We’ve still got a few weeks before summer officially starts, but with temperatures already creeping into the 90s last weekend, many of us have kicked on our ACs.
If you live in an older home and haven’t upgraded your HVAC system - an expense that promises to run you into the thousands - then you’re likely at the mercy of a window-mounted or in-wall air conditioner. While these systems do a fine job at cooling down a room, it typically takes several units to cool an entire home and running them comes with a hefty price tag. This leaves many people opting to fork over a boat load of cash each month to run the units all day or returning to a stiflingly hot home everyday.
Fortunately, recent Harvard Business School grad Haruumi Shiode is tapping the Internet of Things (IoT) in an effort to change that. Shiode is co-founder and CEO of Nature. The company’s product, Remo, is a smart device that will “give your AC a brain,” according to the site.
KEEP IT COOL
Nature Remo transforms window-mounted and in-wall AC units into smart devices, allowing users to remotely turn on the AC or pre-set temperatures for various times during the day. Using Nature Remo’s motion activated sensor, users can also set the unit to turn off when a room is empty.
The device works with any AC with a remote control, and a Remo device for units without remotes should be available by the end of the year. It’s simple to set up: plug in the Remo device and connect it to your home WiFi. Nature Remo will then communicate with your AC’s remote via infrared, and you’ll have the power to control its settings from anywhere using the mobile app.
Last week, Nature Remo launched on Kickstarter. With 21 days still left in its campaign, Nature Remo is just $3K shy of hitting its $50K goal.
BRINGING IOT TO YOUR AC
A native of Japan and the son of an entrepreneur who consulted for Toyota, Shiode created his first video game while still in middle school. He has a bachelor’s degree in electronics and a master’s in computer science, and was inspired to pursue Nature Remo while working for Mitsui ＆ Co.
“I had a passion to do something with energy, but a massive nuclear power plant wasn’t it,” Shiode said. “I wanted to do something smaller scale - something clean energy.
“When I came to Boston and spoke with people about energy here, I realized there’s a white space in IoT for room air conditioners,” he added, noting that across the U.S., window-mounted and in-wall air conditioner unites may be less common than central air conditioning, but units are the norm, globally.
Learn more about Nature Remo and contribute to its success by visiting its Kickstarter page.
Image via Unsplash