Homeowners today no longer have to worry about their properties while on holiday. Advances in technology have provided solutions to effectively managing home applications like heating or entertainment centres, meaning that the Home Automation Industry is expected to grow $14.1 billion by 2018, according to ABI Research.
However while technology has provided benefits to homeowners in convenience and cost, homes with an integrated wireless system have yet to be commercialised.
British start-up Smarterkey collaborates with Brunel University London to strengthen its manufacturing skills and investor prospects.
Previously Smarterkey created an app that unlocks doors for homeowners, entering the Co-Innovate programme as a software start-up. Recently, they collaborated on a project focused on hardware design: an interconnected home system led by wireless device.
A prototype of a smart hub system, the project targets landlords wanting to easily control aspects of the home such as locks as well as monitoring and controlling room temperatures and energy usage. GSM connectivity allows for the electronic locks and electric heaters to be remotely controlled through text messages and door and heating to be monitored. Using Wi-Fi, locks can be controlled and energy usage, including room temperatures, can be stored and observed over time using a device like a mobile phone. The experience had a real impact on the company’s small team and continues to do so.
“Co-Innovate ran courses from industry experts from subjects as broad as IP to green packaging,” said founder Simon Moss, currently looking to gain access to a Brunel engineering graduate through Innovate UK’s KTP initiative. “It also opened the door to other resources. Smarterkey were able to access an innovation grant to develop our design capabilities working with an experienced design professional.”
“We saw Co-Innovate as a journey to good business practice. Our co-founders had backgrounds in big firm consulting and property. Valuable experience but a start up enterprise requires something extra.”
Simon Moss, Founder, Smarterkey