Your indoors in a cube
You’re confident you lead a healthy lifestyle. You jog every morning, your meals are nutritional, and you get your daily vitamin kick. Then how come half-way through the day (but hopefully not every day) your energy levels take a plunge, and you get a pounding headache? And above all, how do you help that? CubeSensors believe they might have the answers to both questions.
“We spend 90% of our days indoors, where some very small changes have the ability to influence our health and productivity,” Alja Isakovic, community manager at CubeSensors, told inventures.eu. The Slovenian startup has developed a set of sensors that monitor your indoor environment, and provide you with data about the temperature, air quality, the levels of noise humidity, and more. Just put one in every room, connect the base to the internet (and the cloud), and get the stats directly to our browser or smartphone.
Photo credit: cubesensors.comCubeSensors launched officially in March 2013 at the LAUNCH Festival in San Francisco, but “as with every hardware startup”, the concept and the product had been in development for several months prior. The team of six, among whom a hardware specialist, a software designer and a UX expert, are currently working to physically get their product out on the market. Earlier this year, they took their first set of pre-orders. “We sold out within a month, although we had no product yet,” said Isakovic. “The fact that customers paid the 10-dollar reservation fee showed us that they really had an interest in the Cubes.”
Part of the pre-orders came from the Slovenia, where the startup is based, however, it is not their core market. Their main target at the moment is the US, Isakovic said, as this is where they launched in the firstplace. Currently, most Cubes have been ordered either by researchers, who want to use them for their work, or by private individuals for their homes. “Bedrooms are a ‘hot area’, as people can use the sensors as a sleep tracker.” In the long-term, however, the team would like to reach out to companies that are interested in improving their employees’ performance and productivity. (Hear more about it in this interview with CEO Ales Spetic).
It communicates, too
The advantage of CubeSensors is that they don’t only measure users’ surroundings, but issue alerts, too. “Say, the quality of the air in your room is poor – the app will tell you to open the windows,” Isakovic said. “The humidity is too high? You’d be advised to turn on your dehumidifier.” Or get one, to start with. The team currently has a working app that offers basic alerts, and with time, they will work on tweaking and improving it. “In terms of building and developing new features, we still have a long road ahead of us,” said Isakovic.
As the first pre-ordered batch sold out in mid-April, it is soon to be produced and shipped to its owners. If you missed your chance back then, you can reserve your own set of Cubes as part of the autumn batch. The sensors are available in packs of two or four for the price of 249 and 349 dollars, respectively – certainly not very cheap, but the team relies on good quality and Slovenia (“and not China”) – based production.
“The costs of developing a hardware startup are very high,” Isakovic reiterated. “It will take some time until we starttalking profits, but we are already looking for investors.” They’re taking it one step at a time.
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