Thursday, February 27, 2014

Home automation without tears

Our story about better home automation was born from a real need. The need gave birth to a dream to provide a solution. This is how our story begins.

After birth of my first child, I started renovating a house for my family. Over the years, I’ve had many ideas about making life and living more cozy through use of home automation. Smart Home to guard your house when away and to entertain you when at home. Smart Home to adjust the lighting based on needs. Smart Home to heat or cool your house and save money while doing it. The idea of the Smart Home was not new.

Now it was time to get this up and coming technology into our house!

So where to start? While surfing the web, I quickly realized that, even though I knew something about technology, I would still need help here. So I called for a home automation expert to visit our home. During the discussion, the following became very clear:
  • At very first, you need to carefully plan where all your fixtures are going to be placed. You cannot change the plan later on. It will not be possible to move your TV-corner for the next 50 years.
  • The need for specialized electrical connections means the home's internal wiring must be largely redone.
  • Design, installation and programming require various special skills from multiple vendors.
  • To buy, a generous degree of knowledge, study, and nerves are required. And to top it all off, you’ll need one big fat wallet.
    Home automation without tears
Meanwhile, we were sleeping in the basement, waiting to move in. We did not have time for yet another time consuming and expensive project. It was pretty easy to say that the Smart Home – as it is seen today – was not for us. The renovation was finished without home automation and today my family lives happily in a house with basic technology.

This experience raised lot of questions. Why were things so difficult from the ordinary consumer’s point of view? We live in the world of wireless networks. Where were the solutions utilizing wireless technologies and capable of retrofitting? Why was it necessary to spend a lot of money just to get a clumsy, hard-to-use, soon-to-be-obsolete home automation system?

So, together with my colleagues, I began to research the smart home area.
  • Why is it not possible to install the automation part, after the renovation or construction project?
  • Shouldn’t there be an easy way to expand or modify the home automation system, to meet new or unanticipated needs?
  • Can the pricing be made more attractive for the ordinary homeowner?
  • Is it possible to simplify the daily use of the system?
  • And do smart home devices really need to look ugly?
To answer these questions and to improve the quality of life for all of us, we examined the technology, discovered the possibilities of the Internet of Things, and thought through the purchase process and user experience. The needs are obvious. But was there a solution available?

There was not. We are going to build it.

Our experienced team of experts is doing hard work for our first pilot installations. Users, as well as partners, old colleagues and friends provide us with valuable advice and rousing support.

Soon, there will be an easy to use smart home service, capable of retrofitting and based on wireless technologies. To buy and to use it, you will not need to be a millionaire or possess a master’s thesis in technology. The vision of the future is an enormous driver for all of us.

Join us and be part of our story!

-Kimmo-
Kimmo Ruotoistenmäki is the CEO and one the founders of Cozify Oy

This is Cozify’s blog, where we ruminate on home automation technologies and practices and share company news. Articles come from our own team as well as other experts in the field.

You are welcome to read and comment.