In a way, the home is one of the least-techy areas of our lives. All of its constituent systems and parts are rarely seen as a unified body, but rather, as a sum of things: sofas, televisions, desks, computers, appliances, and anything with an “on” switch.
It’s a good analogy for the nascent Internet of Things, in which thousands of previously non-networked devices are getting tech-savvy. They’re slowly getting hooked up to each other, to the cloud, and to utility apps that can be monitored and manipulated from our favorite mobile devices.
That’s where Broadcom partner and innovative startup Electric Imp comes in. The Los Altos, Calif.,-based company has come up with a unified software, hardware and service platform that aims to give device-makers a leg up on one of the problems plaguing early Internet of Things adopters: How to seamlessly integrate every connected device so it can be managed from a single point of contact.
Electric Imp doesn’t sell its platform directly to consumers, rather it gets in early on the design cycle of new Internet of Things products, such as Quirky’s flexible powerstrip, so that the makers of these innovative new gadgets can offer Electric Imp’s underlying tech as a value-added feature to consumers. By making development kits available to device makers, Electric Imp helps speed up testing cycles and to get these products out the door — and into consumers’ homes — faster.
In the real world, this means that the Internet of Things vision has the potential to become reality sooner. Perhaps, that vision includes a time when your TV can detect when your front door opens and automatically turn itself on. Or your refrigerator can send alerts to your mobile device when you are low on milk. Maybe it means that future-you may never have to flick a light switch again, as light sensors would automatically trigger their illumination at sunset, and turn off when you go to sleep. By linking household devices to each other and managing them in one place, Electric Imp paves the way for a seamless user experience in the home.
Electric Imp has a holistic perspective because “it’s being built from knowledge of building products,” said Co-Founder and Chief Executive Hugo Fiennes. The team designing the Imp platform – who are veterans of Apple, Facebook, Roku, Google, and other big names — have a strong background of consumer device production.
Broadcom Blog Squad member Arunav Sarkar talks to Fiennes at the Consumer Electronics Show:
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