This is a guest blog post by Hira Saeed, Community Leader, Startup Weekend Karachi who writes about startups, AI, Chatbots and Big data.
For the past two years, IoT and specifically smart home companies have been grappling with a lot of innovation and refinements when it comes to their devices. Work is being done to upgrade and add extensions to create more value and accessibility for users. It won’t be a big surprise now if smart home product turns into a household brand.
Well, it’s no more a surprise anyway. Xchime, a Smart video doorbell with motion detection was recently found making waves over the internet. It is a video doorbell that lets you monitor who is at your door and allows you to speak to your guests from your smartphone, tablet, or PC.
I had a chance to briefly speak with Gary Bi, CEO of Xchime regarding his innovative product and its future plans. The copy of the interview is pasted below.
Hira: Brief a little about Xchime doorbell. I am hearing about it all over the internet.
Gary: The Xchime doorbell is the next evolution of the video doorbell made popular by companies like Ring. It takes the features that have made video doorbells so useful and extends them into the smart home to give even more convenience to homeowners.
Hira: What features have you implemented in this doorbell? Any highlighted ones?
Gary: The main differences between the Xchime and others are in two categories. The first is in new features. Xchime can be connected to smart light bulbs for added security around the perimeter of the home. It helps deter unwanted visitors by automatically turning on when motion is detected. Another cool feature is remote garage door control via our app that makes it simple to check if the garage door is closed and if not to close it with one simple tap.
Beyond these features, Xchime has dramatically improved on the video doorbell in terms of technology. For instance, anyone who’s used existing video doorbells knows how annoying the lag can be. From the time someone rings the doorbell to when you can connect, see and speak with them currently takes about five to seven seconds. That sort of defeats the purpose of live video doorbells. Xchime virtually eliminates that lag. Our team of experienced engineers hail from companies like Motorola and Qualcomm, and have worked hard to improve the user experience.
Another improvement comes in the much wider operating temperature range of Xchime compared to others. It has a far greater temperature tolerance both on the low and high ends, making it more realistic for parts of the country that face extreme weather.
Finally, the price is unbeatable. Right now on Indiegogo we’re giving early backers the ability to get a unit for only $129. Compare that to others that cost $199 to $249.
Hira: Is it already launched?
Gary: Xchime is currently finishing up a successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, and so far we’ve blown our fundraising goals out of the water. Even better, we will be shipping units to backers around August. Right on the heels of the crowdfunding campaign, we’ll be gearing up production to get Xchime into the retail and e-tail channels.
Hira: That’s great! So how do you see your target market? Are they accepting smart home products?
Gary: Companies like Nest and Ring have paved the way for smart home adoption. Big players like Google and Amazon have ratcheted up the stakes with voice command ability. Video doorbells are a key part of the security setup for any home. It’s the first line of defense. Integrating the Xchime with things such as smart lightbulbs and garage doors is the next natural step in bringing together the various parts of the home into one ecosystem. Eventually, the term “smart home” will be redundant, and it will just be accepted as part of the home.
Hira: Have you already received any seed funding for its production?
Gary: Xchime is different from most other crowdfunding projects in that we were backed early on with seed funding from Ufrate and other angel investors to the tune of $420,000. This should give anyone checking us out the confidence to go ahead with contributing to the Indiegogo campaign. As I mentioned, we’ll be getting units shipped extraordinarily fast after the conclusion of the campaign.
Hira: Are you planning to launch more products under the Xchime umbrella?
Gary: Nothing we can talk about now, but keep your eyes peeled at xchime.com.
Hira: What are your views on current IoT trends and on industry progress overall?
Gary: Internet of things and smart home technology are converging to make life easier and safer for consumers. The quickest adoption will be in products that work naturally without a lot of training. Following the curve for any technology adoption, we’re seeing progress along the curve toward rapid mass adoption. Whether it’s new smart home standalone products or integrating the smart home into existing consumer appliances, the future is bright for the industry. Keeping the focus on the customer need and a simple experience will be key to widespread adoption.