This device is all you need to have the smartest home on the block
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Photo Credit: PR Screenshot/Blaze Automation

The Blaze device, called the B.ONE, turns any home into a smart house and can help users control lighting, temperature, audio, video, and home theaters.

Tech in Asia

The home of today is populated with multiple devices. There may be separate devices for security management, the television, the air conditioner, and so on. That may be functional, but it can also be cluttered. Indian startup Blaze Automation wants to change that with a device that allows total control of security and entertainment from a single control center and app.

The startup is founded by Arjun Valluri, who was the founder and CEO of IT consulting firm Intelligroup Inc. Intelligroup was the first Indian company to go public on Nasdaq and it went on to be acquired by Japan’s NTT Data. After the exit, Arjun become a full time angel investor, backing Xtreme Sports Bar, My Café Latte, and Quattro Logistics. But then he had a strong desire to dive back into the entrepreneurial journey. This time he sensed a huge gap in the market for a comprehensive security product along with complete home automation. So he rounded up a team of engineers who had previously designed and implemented advanced security systems for banks and smart homes and set to work building Blaze Automation.

Smart device for dumb people

The Blaze device, called the B.ONE, can help users control lighting, temperature, audio, video, and home theaters. It also helps regulate the consumption of utility services and reduce the overall bills. It’s a physical device that sits in your home – it looks like a stereo rack combined with a skateboard – but it’s controllable remotely via the Blaze Automation smartphone app.

Assume that you forget to turn off the heat or left the espresso machine running, Blaze Automation’s lifestyle learning engine will cause the system to alert you and let you address the problem from your smartphone. Or, if your wife has forgotten the door keys and you are in the office, she can ring the doorbell and you can unlock the door for her through the app. Blaze Automation can also charge mobile phones wirelessly.

“We wanted to build a smart intelligent system that’s easy to use and future-ready,” said Valluri. He explained that installing a new system is easy. The B.ONE is designed as a wholly DIY product that takes just 60 seconds to configure.

Complex tech, multiple uses

“The problem with tackling a project like Blaze Automation is keeping up with the constant innovation in technology,” he said, “Each day, new and better tech keeps cropping up rendering the technology of even a few months completely obsolete.”

Blaze Automation says it has high number of built-in radio modules providing maximum functionality. It plays host to sensors like GSM or GPRS, Wi-Fi, Zigbee, NFC, IR Receivers, and IR Blasters. To ensure that the device is well protected, a military-standard encryption with highly advanced firewalls was placed inside it.Valluri said the B.ONE has 10 processors which run in parallel. “The real-time performance, for which we have a patent pending, makes it the world’s fastest and most efficient device,” he said.

Big market

Blaze’s primary focus is the U.S., India, Japan, and Southeast Asia. For distribution, Blaze Automation has partnered with Stay Kool and its affiliate Japan Edge (jED) to distribute at least 25,000 units in Japan in a year. “Japan has the highest penetration of home, office, retail, and apartment security systems in the world. But these systems are antiquated, expensive to maintain, and need an immediate upgrade,” said Ash Roy, representative director of Stay Kool, “The addressable market is every single household, 50 million of them, and millions of retail outlets and office spaces.”

India’s market could be complex to tackle due to low adoption of home automation technology. But that’s fast changing. Just a few years ago, home automation was largely limited to high-end buildings and commercial apartments in India. That’s quite unlike the west where residential real estate developers have been adopting smart technologies very proactively for quite a few years. However, the concept has now trickled down to the upper mid-range homes category. Since Indians are quite conscious about energy costs, modern home buyers are ready to spend more on security systems and other smart luxury accouterments and automated controls.

Blaze Automation aims to capitalize on the desires of these home buyers. Blaze Automation competes with Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Canary, and Revolv. But Valluri said none of those home automation devices have the ability to charge cell phones remotely. Also, Blaze Automation’s B.ONE does not have a subscription fee. It’s sold for for a flat fee of $149. The startup raised $109,893 from crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

This post was originally published on Tech in Asia.

Featured Image Credit: PR Screenshot/Blaze Automation

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