Microsoft is betting on the future of the smart home, and it’s hoping to discover that future within its own ranks.
Earlier this summer, the company announced plans to launch a startup accelerator focused specifically on home automation and the Internet of Things. It was a move made partly in an attempt to compete with Apple and Google, both of whom have made significant strides in home automation. It’s also a simple acknowledgement of a market that’s expected to double in size over the next five years.
This week, Microsoft announced the 10 startups that will participate in the accelerator program, which will run from September to December of this year on Microsoft's Redmond, Washington, campus. The chosen outfits were selected from a pool of more than 400 candidates.
“The goal of this Accelerator is simple: to help a new generation of companies create smarter and safer homes,” said Steven Guggenheimer, chief evangelist at Microsoft Developer Experience, in a statement.
“We share the belief that over time the home automation trend will fundamentally change how we interact with and manage our homes—making them more efficient, communicative and ultimately safer,” he added.
These are the 10 lucky startups.
Chai's "gateway" device communicates with your smart energy meter to deliver real-time energy understanding—from the whole house to individual appliances.
Heatworks is the world's first fully connected water heater. The company claims it can lower water heating–related energy costs by 40% and water usage costs by 10%.
Aiming to take the Internet of Things from "connected" to "smart," Neura creates intuitive and intelligent experiences between users and their connected environments. Devices gain contextual awareness and adaptive learning capabilities required for today’s developing physical internet.
This portable smart security system seamlessly tracks activities across your home, delivering relevant information to your mobile devices.
Reemo is a wrist-worn, gesture control interface for both conventional appliances and more recent connected home gadgets. You just point, sync, and control with gestures.
This startup creates WiFi-enabled light pads (basically fancy switches), smart plugs, and outlets that let the users control lights and electronics with a touch or from anywhere in the world, using a smartphone.
Red Balloon offers ubiquitous, host-based defense for embedded devices, keeping them safe from external attacks.
The company's SoleSensor tech can intelligently analyze foot traffic for retail and office spaces, helping understand consumer behavior in the offline world.
Sentri produces HD cameras and built-in sensors to track your home's vital stats and trends, allowing users to track temperature, humidity, air quality, weather, and more.
Wallflowr is creating connected home technology that helps consumers prevent and significantly reduce risks related to accidental fires caused by ranges, stoves, and ovens.