The STACK Box – A Smart Home Controller

by Maximilian BodeSep 7, 2014


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The Pitch

Startup Name * The STACK Box
What problem are you solving? Let’s Talk AboutTechnologyToday user experience is painful because technology makes things complex. The truth is that all our devices speak in different languages.This confusion leads to arguments and dissatisfaction adding unnecessary stress. We created the STACK Box so your technology is easy to use and your devices work together, and work with existing internet services or the cloud.
What is your solution? Our STACK Box connects all your smart devices that control your homes lighting, energy, audio, video, security, healthcare and wearable’s. Unlike any other product in the market, you can now navigate locally and remotely with your smartphone and, or tablet.What Makes Us Different:
Weget lot ofquestionsas to what sets us apart from the rest of the market. Our strength is “Openness”, unlike the competition our hardware is expandable. Ourmainobjective is to support all devices in the market, with the aim to have the best user interface on the Planet.The STACK is the only smart home controller that supports the Apps Store concept and allows 3rd-party Developers toimplement their own applications Consumers now have unlimited choice of Apps and can store their Apps in one place.We also empower small device makers to get their products to work with others and connect to internet, giving more choices to consumers.
Why is this a great opportunity? Who Is The STACK Box For?Due to the vast amount of devicesthatemploy remote controls and programming them, universal remote controls that manage multiple devices are becoming increasingly popular, but none of them really do the job well andlackthe interaction with online internet services.As Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung, Google and many others technology companies and gadgets makers are competing to define the standards. We aim to fill the gap by providing an open platform that allow both device makers and users more freedom of choice without investing huge resources nor time.We created the STACK Box so your technology is easy to use and your devices work together, and work with existing internet services or the cloud.
Target Market Home Automation
How will you make money? Selling Our Hub
Founders Names TL Lim
Website https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1561203377/the-stack-box-a-smart-home-controller
What type of funding has the company received Bootstrapped/self funded

Startup88 Verdict

This device solves a problem we have known about for a long time. Everyone talks about Internet of Things devices and how they will connect everything in your house to the internet, measuring and controlling, reporting.

Stack Box is running a Kickstarter campaign, they have managed to get 500 backers, $50,000 of a $65,000 goal with 10 days to go, so it looks like they will be successful.

 

What not many journalists understand is that most of them use Bluetooth or Zigby or similar low power comms chips.

The problem in this situation is that these are all tied to someones mobile phone, as almost no routers shipping today support connecting these devices via bluetooth, there is no glue to stick all these devices together.

Add to this the complexity of trying to make TVs, Wireless Speakers and other home devices work together, normally its a big mess with multiple remote controls and no way to make this all work together.

Stack Box appears to be a good solution to this problem, I am a fan of the concept and for a kickstarter project it appears to have a very good chance of success.

  • They appear to have built numerous prototypes and can demonstrate this
  • They are using components which are commonly available (in their own boards) but they dont appear to have to manufacture any particular component types, just build the PCB with known components), this greatly reduces risk
  • It is probably more a software execution issue rather than a hardware execution, it appears they have hardware under control
  • The team has a successful hardware business with the Popcorn media players Cloudmedia already shipping and appears to understand the manufacturing process far better than most kickstarter projects

I think on its own this is a useful product and over time this capability will be critical in the market.

It is however very early, not many people have got automated devices and IoT components in their homes, its coming but its not mainstream yet but at least this gets a functioning product into the market that can support this.

If I had a wishlist I would like to see the Stack functionality integrated with some of the other devices I need in the home.

I believe the killer product would be Stack Box + DSL Router with WIFI + a 2Tb cloud synced Hard Drive for playing/sharing movies/photos/backup like a Apple Time Capsule but one that lets you use it like a harddrive and a media player. This would solve most of the problems I have at the moment with media while getting me ready to use the Smart Home features.

Stack-Hardware-Explode Stack-feature-protocol Stack-Apps

 

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Maximilian Bode
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