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One of the most heralded visions of the future is undoubtedly the smart home - so much so that the autonomous fridge has become almost old hat. As advances in this area show no signs of abating, HANNOVER MESSE 2018 is playing host to the latest promising new solutions in the Young Tech Enterprises zone for industrial startups, spinoffs and young entrepreneurs. One such rising star is Crownstone, a Dutch electronics manufacturing startup specializing in the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) and managed by engineers from Delft University of Technology. Its smart electronic switches combine indoor positioning and building automation in cutting-edge systems aimed mainly at real estate developers and managers to help them cut energy and running costs, boost real estate values and increase occupants' sense of wellbeing.

The smart switches are easy to install in any socket or outlet and then auto-connect to smartphones and wearables. They can turn appliances and lights on and off, dim lighting, monitor energy use, identify appliances, perform high-precision indoor positioning and detect physical presence. The systems make it possible to analyze the use of office space, optimize climate planning and cleaning routines, cut energy costs, and much more besides.