Netbeast – one of our Connected Mobility Mobility finalists of our CODE_n CONTEST – developed an open source platform that connects devices of any brand or technology and can add support for new devices through community collaboration. The startup, based in Munich, allows developers to create IoT apps for smart devices without having to worry about compatibility issues. Jon Senra Dearle, CEO and Co-Founder told us more about his company:
What is Netbeast all about? How did you come up with the idea?
Jon: Netbeast is a software platform that allows smart home devices to communicate with each other regardless of their brand or technology. Netbeast makes homes help people to focus what really matters.
The Co-founders know each other from University. In the last year of their career they thought about creating a smart hub which allows any device to connect to it and then all devices could communicate with each other. We started our research in the smart home field and realized that there were a lot of smart home solutions – yet none of them was smart enough. Smart devices can not communicate to each other at all, which makes them island solutions. So we decided to create a software solution that could be installed anywhere and allows devices to be smarter than they naturally are.
“Digital Disruption“ – that’s the motto of this year’s CODE_n CONTEST. What makes your solution innovative, what makes it disruptive?
Jon: Currently, there are a lot of smart home products, but they can not communicate with each other, even they are smart as well. This is due to the fact that the devices are from different brands or they use different protocols to communicate like wifi or Bluetooth.
There are some solutions on the market at the moment however they are closed environments. Devices can only communicate with each other if they belong to certain brands. So let’s say I want to include another smart device to that environment: I can never be sure if that is going to work, because I wouldn’t know exactly which device I had to buy. Customers can only buy certain brands, if they wanted to make it work and not any brand, meaning you couldn’t always get what you wanted. We’re changing that: from now on, customers can turn their homes into a smart one with any device. You don’t have to think about this anymore.
The only question you still need to worry about is: Which product do I really want in my home? Netbeast is customer oriented, we are focusing on creating a friendly mobile app that allow those customers to control their smart homes through their mobile phone. They will have their home in their pocket. We also provide a big support for users. They can communicate with us using our forum or slack channel.
Netbeast is the software platform focused on customers which will communicate all smart home devices and provide them the intelligence they don’t have today.
You’re one of the 13 finalists in the Connected Mobility contest cluster. Which challenges do you think young companies have to face in this sector? How do you handle these challenges?
Jon: We want to give our users the ability to control their smart home from anywhere in the world. So if you are in another country and you want to check the status of your home you will be able to do that. Setting up this functionality will be one of our big challenges. However we have already done this before with our open source platform. We have a really good team so we know how to start facing this challenge.
The other challenge we are currently facing is the ability to integrate and connect all smart home devices regardless brand or technology. As the same time, we already have done this before as well, so we only have to adapt the language in the way we did before to our new mobile phone app.
The Internet of Things – a huge topic and of course we’ve had endless discussions about possible scenarios. In your personal opinion, 10 years from now, how much will our lives be affected by it?
Jon: Internet of things is becoming part of our lives little by little. However, there are only a few countries in the world in which it’s already truly becoming reality. From my point of view, this technology will be introduced in most of the European and North American countries. For that, technology must be improved on different aspects like security and connectivity (that’s why Netbeast exists). The next 10 years will improve the Internet of Things technology which will then serve for people to be adapted to this technology.
Thank you very much for the interview, Jon!