Ambi Labs | Date: 2014-07-23
A climate controller (1), comprises a control unit (7) capable of activating and de-activating an HVAC unit (13), a temperature sensor (3) and a humidity sensor (5) capable of communicating temperature and relative humidity measurements to the control unit (7), and an interface (9) to a network (10) through which the control unit (7) is connected to a networked server (14) and transmits measurements of temperature and relative humidity; said activation and de-activation can be controlled by the control unit (7) which measures a temperature and humidity level, obtains a value for a temperature setting and mode of operation for the HVAC unit (13), and communicates a signal to the HVAC unit (13) to effect said activation and de-activation. Climate control is affected with a comfort level in preference to an absolute temperature, and energy efficiency is achieved by machine learning methods operated on data sets gathered by the climate controller (1).
News Article | July 22, 2014
Homegrown hardware startup Ambi Climate has launched a crowdfunding campaign this morning for its smart air conditioning device. Taking to the Singaporean social Launchpad Crowdtivate, Ambi is armed with the noble goal of keeping users comfortable while saving the environment. The Ambi team has been hard at work for the past two years doing Asia-focused research on user behavior, air conditioning usage and performance. After surveying 4,000 prospective online users across 10 markets across Asia, Ambi has found that the main challenges that AC users face is maintaining comfortable indoor conditions and minimizing cost and their carbon footprint. [UPDATE: Ambi will award up to 25% rebate to members of the winning team, so if you backed Ambi, here’s how to join #startupshk team: “Current remote controls encourage the user to focus on power and temperature buttons, so it is unsurprising that many users engage in inefficient on/off control behaviour – they switch on their ACs when they are hot, and switch them off when it gets too cold. The resulting ‘yo yoing’ in temperature, as some of our research participants called it, is both uncomfortable and a waste of energy,” said founder and CEO Julian Lee in a release. “They have also complained about needing to adjust their ACs as much as every 30 minutes, and some habitually wake up in the middle of the night to adjust the settings.” Using proprietary machine learning and big data techniques, Ambi predicts at-home conditions, takes into account local weather patterns and learns user preferences to create a holistic profile of the home. This way, users can sleep sound without having to constantly adjust their AC settings. More than just a helpful add-on to your air conditioning unit, Ambi can also educate users on the impact of their usage behavior with deep, data-driven insights into their home conditions. For example, you might be more motivated to close your blinds during the day to cut down on heat trapped in the home, if you saw how much energy you were saving per day. Essentially, Ambi is going to help you come up with many life hacks for the home – and that to us is worth backing.
News Article | July 22, 2014
Singapore telco StarHub has officially launched its crowdfunding site with 11 projects from across Asia, including assistive technology and what is touted to be the world's first mechanical smartwatch hybrid. First announced as a beta launch in April , the Crowdtivate fundraising platform is now open to the general public and offers mentorship and consultancy to help entrepreneurs design effective campaigns. The website will also provide additional support, based on response from financial backers, related to business incubation and regional expansion, StarHub said in a statement Tuesday. Projects will also be selected to receive added help such as access to test users, marketing support, startup fundings, infrastructure support, and free software development. The Singapore telco has roped in local businesses to provide mentorship, including Home-Fix Experience Centre, National Book Development Council of Singapore, and NUS Design Incubation Centre. Indonesian telco Indosat also inked a partnership agreement with StarHub to add Crowdtivate projects to its local innovation portfolio including Ideabox, and enable Indonesia startups to raise funds and access mentorship. Stephen Lee, head of StarHub's innovation, investment, and incubation business unit i3, said in the statement: "Since the beta launch of Crowdtivate in April 2014, we have received hundreds of project proposals for crowdfunding. These past three months were spent with the entrepreneurs developing a strong marketing and promotional campaign that we believe will inspire the crowdfunding community." Eleven projects are currently listed on the site, though, three are still in preview stage and funds collection isn't available for these companies. The majority are based out of Singapore, while two are from Malaysia and one from Hong Kong. Currently leading the pack with over S$4,300 raised so far, Hong Kong-based Ambi Climate is a standalone device that is able to control any air conditioner with a remote control and automatically adjust the right indoor temperature. Second on the list is Malaysia-based WaryBee, with about S$430 generated so far. The wearable device works as a panic button that can be triggered to automatically send the wearer's location information and call an emergency number. One project that's currently in preview is Singapore-based Kairos, which is touting itself to be the world's first mechanical smartwatch hybrid, combining traditional watch-making traits with current-day technologies. Members of the public who are keen to contribute funds can sign up for a free account on Crowdtivate or login with their Facebook or Linkedin user ID to browse projects. Contributions can be made through PayPal or major credit cards.
News Article | July 22, 2014
StarHub, Singapore’s second largest telco, made a splash earlier this year when they announced Crowdtivate, probably the world’s first telco-backed crowdfunding site. Startups featured on the site could receive further funding from StarHub along with other forms of support. 12 projects, selected out of 400, have launched or are planning to launch their campaigns on the site. Nine are tech-related. Here’s a quick rundown of the five that caught our eye: Following a spate of cycling accidents in Singapore, a group of cycling enthusiasts have come up with a device that warns drivers whenever they move too close to a cyclist. The device is a low cost FM transmitter attached to a bicycle that “hijacks” a car’s radio to broadcast a warning message. It purportedly works with 90 percent of radio stations in the country. MediaCorp, Singapore’s largest television and radio broadcaster, has pledged to come on board as a media partner. Its campaign page isn’t live yet. Air-conditioners are ubiquitous, but users rarely know about all its features. Ambi Climate wants to make using ACs much easier. It is a hardware device that collects information from your environment, such as room temperature. It then controls the air conditioner to increase your comfort by lowering temperature fluctuations. Support them here. Kairos wants to build a traditional mechanical watch that doubles as a smartwatch. By bridging both the world of luxury watchmaking and technology, Kiaros aims to touch the Rolex-wearing types that wouldn’t go near the clunky smartwatches made by Samsung. It was a finalist at Tech in Asia’s Startup Arena competition in Singapore. Check out our feature on Kairos Watches. Its campaign page isn’t live yet. Warybee is a panic button for women that doubles as a fashion accessory. The startup aims to create a device that women wouldn’t mind wearing all the time, but is also easy to use during an emergency. Read more about the people behind the project. Support them here. iBam is an electricity-free smartphone speaker made from bamboo. It claims to have double the sound volume at half the size of the first version. The iBam is made by village craftsmen in Southeast Asia as a means to revive their cultural traditions, as well as stay-at-home mothers from Singapore so they don’t need to choose between a job and their children. The project is not live on Crowdtivate yet, but will be soon. Its campaign page isn’t live yet.
News Article | October 7, 2014
Ambi Climate is a new, Internet-connected, smart remote that’s been designed to increase at-home air conditioning efficiency and reduce costs by up to 30%, according to the company. Produced by Ambi Labs, the gadget has been launched on Kickstarter, as the company is seeking $25,000 in funding. Ambi Climate is supposed to work with any existing infrared remote-controlled AC, which it can automatically control to ensure an optimal temperature is reached. In addition to measuring temperature inside the house, the device also looks at outside conditions, measuring sunlight, humidity and other elements. Additionally, the Ambi Climate learns the user’s thermal comfort preferences, and knows when he or she leaves the house, adjusting accordingly so it can offer even more savings. The device can connect with iPhone and Android devices, which can be used to control the Ambi Climate both at home, and remotely. The cheapest Ambi Climate available on Kickstarter costs just $49 for the Super Early Bird version — which is $100 off the expected retail price — and should be shipped to backers in June 2015, assuming the project is funded and everything goes well. The Limited Edition (beta) version costs $99 and will ship a lot earlier, in November 2014, although only 30 units can be ordered on Kickstarter. An animation explaining how Ambi Climate is supposed to work follow below.
News Article | August 4, 2015
Big Data is known as the next big thing in the technology sector. It helps companies make grand strides and gain tremendous success. Though it sounds like some kind of a technology beast, it is, in fact, a simple way of leveraging large volume of digital data through real-time data collection and analysis. Having a comprehensive idea about customer sentiments is essential for businesses to serve target customers based on real-time needs. However, this in-depth insight can be availed only through significant technological aid that generate crucial data and serve it as actionable insights. In today’s fast-paced business environment with vast amounts of proliferating data, growing customer demands and competitive marketing challenges, companies are in constant desperation to make the right decisions at the right time. This uncompromising agility is indispensable to gain competitive advantage and get better sales. Big Data is the key to obtain actionable insights that help businesses take informed decisions in a time-bound manner. Leveraging several external data elements will help respond to current business needs on real-time basis. Predictive data modelling is also essential to design a clear-cut road map for future business growth. Also Read: An e-wallet defeats its very purpose; won’t work in India: Mswipe Founder Here are a few statistical highlights on the increasing relevance of Big Data: Digital data is not only used in technical and business sectors, but also helps alleviate numerous social issues. It can dramatically improve the lives of several people. Governments and non-profit organisations around the world are making notable progress by using Big Data to do the same. An innovative attempt and a philanthropic cause to create potential job opportunities in rural areas, ‘impact sourcing’ helps create Internet-based job opportunities. The primary focus of the initiative is to take simple tech jobs beyond urban areas, thus penetrating deeper into the society, and empowering talented youth and women from rural areas and backward communities. Also Read: Uber Kenya adds new feature to app targetting deaf drivers A global programme that connects businesses and technology providers with talented resources from disadvantaged communities, impact sourcing helps businesses to assign digital data related jobs to a competent workforce from various parts of the world. For lack of adequate opportunities and appropriate support, most of the immensely talented people from rural areas are often forced to narrow down their dreams to menial jobs, thus strangling their career dreams forever. With potential job opportunities that reward them with prospective careers and stable sources of income, impact sourcing aims to give wings to the dreams and aspirations of several young men and women. Corporate360 is a Big Data startup, headquartered in Singapore, a supporter of impact sourcing. It offers a B2B marketing data cloud software. Also Read: Philippine startup The Kard seals US$372K round led by Globaltronics Corporate360 is setting up global operations that creates data-related jobs that benefit several disadvantaged individuals in various rural areas. This mission has been kickstarted with the aim of empowering women and youth in rural areas, through promising job opportunities on digital data tasks. Corporate360’s data mining algorithms collect massive amounts of business data from millions of web sources. The unstructured data gets normalised based on hundreds of marketing data factors. To ensure accuracy, relevancy and compliance of data sets, it innovated a crowdsourcing software to enable online workers. The cloud-based platform allows data researchers to perform simple data task projects such as contacts data validation, data privacy compliance verification, permission checks, language translation, predictive data modelling, data correction including removal of duplicate data, tracking of contacts and competitor updates real time and update with most recent records, refreshing relevant contact changes and email records. Regardless of any automation efforts, these are some of the last mile areas where human touch is necessary to maintain data accuracy. Through the SmartWorker software, it hires unemployed youths and women from rural and poor communities in India. It trains them to perform simple digital data tasks and connect them to life-changing work income via its online software. With this unique social crowd-sourcing approach, it is able to scale its data mining algorithms to complement the quality of its marketing data cloud platform as well. Through SmartWorker, Corporate360 promotes impact sourcing that benefits disadvantaged people in areas of severely low employment.
News Article | October 6, 2014
Ambi Climate wants to democratize smart home climate control with a device that brings learning climate management to standalone window air conditioner units, central air systems, freestanding systems or the single room machines more common in Europe and Asia, so long as the existing system can work with an IR-based blaster or remote. It originally launched in July on Asia-specific crowdfunding site Crowdtivate, but now it’s looking to expand its audience in North America. The hardware startup is kicking off its product launch on Kickstarter today, aiming to raise $25,000 to make its project a reality. The team already has a functional prototype built, with a near-final design that features a small hub device with micro USB power supply, IR transmitters for communicating with air conditioning units, and 802.11n Wi-Fi, plus BLE for iBeacon functionality. The hub unit can receive commands from your devices via Wi-Fi and beam them through IR to your AC unit, but it’s not just a remote – it’s a learning system that’s meant to pick up on your arrival/leaving times, temperature preferences throughout the day, sunlight, internal and external temperature, movement and more to automate your home climate control. The startup has built its own proprietary software algorithms to make this possible, in addition to creating the sensor-laden Ambi Climate device. It tries to maximize the energy efficiency of your system while keeping things comfortable, and the founders claim that it can cut your energy bill by up to a third when used constantly. There aren’t any tools for installation as with other options like Nest, and it works even with apartment window air conditioners, so long as they’re new. The IR method might actually not be compatible with a lot of central air systems that Nest would work best for, so Ambi Climate might be well-positioned to pick up the parts of the market not covered by the Google-owned firm. Early backers can also pick one up for just $49 per unit, which is $100 less than the company expects to charge when they ship in June 2015. If you can’t wait, there’s a beta edition available for delivery by the end of November of this year, which is rare for a crowdfunded project. Ambi Climate is the product of Ambi Labs, a startup founded out of Hong Kong hackerspace Dim Sum Labs. CEO and co-founder Julian Lee has a long history of executive roles in the startup space and at Accenture. Chief Software Architect Timothy Chang was a developer at RIM as a student before moving on to become a software developer at MD provider The Institution. And Chief Hardware Engineer Paul Sykes has a history of designing hardware and software for the pharmaceutical industry and radio and TV broadcast.
News Article | June 2, 2014
It’s only one week to Echelon 2014, Asia’s premier tech and startup conference! Today, we, at e27, are pleased to announce that the entries for SpacePak, our digital goodie bag that’s been launched for Echelon 2014, has been finalised! Also Read: Echelon 2014 brings SpacePak just for you! Among the many companies that are included in SpacePak is Hong Kong-based Ambi Labs, who will be offering its smart air-con remote control, Ambi Climate, for free to the first 100 delegates that sign up with it. Other companies are AdRoll, which is offering a S$100 (US$80) free trial for all Echelon delegates, and Ritmo Learning Lab, which is offering free multimedia iBooks. Over 30 companies have attractive offers for you via SpacePak. We are sure you want to know more. All you have to do is click here! Make use of the week before Echelon to take a look at what products interest you, and get ready to log in with your Echelon registration email on June 10. For now, you will be only able to access the SpacePak on the Echelon dates of June 10 and 11, to ensure maximum engagement with corporate sponsors and exhibiting startups. Haven’t bought your tickets to Echelon? Sign up via the link below, and get access to the newest products from Asia’s hottest startups and tech companies! Echelon 2014 is a two-day Startup, Technology and Business event where Asia’s most innovative startups, early-stage investors and tech industry leaders as well as tech media, gather to celebrate and build Asia’s growing tech industry, as well as make valuable relationships. Enjoy 10 per cent off your Echelon 2014 tickets (which include a SpacePak each), just because you read this article! Or use the code “e27Friend“.
News Article | October 13, 2014
Having launched a Kickstarter campaign for smart device Ambi Climate last week, with a goal set at US$25,000, Hong Kong-based Ambi Labs was in for a treat. In less than nine hours, the firm managed to snag enough pledgers to hit US$30,600. Today, the campaign is already more than 300 per cent funded, with 31 days to go. “If we can reach US$75,000, we will provide a web interface to supplement the companion app,” it wrote on its official Kickstarter campaign page, adding, “Now you can monitor your AC while at work, teach your kids how to use ‘Ambi Mode’ on the family iPad or show your mom how to access her Ambi Climate on her laptop.” Furthermore, if the firm reaches US$100,000, it will integrate Ambi Climate with IFTTT and provide an open API, it also wrote. This will allow further automation, and enable users to build what the company calls “your home of the future”. For background, Ambi Climate is a device that uses predictive climate control by monitoring both indoor and outdoor temperatures to maximise energy use. It is compatible with iOS and Android devices. Among the 509 backers on Kickstarter, over 250 locations were tracked. The reason for this is that only half had provided their location on their profiles on the platform. Martin Kessler, CMO, Ambi Labs, told e27 that out of these 250 locations, 50 per cent of backers hail from Asia, about 24 per cent are from North America, about nine per cent are from Australia, eight percent are from Europe, and seven per cent in the Gulf Area. Also Read: Weekly Cornerplay: Why even the best Android Wear apps aren’t very good The device was first launched on Singapore-based Asian crowdfunding site Crowdtivate, which was developed and rolled out by telecom company StarHub. Its inaugural campaign on Crowdtivate was not quite successful, with 98 funders generating S$16,972 (about US$13,574). Its goal was set at S$50,000 (about US$39,990). “After a failed attempt at Crowdtivate, we went back to the drawing board and looked at things that worked and those that didn’t,” said Kessler. He reasoned that while Ambi Labs has a “strong community” behind Ambi Climate, most people still do not know about the product and the value proposition it offers. “To add fuel to the fire, with Crowdtivate, we went with a new and relatively unknown crowdfunding platform.” That was a valuable lesson for the company, as it improved marketing materials to communicate a more polished value proposition. “All in all, we are glad we went with Crowdtivate first as it allowed us to refine our message in an almost isolated sandbox environment. After all, this is what startups are all about — learn, measure and build,” he said. Going forward, the Echelon 2014 People’s Choice Award winner will be shipping Ambi Climate and launching its companion app by June 2015. Due to popular demand, backers who want to receive the device (which comes at a US$50 retail discount) by June 2015 will have to pledge US$99 or more. Those outside the US will have to pay an extra US$10 shipping fee. At the moment, Ambi Labs has a headcount of 14: two hardware engineers, six people in marketing, design, finance and business development, five in software engineering and machine learning, and one in office management.