When looking at the market place for smart lamps, we've identified a pattern: Almost all of the smart-features are manually operated. There are of course some scheduling mechanisms that mean you have semi-automated certain features, but for the large part you will need to change your lights through manual input; either through your smartphone or on the wall-mounted switches. The lamp doesn't know what you want unless you tell it.
One thing we've repeatedly heard from the first-movers within smart-home and smart-light solutions; is that once the novelty has worn off, they 'just want things to work'. Messing around in settings, doing; mood-changes, minor adjustments, and basically micro-managing your home, becomes tedious work.
For audio system it's mostly acceptable to have this hands-on control. As long as the volume control, on/off button, and previous/next controls are within reach, you can pretty much get by. For lighting solutions its different.
There is a reason why most central heating systems are designed the way they are: When they are set up right, you don't need to touch them. The temperature of a room should remain pretty constant, in spite of being affected by the weather, number of people in the room, and the level of activity taking place. Lowering itself for night time, rising again in time for dawn.
Why is this not the same for lighting? It's more complex - we agree - but with the advances in technology, there really is no reason for us to be flicking switches, as we go about our daily activities.
We are developing a solution that not only gives you great lighting; but which senses what you need, and adjusts to this need, before you even recognize it.
We will be working on several level's of 'smartness' - some of the initial functions being rather basic - but simultaneously developing a few advanced features that truly set us apart. We have some ideas and outlines to what these are, but this is where we need to leave our comfort zone, and start interacting. As the old X-Files saying goes: "The truth is out there."
User Driven Product Development
When developing a product, one of the pitfalls we must avoid is not being able to leave the safe zone in front of our screen or workshop. We need to involve the potential users - and the more the merrier.
Currently we have our products installed at half-a-dozen homes, and within a short period of time this number will be doubled. The data we gather here is invaluable; actual families using our product in day-to-day scenarios. This mostly gives us feedback on the current state of affairs.
In order for us to succeed in reaching our vision, we will be speaking/interacting with users on a different level. Really understanding what makes them tick, and where we can make a difference in their lives. Creating the 'Wow!' moments, and ensuring that our product becomes a pivotal part of their home, so that in the end they can't imagine not having it as part of their life.
It's a mouthful - and hopefully it's something you can help us out with: We'll been pushing out a survey through social media, in order to get some input on some of the features we are considering. Most likely the first of many.
If you want to add your opinion, you are welcome to follow the link below.