Tracking People, Things, Weather at GigaOM Mobilize
10/21/2013 by: Darleen Hartley
The GigaOM Mobilize Product Showcase was heavy on tracking devices. One product was much like Big Brother tracking what your elderly charge was up to, another kept track of where you left your keys, and a third tracked the weather for adjusting your lawn sprinklers. Highlighting a new way to fund your startup, at least two companies were running campaigns to raise money on-line for their projects.
Items presented at the Product Showcase had mixed reviews. By vote, the audience picked a different winner than the official judges did. Live!y (Lively) won the hearts of the audience because it helps seniors live independently. The system consists of a set of sensors that can be attached to objects in a senior’s home to learn and share information about the person’s routines. The company initially put up information on Kickstarter not necessarily to raise money, but to gain attention and get some marketing ideas. Although they did not meet monetary goals in that campaign, nevertheless, they have acquired $7.3 million in venture funding.
Live!y hub and sensors
Contrary to the people’s choice, the judges put Rachio’s IRO in first place. The product replaces your lawn sprinkler’s controller. Co-founder Christopher Klein said: “One of our guiding principles is smart devices should reduce waste and add to the sustainability of our future.” The device adjusts when the weather or season changes so that just the right amount of water is used. The Rachio Controller connects through WiFi and creates your first schedule based on your location. A related smartphone app keeps tabs on what’s happening and allows you to adjust it from the phone if you see a need.
Water usage is a world wide concern, but so is the safety of our older population. Lively’s sensors can be used with pill dispensers to track when medication is taken, for example, or when food or drink is taken from the refrigerator. When placed on a keychain, information is collected when the person leaves the house and returns. As the system “learns” the person’s habits, if it senses anything out of the ordinary, it can send alerts to identified persons via the web or smartphone. All this without the person having to wear any device, nor having to install video cameras in the home. Lively’s small Hub includes built-in cellular service for uploading activity data wirelessly.
CEO Iggy Fanlo said: “Unlike more senior-centric products that are ‘big, beige and boring,’ he emphasized that Lively wants to bring an iPhone-like aesthetic to home monitoring.” This theme is carried out in the informative video called “A whimsical look at how Live!y works.”
Revolv for the home which connects brand name smart home and lifestyle devices and programs them to interact with one another. The Home dashboard lets you check on your home’s status. The hub connects to your WiFi network. It is compatible with Z-Wave, Insteon and Wi-Fi. The product talks to lights, locks, sensors, thermostats and streaming entertainment systems.
Phone Halo’s TrackR had a successful fund raising campaign on IndieGoGo. You can find devices from you iPhone or Android if you’ve attached a TrackR button to the device. The app is free from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Buttons can be ordered one at a time or in large sets with price breaks depending on quantity.
TrackR button app runs on iDevices and Android phones
The TrackR can set your phone can also alert you if you are leaving a designated area without it (God forbid your phone or tablet at home). If Fido strays, the small TrackR button on his collar tracks him down. The button runs on a CR2016 Coin Cell Battery; connectivity is through Bluetooth 4.0. You might remember Phone Halo from the Launch 2013
Other competitors in the Product Showcase were Ayla Networks a cloud provider, Azumio with their Argus Instant Heart Rate and Fitness app for smartphones; Linquet, another tracking product that uses Bluetooth LE to find devices or let you know when something is moving out of range; SigSense Technologies for field-service instrument integration.
Revolv, Lively, Phone Halo, TrackR, sensor, tracking device, Z-Wave, Insteon, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, Rachio, Christopher Klein, Iggy Fanlo, Kickstarter, IndieGoGo
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