ZonoffThere's been talk of "the smart home" for years now.
But more recently, we've become surrounded by Internet-connected devices that talk to each other.
Companies like LG and Samsung are working on smart TVs, refrigerators, dish washers, and a handful of other smart appliances for the home.
Startup Zonoff wants to help big electronics manufacturers and retailers connect their smart devices with products from other companies through its software platform.
It acts as the brains of the connected home, allowing all of your Internet-connected devices to interact with each other.
Zonoff powers the home automation experience for Somfy, the largest maker of motors and controls window blinds and shades.
It has a handful of other companies on board, Zonoff CEO Mike Harris tells Business Insider, but can't announce them yet.
Zonoff, which raised a $3.8 million series A round in April, also wants to drive recommendations for services like camera installations and air conditioner maintenance, Harris says.
Let's say it's going to be really hot next week, but your air conditioner hasn't run since last October. Since your air conditioner knows that, Zonoff would recommend an HVAC technician to refresh the air conditioner, and charge a referral fee for it.
So what does a smart house look and feel like?
"There’s no one right answer for that given household," Harris says. "Even in my house, it’s different because what is important to my wife is very different than what’s important for me. For her, it’s around safety and that peace of mind application where her knowing that the kids got off the bus, that if she happens not to be home, she gets a text message, or if the person comes over to the walk the dog, they can get in."
Harris says he probably has over 100 different Internet-connected devices in his home. For him, the lighting is programmed to shut off, and the window covers are scheduled to close. That way when he goes to bed, he doesn't have to worry about if he turned everything off.
"All those sorts of things just end up becoming expected almost behavior," Harris says. "But you can imagine five years from now, when literally any device in your house that takes power, that runs on batteries, even things you can’t imagine from a sensor perspective to monitor, at this point, like plants, all that starts to be connected. It’s just going to grow and grow and grow."
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