Simplify your smart home with smart-me

Other Parts Discussed in Post: CC3100

Five questions with David Eberli, Co-Founder and CEO of smart-me

Smart homes were a red hot topic of conversation at CES this year, causing mass speculation that 2015 may be the year of the smart home. With many startups fueling the connected revolution, we wanted to get the inside scoop from someone at the forefront of the smart home frontier. We asked David Eberli, smart-me’s co-founder and CEO, a few questions about the connected device market, advantages of Wi-Fi® and his relationship with TI.

TI: What is Smart-me?

Smart-me is a multi-purpose technology designed to control and monitor electronic devices. It's an energy and power meter, a remote switch, a time switch, a temperature meter and a lot more all in one device. It connects to your Wi-Fi network allowing you to control and monitor smart-me from anywhere with your smartphone, tablet or computer.

And you have almost infinite possibilities to configure your individual events and actions. E.g. turn power on when temperature is lower than 20 °C.

Smart-me is an easy solution for smart home and smart metering. You can simply combine multiple smart-me devices together to create a smart home system.

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TI: What makes smart-me stand out from its competitors?

First of all smart-me is simple. It's simple to install and simple to use. You don't need any additional hardware. You just need a Wi-Fi network and a smartphone or tablet. Also, you can control it from anywhere. For example, you can control your heater in your holiday home from a few 100 miles away.

A big advantage of smart-me is the quality and accuracy. For the energy metering, we guarantee an accuracy of 1% in comparison to 5 – 30 % of our competitors.

Of course there is the wide range of functionality of smart-me. You can use it as an energy monitor, temperature monitor, remote switch, remote plug, time switch, alarm clock, alert system or just to switch multiple devices on or off together.

And last, but not least, another big advantage of smart-me is the very low energy consumption. Smart-me is designed and built to be as low-power as possible.

TI: There are many wireless connectivity technologies on the market. Why did you choose Wi-Fi for smart-me?   

Wi-Fi has, in comparison to all other wireless connectivity technologies, one very big advantage: Almost everyone has a Wi-Fi network in their home. Because smart-me is cloud based, the devices need an Internet connection. We don't want a customer to have to buy another gateway device, so the easiest solution is to use their (already existing) Wi-Fi network.

TI: Why did you choose TI’s SimpleLink™ Wi-Fi CC3100 wireless network processor and ultra-low-power MSP430™ MCU technology for your product?

First, I'm a fan of TI. I have used TI products for years in projects for other companies (for smart-meters, home control devices etc.) and I was always very happy with them.

When we started the development of the smart-me devices we were looking for a small and cheap microcontroller (MCU) with a very low energy consumption. We found a perfect solution in the ultra-low-power MSP430 MCU.

We choose the SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3100 device because it has an attractive price, very low energy consumption and it comes with a lot of features. In short, it's the perfect solution for any Internet of Things (IoT) device.

Another reason why we have chosen these TI products was we knew we would receive good support if needed. Every new product has some small issues and it's important that you can ask someone when you have problem.

TI: Where do you see your technology going in the next five years?

The smart home/smart metering market is growing from a small niche sector into a real boom sector and smart-me will be an important part of it. People want a simple solution without any complicated wiring or gateway devices. This is exactly what smart-me is.

Right now we are producing the first series of devices which became available in December 2014 and are already almost sold out.  We are now in our second round of funding so that we can expand to other countries and produce a bigger number of devices. And of course we are always working on new innovative features and already have some similar devices planed.

Additionally, one of our next steps will be to provide an open API, so that others can integrate smart-me in their systems.

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