Light Reading

Icontrol, Indiegogo Team to Boost IoT

Jason Meyers
9/3/2014
50%
50%

Icontrol has launched a new effort to help foster development of the Internet of Things (IoT) sector, including a partnership with crowdfunding site Indiegogo to lend credence to IoT startups.

Icontrol Networks Inc. , a maker of software for home security and automation, has launched its OpenHome Labs program to help accelerate the success of IoT app and device developers. Through the program, Icontrol will provide technology development, branding guidance, certification on Icontrol's development platform and connections to the company's long list of customers in home automation -- which includes several telecom and cable providers.

"Startups don't have a lot of money or a clear path to success and distribution," says Greg Roberts, VP of marketing for Icontrol. "OpenHome Labs knocks down those barriers."

In addition to the incubator program, Icontrol has partnered with Indiegogo to provide support to connected devices seeking funding on the crowdfunding site. The partnership is designed to give those companies more credibility to potential funders by virtue of Icontrol's support and stamp of approval.

"Indiegogo always has the next big things, so we dreamed up an idea for collaboration -- a way that we could leverage the 22 million devices that connect to our system," says Jason Domangue, VP of ecosystem development at Icontrol. "How can we leverage that distribution to help startup companies accelerate their funding and their go to market?"

That's done through technology support in the labs -- lending Icontrol's expertise to development of more effective APIs and user interfaces and better RF connectivity schemes, for example -- but also through connectivity to Icontrol's platform and customer base.

"One thing we recommend to people is to demonstrate as much as you can how you're a legit company," says Kate Drane, design, tech and hardware lead at Indiegogo. "Having the Icontrol seal of approval goes a long way toward building consumer confidence. It establishes very quickly that a company is legit, and it builds confidence in funders."


Get the latest on the evolution of connected things by visiting Light Reading's dedicated IoT content channel.


Three startups participating in the Icontrol OpenHome Labs program are already launching their Indiegogo campaigns as part of the new partnership: Bttn, which has created a physical button that can be programmed to trigger any number of actions or chains of actions; Reemo, which makes a wrist-worn control device geared toward the eldercare sector; and Zen, a connected thermostat.

The collaboration with Indiegogo is a boon for Icontrol because it has the potential to quickly expand the community of application and device makers building their solutions on the company's software platform, as well as the potential for deployment of those devices by Icontrol's existing and future customer base. "We're doing everything we can to get our service providers to leverage the devices," Domangue says.

Icontrol won't limit the number of companies accepted into the OpenHome Labs program, but will select applicants based on factors like technical feasibility, market differentiation, hardware design and experience of the management team.

"We're looking for ways for people to interact with our software differently," Domangue says. "We're trying to be very fluid to accommodate this sector of the market and let innovation thrive."

— Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, Light Reading

(8)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
MordyK
50%
50%
MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/8/2014 | 2:41:00 PM
Re: The Internet of Small Things
correct me if I'm wrong, but this only enhances the question of why this has taken so long.
MordyK
50%
50%
MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/8/2014 | 2:39:59 PM
Re: The Internet of Small Things
You touch on the very important topic of the lack of any real proactive promotion and matching by app stores and project funding sites. This is something I looked at years ago for a now defunct project, which has yet to be addressed.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/8/2014 | 2:31:45 PM
Re: The Internet of Small Things
@Jasonmeyers: "Wouldn't an app in an app store have to be already funded and developed to get accepted?"

To get proper visibility in an app store one must have lots of communication with the client base. To just get discovered without ads and marketing needs a whole lot of luck, so yes, I don't think an app on the marketplace would have done any good for proper funding.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/8/2014 | 2:29:52 PM
Re: The Internet of Small Things
"On the crowdfunding element. The main purpose of IndieGogo and Kickstarter has always been less about the money but about proving demand, and Icontrol could've done that by engaging their existing client base."

Icontrol is providing a base for accumulation and services for IOT software development along with a poking nose in the kickstarter site. The main aim of Icontrol seems to be having a well organized and synchronized system of IOT so that later when the IOT structure changes, they can make profits based on goodwill value.
MordyK
50%
50%
MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/3/2014 | 5:32:39 PM
Re: The Internet of Small Things
Granted the crowdfunding element wasnt there, although that's been in place and widely recognized since 2010. The main challenge however has always been the legitimacy, and Icontrol could've put themselves center stage with an ecosystem development strategy that grew as more capabilities developed.

On the crowdfunding element. The main purpose of IndieGogo and Kickstarter has always been less about the money but about proving demand, and Icontrol could've done that by engaging their existing client base.

I guess my point is that unless there's a new cultural approach with CEO backing, if it takes 5+ years to recognize this opportunity, what will it take to recognize the next opportunity or will they miss it entirely?...
jasonmeyers
50%
50%
jasonmeyers,
User Rank: Blogger
9/3/2014 | 4:55:31 PM
Re: The Internet of Small Things
Good point. But the funding and early-stage development support aspects of this adds another wrinkle, right? Wouldn't an app in an app store have to be already funded and developed to get accepted? 
MordyK
50%
50%
MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/3/2014 | 4:36:44 PM
Re: The Internet of Small Things
I agree on the value, lthough I'm surprised it took this long, as I was expecting something like this from them 5 years ago once the iPhone/Appstore showed the approach worked.
jasonmeyers
50%
50%
jasonmeyers,
User Rank: Blogger
9/3/2014 | 10:54:51 AM
The Internet of Small Things
I think Icontrol is smart to identify that for now at least, the most innovative apps and devices that make up the evolving Internet of Things could come from the most unlikely sources. This lab and its alignment with Indiegogo puts the company in a good position to latch on to early-stage, out-of-nowhere ideas, embed its platform and push the product out to its sizable customer base. 
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Ericsson's Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000, featuring Intel's Rack Scale Architecture, caused a stir when it was announced at MWC 2015. For more on this revolutionary product, join me on Thursday, April 30 at 12:00 p.m. EST for a Super Webinar event, A New Hardware Paradigm for the Telco Data Center.
LRTV Documentaries
Cox Eyes Cloud-Based Home Networks

4|27|15   |   05:30   |   (0) comments


Cox's Jeff Finkelstein explains how moving services to the cloud will let cable deliver services faster and eliminate constant hardware replacements.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
Upcoming Live Events
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
In its latest survey covering network operators' plans and strategies for ICT transformation, Heavy Reading asked telecom operators worldwide to identify the most important goals and objectives for their ICT transformation initiatives. Heavy Reading also asked operators about the importance of a "digital first" strategy, which enables customers to complete an interaction across different digital channels, such as web and mobile self-service and social media.
Hot Topics
Comcast Formally Ends Its Bid for TWC
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/24/2015
Comcast Reportedly Dropping $45B TWC Bid
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 4/23/2015
Adtran Is Developing White Box GPON Tech
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/24/2015
Google's WiFi-First Mobile Service 'Fi' Is Here
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2015
Amazon Earnings: What to Watch For
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/23/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
Cats with Phones
Learning Curve Click Here
Pierre could never remember how to use Excel.
Latest Comment