The Hong Kong-based startup is finally ready to take its IoT product public
After nearly two years since its founding, Singapore-based IoT startup uHoo is finally ready to take its smart air sensor public. It launched its second Indiegogo campaign two days ago, garnering US$32,634 in crowdfunding from 188 backers, which is 65 per cent of its US$50,000 goal.
In November of 2014, while still in prototype phase, uHoo launched its first crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to develop packaging and hire more engineers (its R&D team is located in Hong Kong).
Needless to say, since then, it has made significant strides in ensuring the device is all souped up and ready to roll.
Last year, the team tested the product at the Suntec Convention Center during the IoT Show in September.
uHoo also received an undisclosed market readiness grant from International Enterprise (IE) Singapore.
“We have made awesome upgrades to the product and the product is fully complete and ready for manufacture. We also conducted marketing and created a good community around our cause over the last few months in time for this preorder campaign,” Dustin Jefferson S. Onghanseng, Co-founder and CEO of uHoo, tells e27.
In brief, uHoo is powered by a power outlet, and connects to a WiFi network using the uHoo smartphone app. The device then automatically detects the air quality and sends the information to the app. Once the air quality hits unhealthy levels, the app sends out notifications and alerts, along with tips and tricks on how to improve it.
“uHoo focuses on prevention and keeping a healthy environment. Indoor air quality is two to five times worse than outdoors yet people are not aware of it. The majority take the air they breathe for granted,” says Onghanseng.
“We want to provide people with the necessary knowledge to empower them to change their habits and lifestyle and ensure a safe and healthy indoor environment,” he adds.
Both Onghanseng and Co-Founder Brian Lin began this project out of the desire to alleviate personal health issues.
Since childhood, Onghanseng suffers from hay fever (rhinitis) — and the notoriously bad air quality in Hong Kong aggravated his condition — while Lin is asthmatic.
Onghanseng says the compact design of uHoo not only allows for easy deployment in homes, but also makes it convenient for travellers to carry it around with them.
uHoo is also targetting small to mid-sized businesses or critical institutions such as hospitals. They can monitor air quality in several locations and store the data in cloud. Onghanseng says uHoo is already deployed in homes and offices across Singapore, Hong Kong, US and Europe.
It lay claims to the title of most well-equipped air monitor currently in the market with its eight sensors.
Here is a breakdown of them, and why uHoo thinks they are important:
1. Temperature – the right degree ensure comfort and a more restful sleep
2. Humidity – respiratory issues and increase in mold growth comes from high level of humidity.
3. Carbon dioxide – too much of it affects mental clarity and induces nausea.
4. VOCs / Airborne chemicals – these cause respiratory issues.
5. PM 2.5 – Dust causes sensitive allergies to flare up and infections may occur.
6. Air pressure – too air pressure exacerbates arthritic pains and triggers headaches.
7. Carbon monoxide – invisible, odorless and poisonous gas that can be fatal.
8. Ozone – Ozone-emitting electronics causes throat irritation.
Plans going forward
uHoo has raised an undisclosed seed round from East Ventures, and is planning a Series A round later this year.
It will also continuously gather user feedback to tweak the product and implement new features.
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