In 2013, tado° was among the finalists of the CODE_n CONTEST. Since then, the Munich-based startup has become a fixed feature in the international smart home market. In our interview, CEO Christian Deilmann speaks about the Internet of Things (IoT), the role startups play in the IoT market, and his experiences with CODE_n.
Felix Jansen: Hi Christian! Deloitte recently released a market forecast stating that by 2020, one million households in Germany will be using smart, networked sensors and devices. That’s three times as many as today. How does your company see the market at the moment? Are we really about to see a breakthrough in smart homes?
Christian Deilmann: Everyone talks about smart homes, but if you ask some follow-up questions you discover that a lot of people don’t really know what the term means. Smart homes always involve a certain degree of complexity, and customers don’t yet know exactly how they will benefit. With tado°, we’re focusing on one specific part of the home, the heating system, because it accounts for most of the household energy consumption. Our smart heating controls let us show customers the precise advantages of networked products: they lower costs and are better for the environment while at the same time increasing comfort.
In the world of technology, at the moment hardly any phrase is bandied about more than “the Internet of Things.” Can it live up to the hype?
We’re all certain that in the future, all important aspects of our lives will be tied up with the digital world. This will lead to the creation of much better products, an entirely new customer experience, and a service industry which wouldn’t be possible without networking. Examples include networked cars, which make car-sharing programs possible, or smart thermostats, which save energy when no one is home or heat less when the sun is shining. Everywhere we look, online products will replace the offline products, making many aspects of our lives much easier.
This area is being pushed by major players such as Cisco, Microsoft, etc. What role can startups play in this broad field?