The Singapore and US-based startup Qube wants to introduce affordable lighting solutions to households
Now, it is expanding its smart tech repertoire with its subsidiary US and Singapore-based Qube. It has developed a Wi-Fi-enabled LED smart bulb, which aims to more affordable and comprehensive than its competitors.
“I count myself as an early adopter of smart home technology, but for many others, the high cost of implementation for smart home adoption is a challenge to overcome,” says Rick Tan, Managing Director of Innova Technology in an interview with e27.
The Qube is able to display 16 million different hues, has a brightness of 60W, and claims to be able last for up to 50,000 hours, or 27 years.
The smart bulb connects with your router and syncs with your Android or Apple smartphone and is able to automatically switch on or off the lights by sensing your location.
It also connects with your weather app and your alarm clock, changing colours to remind you to take your umbrella out or when it’s time to get out of bed. In addition, the colours change when you receive a call or message on your phone.
Need a cheap method to lively up your house party? You can also set the bulb to flash the beat of a song or change the hue to one befitting the mood.
While there are other smart bulbs in the market such as LIFX, Qube costs substantially less, starting from US$19 compared to LIFX’s US$59.99.
In addition, Qube does not rely on geo-fencing technology (a technology which uses GPS to define a virtual geographical barrier, detecting your presence only when you are within the boundaries), and instead uses BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) that is used by wearables or smartphones.
This allows for a more precise location mapping, which in turn, enables more options for positional-based automations.
For example, it can track different items by changing the colour of bulbs located near it. It also uses IFTTT(If This, Then That) technology to integrate with other smart home devices.
Currently, it is able to support 234 other services.
Challenges faced and other plans
Tan says that he faced some initial challenges and experimented with several other concepts before focussing on Qube.
“We pivoted many ideas away to focus on Qube. Being a startup, we have to recognise and choose the winning idea at the end of the day. Though some time is wasted, it is better than walking on the wrong footing altogether,” says Tan.
The market size was a factor that led Tan to expand into the US.
“We feel that Singapore alone may not be a big enough market, there are too many IoT hardware players to be found. For us, we will be both based in Singapore and San Francisco to ensure that we have the right market size,” he says.
On the future of Qube, Tan is optimistic.
“Within the a day of launching our campaign on Indiegogo, we received some positive feedback. The adoption of our technology looks promising,” he says.
“We are currently looking for another round of Series A funding soon. This will help us expand the business to include other smart home products. All our products are similar to the Google NEST, which will learn the users’ behavior and suggests ways to go greener and more efficient,” he concludes.
It is clear that there is a huge demand for affordable smart home products. Reception to his product on Indiegogo has been more than positive. Now all Tan has to be concerned is the delivery of the product.
Qube has raised US$92,931 in four days, far exceeding its US$50,000 with 27 days left on the calendar.
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