Maximilian Bode

The STACK Box – A Smart Home Controller

You can pitch your Startup, App or Hardware here

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 MarketHome Automation
How will you make money?Selling Our Hub
Founders NamesTL Lim
Websitehttps://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1561203377/the-stack-box-a-smart-home-controller
What type of funding has the company receivedBootstrapped/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

 

Atooma- Cool App – Crap Website

You can pitch your Startup, App or Hardware here

The Pitch

Startup Name *Atooma
What problem are you solving?A mobile or smart device manufacturer and a plethora of different players like Brand retailers will need to face a certain number of challenges in order to successfully enter the dimension of the Internet of Things with the goal of turning their product context-aware and reaching higher level customer engagement and retention:- Developing hardware – software integrations
This results in expenses on software engineering, design and of course, time.- Building ecosystems
Connecting the device to the internet is only step zero among the Internet of Things technology framework.- Creating compelling use cases.

To successfully market a product that features IoT functionalities such as connectivity or cross device interactions, a significant amount of data is required.- Be fast, be effective

All these milestones should be achieved within an effective go to market strategy, since the whole mobile and smart devices market is moving in the direction of Internet of Things, and this is the right time to evolve businesses implementing IoT to achieve new profitable goals.

What is your solution?Atooma is a powerful automation engine bringing a solution to manage the enormous amount of events occurring in a fully connected world. On one hand, the Atooma “left brain” act as a task automation layer across connected devices, meanwhile, Atooma “right brain” is able to read user’s pattern of usage for the same devices, and suggest compelling use cases for the end-user.

The mission of Atooma is to offer a key technology for device vendors that wants to enter the IoT ecosystem without shifting focus from their products, or having to re-engineer them.

Why is this a great opportunity?In 2020 connectivity will not be an option. Cisco reports that in 2008 the number of connected devices exceeded the number of people on Earth, while an analysis from Gartner tells us that in 5 years the market is expected to be crowded with 26 billion connected devices, without counting smartphones, tablets, and Pcs. Recent researches based on the current situation in 2014 shows that this number has managed to grow even further, forecasting 50 billion connected devices by 2020.
Thanks to this data we can assume that the Internet of Things is designed to evolve from a technology trend to a market standard.

Today more than 99 percent of “things” still lays unconnected, and this means there is a tremendous growth potential that will make networked connections more and more valuable, bringing together data from people (human to machine) and smart objects (machine to machine), and providing richer experiences thanks to context-aware ecosystems of devices connected to the cloud.

Target MarketThe customers we are addressing to are Brands and Device Manufacturers in the Mobile, Wearable, Automotive, Home Automation and Contextual Advertising verticals. We provide different SDKs to integrate existing products and systems with our IoT platform, enabling them to bring context-awareness to the end user.
How will you make money?Atooma follows a B2B2C business strategy that see involved consumer apps available on the main platforms (Android, iOS, Tizen) as a way to test the technology, the users interests and showcase to Partners.
The open source SDK for developers is free of charge and allow them to add their device’s or apps functionalities to our branded apps as a way to make them growing in terms of features and users.
Main revenue streams come from:
> Branded integration with Partners that pay set-up fees.
> Full power SDK and APIs White label integration with licensing fees for the Automation Engine
> APIs white label integration with licensing fees for the Suggestion Engine
Founders NamesFabrizio Cialdea, Gioia Pistola, Francesca Romano, Andrea Meriggioli
Websitehttp://www.atooma.com
What type of funding has the company receivedAngels

Startup88 Verdict

Lovely looking website however this startup uses so many superlatives in every part of their site that I am not actually sure what they do.

Take the screenshot below. I challenge any of you to tell me what this means in real terms and functionality?

Atooma-Speak

The pitch supplied by the team is equally confusing.

It may be that the technology is amazing, they certainly claim to have a lot of big names on board and they received very positive press in 2012, but recently the only stories I can find are in Italian (the team originates in Rome).

Also I couldn’t find them in the App store but it turns out they haven’t released the iOS version as yet. I found this screenshot in the Google Play store and I think in one image explains more about what their App does than the multiple pages of drivel on their site.

Atooma - screenshot

Their Android app looks great, and frankly 5-10 screenshots of the functionality that this provides would probably have been a better way to describe what the company does on their home page than the existing marketing speak.

If customer acquisition is the key objective of this site, then the App should be front and Centre in the hero spot of the home page.

My verdict is that this probably is a cool app and by all accounts from earlier reviewers it is pretty smart, however it has been let down severely by the marketing team who have chosen buzzwords and marketingspeak presumably to impress the user but it has in fact left this reviewer confused and annoyed.

Atooma - screenshotMy feedback to the founders is, firstly it appears your marketing team has English as a second language, there are many phrases which don’t sound right, poor grammar and funny short sentences that don’t seem to fit. I would suggest hiring an expert in selling product online to rewrite/structure the site that has proven experience in US and Western markets.

Atooma - screenshotSecondly tell us about your product, stop trying to make it sound like some super big impressive fantastic massive all singing all dancing platform, the App itself sounds extremely cool and useful, none of what you express on website sounds as impressive as actually seeing a screenshot of the app and the functionality you can provide.