The smart home is already possible, as demonstrated by Link Your Things, an Italian team who has created a product that is simple and intuitive, able to manage the home security and the household appliances.
At first sight, it could pass as a toy, but it is an innovative system that allows to enjoy all the possibilities that the “Internet of Things” can offer. ALYT (Affordable Link Your Things) is a Smart Home Manager DIY, based on the Android platform, which can interact with the various devices in the home, making the house really connected and helping to reduce energy waste. Appliances, lighting and alarm systems (just to name a few) can then be controlled from a single hub, through a series of connectivity options, including Z-Wave, Zigbee, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, IR and NFC. ALYT is also manageable from smartphones, tablets or directly from the Web through a dedicated App. The “fathers” of this revolutionary project are five Italians from Turin, who created the start-up Link Your Things starting from their experience in the field of professional security and building automation.
The strength points of ALYT are the ease of installation and use, the cost that is not high and the versatility. The product is currently in pre-sale and the consumer can pre-order (through the website www.alyt.com) the basic kit (that includes the hub, a magnetic sensor for doors or windows, and a infrared motion sensor), which can then be extended and customized.
The future enters the house
In order to better know the characteristics and the potentialities of ALYT, we interviewed Alessandro Monticone, head of marketing and design at Link Your Things.
How was born the ALYT idea?
The idea was born from the experience gained by our team in the field of security and by the awareness that there is a huge gap between the currently available technologies and those that actually arrive to the consumer. ALYT was initially designed as a safety system, dedicated to the end user, with the best technologies but very easy to self-install and use (in a similar way to the Ikea style). Then, continuing to study the product and examining the trend in the high-tech and Internet market, we decided to do something more, something that was really futuristic but, at the same time, available for all, both in terms of cost and usability.
How is the product installed inside a house?
ALYT is completely wireless. The user gets home the kit, which varies according to the needs expressed by the consumer. It’s only necessary to open the box, to plug ALYT and to put the various sensors equipped with a special double-sided adhesive in the desired positions. Then, it’s only necessary to download the App from the App Store or Google Play and to follow the procedure for the installation.
What are the main advantages for the consumer?
The main advantages are connected to the quality/price ratio of the product: with a very small investment you can make your home safe with high quality standards. In addition, ALYT can be installed in any apartment without doing masonry works and so it is ideal for rented houses, for second homes or also for homes where you don’t want to “break the walls” for a security system. It also represents an excellent solution for boats and campers. In addition, ALYT helps in case of home accidents such as gas leaks, fires or floods. The product, then, allows to lower your bills with a smart control of the household appliances, eliminating for example the consumption of the lights left on when no one is at home. All this is fully controllable and manageable by mobile devices.
Concretely, how does ALYT guarantee the energy saving?
The energy saving is ensured by a smart use of household appliances, lighting, heating/cooling and water consumption. Now for some practical examples: the system automatically turns off all the lights remained on and the appliances on stand-by; recognizes, through the function of self-learning, where and when the rooms of the house are mainly occupied, directing the heating/cooling when and where it’s more needed and saving energy in the other areas. In addition, the product can ensure that the irrigation system checks the weather before operating, staying off in case of rain.
|FROM ITALY TO THE USA TO ACCOMPLISH AN AMBITIOUS PROJECT
Link Your Things is officially born on November 10th 2013. The start-up is composed by five Italians - Luca Capula (CEO), Alessandro Monticone (marketing and design), Mirko Bretto (communication and social media), Simone Janin (R&D) and Riccardo Mazzurco (strategy) - who flew up in Delaware (where the registered office of the company is located), in order to achieve the ambitious goal of designing and producing ALYT. The choice of the United States is linked not only to the greater receptivity to this type of technologies, but also to an environment with a good potential for the start-ups. The initial project was presented on Indiegogo (one of the major crowdfunding sites of the Network), where it totaled $ 115,714.
How is the home security ensured?
Safety comes first for us, it is the main function of our product and the one from which we started to build the rest. ALYT communicates with the security sensors through a dedicated RF protocol, just like the professional systems. It has an internal backup battery that ensures the operation also in case of tampering of the electrical system and it is designed for sending calls, messages and notifications also in case of interruption of the domestic phone line.
What are the most innovative aspects of ALYT?
ALYT is the first system of its kind on the Android platform with a completely open software: it is a tool ready for the expansion through third-party applications and devices. Developers will be able to increase the product functionality and to invent new applications to be installed on it, for the benefit of the consumer. We will create an ALYT App Store, dedicated to the world of the “Internet of Things” (IoT), where the developers will be able to create and sell Apps that will be purchased and downloaded more or less like with Google Play or App Store.
In which markets and through which channels will be the product sold?
At this time, we are organizing the distribution in Europe and the United States. Initially, ALYT will be sold online and starting from November we will be also ready to sell it by subscription, as a service.
Is Italy a market with a good development potential with regard to the diffusion of the technologies for smart home and home security?
Italy is always a little bit reluctant to the adoption of new technologies, but we are confident that the low cost of ALYT and its ease of use will allow us to quickly enter into the homes of many people, because our product is the answer to a still unfulfilled need. We believe that the users, after having bought ALYT for the security, will be intrigued by its new applications and they will slowly compose their own system as well as they wish and according to their needs.
Besides, with regards to the diffusion of the IoT technologies, the interest in them is experiencing a period of maximum expansion: we can consider the case of Nest Labs, which was bought by Google for $ 3.2 billion, or the approach of Apple to the world of the smart home. When such companies start to express interest in a particular market, this means that the considered market begins to reach a significant size. The third revolution of Internet, the “Internet of things”, is already in operation, is already a reality around us, and more and more will assist us to make easier and safer our everyday life.
|THE “INTERNET OF THINGS” IN ITALY
According to the data published in the “Internet of Things Observatory” (School of Management of Polytechnic in Milan), in Italy the interconnected objects through mobile technology were 6 million in 2013. This is an increase of 20% compared to 2012, which confirms the double-digit growth of the previous years (+25% in 2012 and +13% in 2011). The value of this promising market reached 900 million euro, an increase of 11%, in contrast to the downward trend of ICT. According to the research, the Smart Home & Building sector is among the fastest growing fields and it represents one-fifth of the turnover of the IoT solutions.