For startups, smart home is an up-and-coming market, according to the IOT Osservatorio of Politecnico di Milano. The main limit now seem to be the lack of trust of the potential customer, fragmentation of offers and the unstructured distribution channel.
This strong growth scenario should be especially attended by insurance companies. The internet of things, the ecosystem of connected devices where smart home sites are an important part, will be one of the milestones for the entire insurtech industry over the next few years, enabling companies to offer new services and insurance policies.
Here is an overview of the Italian smart home startups that all insurance companies should know and take into account.
A company focused on home automation, has developed a universal device called 1Control SOLO that copies and replicates the traditional radio control of any brand that we have already installed at home on gates, garages, doorways, and radio-controlled devices. The device, which is to be installed near the door to open, is linked to a free smartphone app, whereby the user can handle the door opening. The app is downloadable from other family members and secure with a pin code.
The startup, born in Brescia from an idea of Francesco Sarasini, was developed by Superpartes incubator
A startup born in Rome, incubated by BicLazio, Airgloss has developed two low cost devices (also presented last month at Las Vegas CES) to analyze real-time air quality, detect and identify harmful substances to human health by means of an artificial intelligence algorithm, notifying such information to the user via the app, intervening in the air exchange or interacting directly with the ventilation, filtering and abatement systems of pollutants.
Devices are equipped with wireless connectivity enabling them to transmit collected data to a cloud infrastructure for statistical processing and aggregate visualizations. One of the two devices, ComfortKit, is also a smart thermostat controlled without even touching it: the gestures are enough.
Almadom.us is a startup that has developed a new home automation system called domoki, which, placed inside the electrical boxes and replacing the home circuit breakers, controls lights, thermostats, shutters, valves, and other objects connected to the internet. Almadom.us technology has been conceived to be an extremely easy solution for private users, but also for the SMEs: it doesn’t need brickworks; easy to install; all-in-one, a single object with many functions, competitive in terms of costs.
It is controlled by Digital Magics, Innowatio, Belp Corporate, Sapra Electronics and Italian and international business angels, read more in this article.
It is a startup founded by three Turin guys (Mirko Bretto, Luca Gaetano Capula and Simone Janin), but based in Silicon Valley, has developed a platform, which is also a design object able to connect any smart objects in the house.
For the user, Alyt is a super-design device that encloses the technology platform that will handle the smart home: hot spots to connect to the internet, including 3G and 4G, all types of smart objects, from shutter rolls to safety devices, from washing machine to wiring to doors closing system, to fridge and sprinkler system. Depending on the uses, the main device will be equipped with cameras for video surveillance, sensors and other devices, although the technology also interfaces with other brand products.
Alyt’s management takes place via voice commands or a very intuitive mobile app, compatible with iOS and Android, communication is safe thanks to the use of special encrypted protocols (the team is experienced in the field of military security). And there’s more: Alyt can “learn” landlord’s habits, using Google’s big data (such as traffic ones) and social network ones, to anticipate our needs.
Last June, Alyt got a $ 1.1 million investment from Hitech Aizoon Consulting Company.
Athena has developed Domi, a home automation DIY system designed to improve home comfort by simply managing multiple home devices through a single tool. Turning lights on and off, managing garden sprinkler, enable and disable the alarm system are just few examples of all the possibilities that Domi offers.
It is a startup founded in Bologna by Stefano Pecoraro, who has created Undici system capable of transforming any electrical system into a smart and performing system.
Any electrical device, from the lights to the air conditioner, to the television, to the alarm system, to the doors, is connected to a control unit and can also be operated remotely by the user. Undici is patented and developed in Italy.
The device is wireless, based on ZigBEE technology, does not require brickworks, the controller integrates a set of communication protocols, is an open system that can be implemented at any time.
It has developed a smart wireless lighting system able to communicate with uses by means of the internet. Light a road just by passing cars, manage home lighting with the smartphone, create light paths to indicate the way out in public buildings, or simply stop forgetting the light on in a room: these are just some of the applications of EasyLux.
The applications of EasyLux are therefore a lot: from home use, which allows for reduced consumption and easy use for handicapped, industrial use (planning of sheds lighting), public systems use (public parking and shopping malls, hospitals, etc.) work environments (offices).
The absence of the wired control panel of the lighting system allows considerable savings during design and installation. Software reconfiguration allows for modification of the lighting system at no extra costs.The company aims to create an ecosystem of devices that use their Wi-Fi controller “AGEduino” and its Internet communication protocol, and is looking for partners and investors.
Ikrotec is an innovative startup that develops software and hardware. Among the others, has designed an IOT system for energy efficiency. The project envisages the creation of an IOT electronic product called HOOP that operates a smart and remote management of technical facilities of a building. The aim is to reduce energy consumption related to heating/cooling (multi-zone thermoregulation) and electricity.
Invictorled designs smart LED lighting systems, and owns two functional patents to optimize heat dispersion and the efficiency of optics and lenses, as well as a proprietary electronic control and piloting system for led luminaires.
Involved in private and public capital investment funds (Berrier Capital and POR I.3 fund managed by LAZIO INNOVA), the company acquired the business branch of GC Illumination, a historic company dedicated to outdoor lighting to easily enter the market.
Iooota has developed Jarvis, a platform that can connect and manage all home and office related devices, from sensors to thermostats, from home appliances to counters, even from different brands. With this solution, tested with several kits within a pilot project, the user can control from everywhere different parameters of the home: energy saving, consumption, people and space security. The business player channeling the solution, on the other hand, has a web analytics platform in Cloud that presents data, analysis and reports on the actual use of those products in a dashboard (Google-style).
The company, last July, was one of the winners of the Digital360 Awards, where it triumphed in the category of digital insurance projects, we talked about it in the article “Getting startup with a problem on top”.
Momo is a home robot with artificial intelligence that can adjust lights intensity and home temperature, detect gas levels, and recognize help requests.
Made by the Sicilian startup Morpheus, it is the first domestic robot applied to domotics; the company is incubated by Digital Magics Palermo and has won the Smart & Start Italia call being funded with € 828,200.
MyVirtuoso Home is the wireless home automation system designed to create patterns to control gas and electricity consumption, adjust the perfect temperature for each environment, control lights and automation of motor devices, monitor home security via smartphone or tablet.
Spin-off of Università La Sapienza in Rome, Over Technologies has developed a system that transforms consumption monitoring into real savings. Over devices can detect global energy consumption for each line or single device, even real time. Monitoring allows immediate discovery of devices with the highest consumption, and the least efficient ones. From the collected energy data, Over interface allows to view a consumption history deciding the intervention to achieve the desired efficiency. A dedicated user interface allows the monitoring of energy data and the control of electrical devices remotely, by using any type of connected device.
Startup founded in Ravenna by Raffaele Borgini, Pierluigi Lorenzi and Roberto Nicoletti, developed Smart-Dom an electronic device installed inside the switchboard of a building that allows to monitor the electricity consumed by users, household appliances and those produced by renewable sources. Through the App the user can adjust and turn off/on the loads set and monitor all consumption on the Big Data Cloud platform.
Smart Domotics has been awarded as Best Clean Tech project by Unicredit Start Lab in 2014.
Founded by Francesco Pessolano, Richard Kleihorst and Marco Camilli, Xetal has developed a technology called Kinsei, an innovative indoor location system that doesn’t require people to bring with them a device to be localised. Kinsei uses sensors developed by Xetal put on the walls to monitor the position of one or more people, with a precision of about 30cm. When this information is associated with a predefined space, Kinsei can be used to detect a wide range of events and situations, including probable incidents and other real-time, day and night risks. Kinsei is reliable, respects privacy, can distinguish people from pets, is extremely easy to install (no cabling is required) and operates regardless lighting conditions.
The company, based in Belgium, has been accelerated by Techfounders and has raised over one million dollars funds.