Smartalyse: Crafting Smarter & Secure Homes with a Holistic Solution

By Susila Govindaraj
Smartalyse: Crafting Smarter & Secure Homes with a Holistic Solution

Startup India Movement has created an upbeat in the market, where people are perceiving startups as cutting-edge entities, and not merely as small companies. On the other hand, the Digital India & Smart City initiatives are attempting to mould a smarter India, the first step of which would be building smarter homes with optimized energy consumption and reliable security. This optimistic scenario has paved the way for several entrepreneurial ventures in the IoT arena that are striving to flabbergast the world by bringing tomorrow's technology today. However, most of these organizations are trying to address a unique problem with a single point solution, rather than offering end-to-end solutions with a holistic approach, which is quite ironic for a field like IoT.

This is where Smartalyse Technologies enters the picture with its holistic Home Automation (HA) platform that interconnects all the disparate devices across house such as lights, appliances, safety & security sensors along with audio, video & digital pictures available on multiple devices like smartphones, TVs and home computers among others. Through this exhaustive solution, this Pune headquartered company helps the house owners to optimize energy consumption, get rid of security concerns and share media across multiple sources and targets with ease. "We are not just connecting things together, but we bring cognitive decision making capability through the platform," says Pravin Wadekar, Founder, Smartalyse. Yet another factor that keeps Smartalyse far from its competitors is its competence in encrusting its solutions with stringent security measures. Aside from homes & apartments, the solution can also be used in commercial setups like offices, showrooms and conference rooms.

Laying Immense Emphasis on Security

Securing an interconnected home is not a child's play. As more and more of the traditional devices are integrated and made available over the internet, threats from cyber criminals becomes inevitable, as they have lucrative reasons to break into a connected home, whether to steal data, demand ransom or cause havoc on these connected systems. Imagine the kind of damage cyber criminals can cause to someone, if they can access his boiler via internet from a remote location. They can even cause a Diversion Based Physical Intrusion, whereby they break into someone's property physically through creating a chaos by opening the water flow via Internet from the neighbourhood.

Hence, Smartalyse has prioritized security as its paramount axiom. The gateway, which connects all these systems together to create interesting scenarios is vital and needs to protect the entire 'things' network from hackers. Protected by an enterprise class network security system from its strategic partner Quick Heal, Smartalyse's Home Gateway blocks cyber-led attacks adeptly and notifies of incidents/events even when the house owners are on the move."The gateway keeps away all unauthenticated folks who are trying to connect from outside. On the first go, we can identify the malicious traffic coming in from the area that's trying to cause a physical change in the device associated with the system, if it is not in the context of our institution. That's why we say that the context is critical in IoT - it could be in terms of internal security, preferences or personalization," remarks Dhiraj Kulkarni, Founder, Smartalyse. Its security solution comprises of CCTV Camera, Door & Window Contact and Motion Sensors and it can also integrate with Glass Break Sensors, Curtain Motion Sensors or Perimeter Beam Sensors. As mishaps can happen at any time, the solution makes all the alerts and notifications available, wherever you are in the house or even if you are away.

In physical security HA supports alerts & notifications about violations in policies defined using sensors like motion, door & window contact sensors apart from integration with safety sensors like LPG or gas leak or fire and smoke sensors. Its platform also integrates with physical security control panels like Texicom to address needs of physical security and safety of a house hold. Unlike the CCTV system that needs continuous monitoring, Smartalyse HA solutions takes away the need to monitor the cameras; instead sends images along with location details of the visitor to user's smart device.

Bringing Home to Your Pocket

Smartalyse Controller helps with events & notification to your phone when you are away, so you have a piece of mind knowing your loved ones are safe at home. Its Gateway propagates notification to user wherever he/she is. Smartalyse remote access support would help a user to respond immediately to an emergency notification or take action on events to optimize energy usage. "To optimize your bill, you first need to be aware of what was used and how long it was used. Our app provides an aggregate monthly usage of things, which helps the customer to address the question of why the electric bill is so much and weeding out devices which cause financial loss," proclaims Sunil Shilimkar, Founder, Smartalyse.

The IoT platform supports integration with standard devices. For lighting it integrates with Legrand ZigBee (lighting, dimmer and curtain control), for appliances it integrates with Global Cache supporting integration with AC, TV, DTH, Home Theater, DVD, Blue ray players and so on, rather all the appliances that support IR enabled remotes. It facilitates integrated Scenarios like if you turn on a DTH it will automatically turn on the TV and if configured, it will turn on AC as well and turn off lights after a preconfigured delay. Customer specific rules can be defined based on his/her needs.

The Criticality of Context & Cognitivity

Established the company in October 2014, the founders brainstormed various themes and ended up with three ideas - IoT, analytics, and security, eight months prior to registering the company. "We were determined about solving a problem through a different angle, which is via congnitivity of data or even action. Every action can be associated with context; it might be in terms of environmental, security or entertainment," explains Pravin. Though they were more inclined towards IoT, they soon realized that context can't be found with sheer data; it requires some analytics on top of it. Likewise, the information needs to be secured. Thus, analytics and security came into the play as well.

The trio analysed the market and identified three diverse segments - luxury housing, bulk housing & retrofit Solutions to pre-existing housing with minimal or no changes to the wiring. They were confident about the luxury segment, as Pravin has experimented the same at his own home three years before. However, bulk housing segment is a different quest, where many have tried and lost before. The trio met with one such founder and ensured that the market/people were ready, but the problem was in execution, as he was early in terms of technology, and not in terms of business. They realized the risk in approaching the market by themselves as a startup. Hence, they chose a partner in England (with whom Smartalyse can sell their product to the market much quickly), identified a gap in their system and rectified the same. Piggybacking their network gave the company a head start in the market. "The whole ecosystem of IoT is not just about selling your own solutions separately, but it's all about partnerships," asserts Pravin.

Once the trio started building their first prototype, they realized that context & cognitivity have a lot more implication in IoT, than they thought. Smartalyse is working on automation of the entire house including backyard of Dr. Deshpande (CEO of Persistent Systems), deployed one of its solutions for the luxury housing by automating a 4500 sq.ft. flat for a Developer in Pune and delivered a complete solution for a 2500 sq.ft. duplex, where the company automated everything right from lighting to TV across multiple channels & sources. Released the first version of its official solution just a couple of months back, Smartalyse was able to attract over 20 customers in such a shuteye time.

Rendering Services On-Demand

"Besides selling our solutions as a package by ourself, we also sell it to our partners who inturn sell it to many of their customers. We are exploring a service-led model and in the future, we might come up with a revenue generation model around entertainment," expounds Pravin. Smartalyse's On-demand Monitoring Services, for instance, will monitor the house of someone for a week from a central location, while they are out of station. Likewise, via its Energy Consumption Optimization Service, the company will identify different patterns and exceptions that are causing the energy drain and its Media Consumption Service will interconnect multiple devices within the house with the same low cost solutions available in the market.

Nurturing a Fruitful Career

Smartalyse is not only focused on building a quality product at appropriate price, but firmly believes in ultimate customer satisfaction. As Customer satisfaction is most important for the company, it is committed on building a cutting-edge support team with best tools to help address customer issues faster. Having worked in U.S., the founders keep the work milieu pretty open and informal, all the while achieving the delivery milestones compulsively. The senior management mentors all the15 people at Smartalyse with a one-on-one training, which also cultivates the seed towards their career growth. As the firm is growing in terms of revenue and customer acquisition, it is in the process of enhancing its team with new members.

Currently addressing the luxury segment & the premium portion of the mass market segment, Smartalyse is highly capable of leveraging the same engine for the entire mass market segment, not just in terms of electricity demand management, but also for optimizing the security concerns across the campus. By merging the digital and physical aspects of security, Smartalyse can make the system smarter and monitor a larger system with ease. "We would like to grow organically to begin with. Once we acquire certain number of customers, we will take a decision on further expansion. As of now, we are keen on expanding ourselves through our partner network, because that's what IoT is all about," concludes Pravin.

Key Management:

Pravin Wadekar, Founder

Pravin is a Technologist who has worked at various organization globally in varied capacities across the software life cycle. Pravin is passionate about technology and its implementation for public usage.

Dhiraj Kulkarni, Founder

Dhiraj is a management graduate from San Jose university. With 20+ years experience Dhiraj excels in Product Management, Program Management, Engineering Team Management and Release Management. He also has series of entrepreunership experience in Banking software, CNC software, Pathalogy Software.

Sunil Shilimkar, Founder

As a serial entrepreneur Sunil excelled in Apoorva Technologies,whose product was later acquired by Quick Heal Technologies. He has expertise in various domains including security and software product management. Sunil also has two U.S Patents Grant with him in Security Domain, and major achievement include SurfCanister Product Acquisition (2013).

Smartalyse Home Automation Solution:

  • Lighting: Controlling lighting , dimmer and curtains from an ubiquitous app, both on Android and iOS, Legrand ZigBee leverages regular or a pre-existing wiring, whereas the bus system would need a different wiring scheme for its command and control, as it is meant for new housing or renovations that includes wiring.
  • Appliance: Smartalyse HA platform controls appliances like Television, DVD, DTH (to change volume, channel, source and so on), Home Theatre and Air Conditioner (to change temperature, modes and power) - pretty much all the appliance that are controlled by infrared remote controls.
  • Media Automation: Along with this local media sources like smart phones, computers, storage devices like USB sticks, external hard drives or laptops and tablets, media sharing feature lets home owners consume and share media across online sources like sound cloud, or YouTube. Smartalyse 'JEDI' app can be used to stream media from any device to any device. So we can play media in multiple rooms from multiple sources. For example, an audio file on the phone can be played or streamed to a home theatre system at home; likewise video available on home media server can be played on the users' phone.
  • Security & Safety: Integrating sensors for safety and Security needs like Gas Leak, flood sensor, Smoke and Heat, Glass break, Motion, beam sensors for perimeter and door and window contact sensors for security of the premise. Smartalyse platform integrates all the sensor data to provide reliable security.