Smart living pioneer digitalSTROM’s triumph last week at the Internet of Things Awards (IoTA) in London calls to mind that oft-cited battle between David and Goliath.
Pitted against the collective heavyweight reputation and brand power of industry colossuses—including Nest—in the Smart Home category, on paper at least, could have seemed an insurmountable challenge for the still-young brand.
Indeed, for many, making the coveted shortlist at the global telecom flagship awards may have already been considered to be job done, yet the digitalSTROM proposition was not there to make up the numbers.
The German-Swiss company has a good story tell and one that clearly caught the judges’ eye with that all-important unique proposition—in this case a patented terminal block. This unassuming looking device, akin to a LEGO brick, which enables all electrical devices to be connected using the home’s existing electrical wires, is where all the magic happens.
While the company’s reach may not yet match its rivals, it is a business defined by some big ambitions, notably to make smart living a more accessible and mainstream reality. The plan is to become one of the leading smart living solutions across Europe and it’s a vision well on track—in partnership with TIBCO, whose cloud-based Fast Data analytics underpins the offering and connects the home to the cloud.
As a result, all devices in the home—from every light switch to smartphone, tablet, audio system, and LED light—can connect and “talk” to each other as they transform into IoT-enabled smart technology with seemingly no limits to the ingenuity. From triggering the retraction of electric awnings, blinds, and shutters when hail is forecast, doorbells that multi-task as fire alarms, push notifications on the smartphone to alert the homeowner to the end of a washing machine cycle to flickering lights that signify when the kettle boils, life in the home is to become a whole lot more interesting, and for many digitalSTROM customers, it already has.
Interestingly, among myriad standout features, the solution’s ability to connect to existing appliances and infrastructure and in turn, bring a new lease of life to mature or even the most rudimentary devices, held particular sway with the judges.
It’s gratifying recognition for an approach whose raison d’etre from the outset has been to drive user-friendly simplicity, which enables the homeowner to self-install new applications without the need to invest in new appliances or be tied to a particular brand. The result is making the smart, connected network accessible and cost effective, challenging traditional perceptions of a complex and cost prohibitive arena synonymous with the futuristic gadgets in James Bond’s penthouse or the sole preserve of the super rich.
Indeed, a focus on accessibility with the potential to pimp up software that is already in place is a potent combination empowering the user to extract optimal benefit of game-changing technology with minimal fuss and complexity. It’s an approach that permeates the entire TIBCO offering regardless of the context, be it giving the traditional brick-and-mortar a digital makeover to enhancing legacy infrastructure in the workplace. And it highlights how the most pioneering, game-changing technology doesn’t always have to involve a major overhaul or a need to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Indeed, making the most of what you have can be a more sustainable and smarter way of operating.
The IoTA award validates a strong partnership, a combined effort, and collective expertise recognized in front of industry peers, which cements the progress to date, a momentum that is set to continue to evolve how we live and work.
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