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Mobile IoT Keeps Smart Alarms Online
Malmo-based Minut is working with mobile operators to supply consumers with connected home alarms that can detect motion, temperature changes, sounds and humidity. Nils Mattisson, CEO and Co-founder, explains why Minut is now equipping these alarms with low power wide area LTE-M connectivity.
Please describe how your company came into being.
Minut was founded on the idea that every home should feel safe. Security and privacy shouldn’t be a luxury: they should be simple and accessible to everyone.
I spent seven years in Silicon Valley working in the Exploratory Design Group at Apple before starting Minut. I wanted to make home security accessible to everyone: Every home should feel safe, but never at the expense of privacy. The existing solutions for home security were either expensive, required professional installation or included Wi-Fi connected cameras. I decided to leave Apple and Silicon Valley and return to my native Sweden where I joined together with Marcus Ljungblad, Martin Lööf and Fredrik Ahlberg to build a company with a mission to create a product that would make home security and monitoring accessible to everyone. So Minut was born.
Please describe how you developed your product.
In the early days, Minut was based in the Hax accelerator in Shenzhen in China, which allowed us to develop our initial idea and create the first prototypes. The initial supply chain was set up here, where it remains today. After enrolment in HAX in 2014 and the execution of the first Kickstarter campaign that enabled the development of prototypes, it took 18 months to have the first version of the product ready to be launched to market. Supported by a second Kickstarter campaign in December 2017, the current version of the product started shipping six months later. Minut’s smart home alarms are able to monitor movement, temperature, sound, humidity, air pressure and analyse the risk of mould growing, and are now installed in more than 10,000 homes across over 60 countries.
We were fortunate to be selected by Hubraum to be involved in an initiative to promote LTE-M devices across the Deutsche Telekom organisation. Hubraum has been helping us get in touch with all the right people from marketing and engineering in the national telecom companies. It can be daunting for a small company like Minut to work with giants, such as Deutsche Telekom, but Hubraum has made the process easy, playing an essential role in clearing the technical, as well as commercial, hurdles that we’ve encountered along the way.
How does your product use LTE-M?
Minut uses LTE-M to make sure home alarm systems are always connected and responsive. Depending on the location of the alarm, it can be either the primary connectivity solution or work as a companion to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
What are the benefits of using LTE-M, rather than another wireless technology?
For the wireless home alarm use case, ubiquitous connectivity is extremely important, while data requirements are low and power consumption needs to allow for months, or even a year, of operation. No other wireless technology can satisfy all these requirements. Our LTE-M product is bound to open up new markets and solutions.
How are you working with the mobile operators?
Minut enables mobile operators to bundle an affordable home alarm solution with their existing services, adding home security as another service to offer customers. The cost to consumers can be as low as €9.99 per month – significantly lower than traditional home alarm offerings which often cost many times more. For operators, adding another service line can help to reduce churn, increase the average revenue per customer and customer satisfaction. It’s the natural next step, going from dual-play and triple-play to quad-play.
What is your business model?
Minut operates on a revenue-share model where operators and Minut take responsibility for different parts of the customer journey to enable the best experience possible.
What are your business goals for 2019 and 2020?
Minut’s primary goal for 2020 is to get our home alarm into as many homes as possible. During 2019, we are laying the groundwork for several important partnerships, preparing for commercial launches through partnerships with select operators, such as Deutsche Telekom, in 2020.
Do you plan to roll out further products and solutions that employ LTE-M or NB-IoT?
The beauty of the Minut smart home alarm is that it’s a platform that keeps improving over time, as the software evolves. The hardware is designed to keep running for many years, while being upgraded with new software features that are added automatically for all customers worldwide.
For more information please visit https://minut.com.