for outfitting and upgrading superyachts – which they say makes up about 40% of their business.

Techworx has also been involved with many high-end villa projects, such as Trisara and Malaiwana in Phuket and Samujana on Koh Samui.

But despite Techworx’ A-list customer base, Daragh says that advances in technology have put a smart-home within everyone’s reach.

“People have their existing villas and would love to have all these automation systems, now the tech has caught up.


Most Thai homes are wired with coaxial cables for satellite TV, but we can now re-purpose those cables to create high-speed internet and control systems,” he says.

He says many new customers are unaware of the huge range of benefits smart-home technology can provide.

A truly smart-home encompasses a range of systems, both automated and controlled remotely from a smartphone anywhere in the world.

From audio-visual systems, climate control, and security to remotely operated door locks, blinds, appliances and health monitoring – smart-home systems can offer an amazing level of control over your property from anywhere.

“A lot of people don’t really know what they want or what is available, so we offer a free initial consultation. I ask simple questions like, ‘What would you want to listen to in here? What would you like to be able to control remotely?” says Daragh.

“It’s bespoke work. We meet the customer, we discuss their situations and expectations and then we come back to them with an approximate budget,” he adds.

Investing in a home-automation system can also significantly improve a property’s sale value and decrease running costs.

“For rental villa owners, one of the things people don’t know about are our home efficiency systems. When operational they can save up to 40% annually on their utility bills. But it’s also a lifestyle thing, a comfort thing and a safety thing. It’s keeping people informed about their properties,” he says.

Despite all the technological wizardry, Daragh says that at the end of the day, good customer service is the most important aspect of the business.

“The main thing we offer is good advice. We are someone people can easily ring up afterwards and ask advice and tweak their system. Follow-up customer service is a crucial part of our business,” he adds.

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Pauly44 | 09 May 2017 - 11:31:18

Since when are advertorials headline news P.N??? Smart homes are nothing new, yawn.

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