Thursday, May 22, 2014

Are we crazy enough to change the world?


We are implementing a new, revolutionary home automation service. Our product will wirelessly connect and control the technology and devices in your home.

To create it requires design, software, hardware, communication, customer support, and logistics.  This all inspires us but on the other hand, requires a tremendous amount of work. How is a new product or service born and how does it develop further? How do we build our product?

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.  Steve Jobs

Many practices and methodologies have been proposed especially for start-up companies: Agile methods, Lean Startup, etc. These trendy approaches have a couple of common factors that, together with our own experience, form the basis of our philosophy at Cozify

 Do, learn, and re-do

The worst pitfalls can be avoided through the application of professional skills and reliance on experience. Even so, mistakes happen and we should not be afraid of them. The most important part is to learn and do things better the next time. For example, the first printed 3D model of our hubs plastic case couldnt be considered as a sales version. But we improved the process and the next versions came out much better.

The only thing that persists is change

So we dont get too attached to the things weve made. Instead, our tools and practices have been selected to allow for change. For example, our hub that will sit in users home will be able to automatically download the latest features and bug fixes over the network, so that functioning can be improved as rapidly as possible.

Get your hands dirty

We dont have managers. We are all experts in our own areas, and we do a lot together as well. The CEO works on the technical design, developers participate in discussions about the business model, and everyone takes part in analyzing marketing statistics. Close co-operation requires some effort to mesh different personalities and professional viewpoints. But at its best, successful work done in such a team provides well-balanced results and satisfaction for all participants.

Cozify home automation team

Listen

We are not building this product for ourselves. We are building the best possible home automation service for our customers. So we need to know what they want. During the earliest planning days, we collected feedback by showing our user interface sketches to total strangers in downtown Helsinki. As might be expected, it took some effort to capture the interest of busy passers-by, but we eventually received valuable and encouraging comments and feedback.


More recently we have begun collecting feedback through our discussion forum.  This is a new channel to publish topics and information about home automation and our services. We invite you to contribute and make an impact. Share your thoughts, let us know how youd like home automation to work. Pilot users will have their own section as well.


And of course, please dont hesitate to contact us directly if you happen to be interested in commercial co-operation, working for us, or becoming a pilot customer.

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

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Five Reasons to Consider Home Automation

Some have long been awaiting it with anticipation, while others are starting only now to become aware. Homes will be smarter in the future, that is for certain. Today, we’ve listed five great reasons to consider home automation.

1. Ease of life

Well-implemented home automation makes ordinary life easier and cozier. It “thinks” about your home so you don’t need to as much. Automation frees the hands and minds of your family. It connects, adjusts, switches on and off, alarms, reports, identifies, remembers and learns.

2. Remote use has many advantages

Remote use saves time and effort. Remote controlled electric locks can be used to open the door for your elementary schooler who forgot the keys at home. A surveillance camera can follow how pets are getting along during the workday. A loaded coffee maker can be switched on on your way home, and switched off if you forgot while leaving the house in the morning. Your smartphone, tablet, or laptop brings your home into reach wherever you are.

3. Smart devices increase home safety

The home is a precious place but nonetheless one wants to enjoy it and also be away without excessive worry.  Newly available intelligent fire, smoke, burglary, motion, and moisture sensors can follow your home continuously. Integrated services communicate the status of your home to all family members over smart phones and, in case of emergency, direct calls to emergency services.  And of course, there is the age-old preventative of simply having the sticker on your door indicating a security system has been installed.

4. Optimizing house climate control saves money

Combining intelligence with temperature, ventilation, and window treatment control saves money. For example, heating and air conditioning can be adjusted automatically based on the outdoor and indoor temperature, the number of people inside the house, and their location. Window blinds or shades can be opened or closed to let sun in or reflect it out depending on the situation.  The automated home uses less energy without fuss, and moreover it can collect energy usage data for making informed decisions on areas to upgrade and improve.
Five reasons to consider home automation, smart lighting, creative home automation ideas

5. The smart home entertains and allows creativity

Multimedia entertainment, whether from your own collection or provided by internet services, is available all around the smart house. Adjustable lighting, and wireless speakers and video monitors bring perfect mood to different spaces and occasions.

Home automation even makes crazy things possible. How about turning the lights blue, red, or yellow when the home team scores in a hockey game? Or could a birthday boy’s room be turned into a pirate ship with booming cannons and fires flickering in the background? The only limit is your imagination. All family members can control the home and enjoy the results whether for purposes of mood, hilarity, or simply being different.

We are working with eagerness and dedication to realize all of the above reasons to add smart automation to every home. To follow us, subscribe to our newsletter here.

-Sanna Mari-
Sanna Mari Alppivuori from the Cozify-team focuses on marketing and customer relations

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.