Wir sind Berliners (at least in September)
Every year in September all the world’s consumer electronics manufacturers come to Berlin to flaunt their stuff. For a company like SHADE it’s really good to be there, to check out the competitive landscape, meet potential partners, and be inspired by what’s going on in the industry. All the big players are there, but also many small companies, start-ups, and especially Asian manufacturers trying to get foothold in Europe. Tickets are affordable, Berlin is a transportation hub, so there is really no reason not to go.
Topics for this year were primarily virtual reality and smart home solutions. We primarily looked at smart homes: product, hubs, integrators, eco-systems, etc.
Our initial thoughts: Companies are really making smart homes very complicated. You need to buy the full package, all the sensors, all the devices, do lots of integration, and connect to the hubs - and then you’re off. (maybe)
This is reminiscent of how AV integrators did things before brilliant brands like SONOS paved the way.
Imagine coming home with a complete smart home set; sensors, cameras, bulbs, and hubs. There’s a long way from purchase to the “Wow” feeling.
We profoundly believe consumers want something plug-and-play, and it needs to be awesome out of the box. It has to work and it has to make sense immediately. This is where we could confidently state that we have of course thought this through, but honestly – this is what we will be working on in the time to come.
Design v Tech
Our product is tech and design in equal measure, something which will become more obvious over the coming weeks.
At a fair like IFA, you realize many players are bringing design into tech, but not many are bringing tech to design.
When you set out to achieve something no one else is doing, you're either really wrong - or really right.
Most of our assumptions of our market situation have been confirmed, but some minor pivots are taking place behind the scenes. We are focusing on the simplicity of usability for SHADE products to enable a quick adaptation and immediate effects in homes. Concentrating on the user is key in order to deliver complex technology in combination with simple application for the consumer.
From purchasing the product, to setting it up, the process needs to be smooth.