January 6, 2014
GreenWave Reality Inc. may just be the most important smart home technology company that you've never heard of.
Founded in 2008, GreenWave Reality boasts 185 employees and $31 million in investment funding. More importantly, the California-based enterprise Green hit operational profitability in the fourth quarter of 2013 and just announced a major customer win with E.ON, one of the largest utility companies in Europe. Rounding out GreenWave's list of credentials, the startup is working with Home Depot in the US through a partnership with the wireless LED lighting company TCP Lighting, and has two undisclosed US service provider customers, including at least one in the cable/telecom/satellite market.
So what does GreenWave do and why are service providers interested? The company has designed a smart home platform called Home2Cloud, with the goal of becoming the underlying canvas not just for home security and automation, but also for everything that's connected in the home.
"Our view," said GreenWave Chief Marketing Officer Nate Williams," is that we've seen this progression of smarter devices -- smarter devices, smarter apps. Now where's the smarter platform?"
The GreenWave platform idea sounds a lot like the technology coming out of such better-known companies as SmartThings and Icontrol Networks Inc. But Williams outlined some crucial differences in a recent interview with Light Reading.
For one thing, Williams noted that SmartThings isn't built for the service provider market. Rather, he said, it's an open ecosystem to which virtually any hardware manufacturer or app developer can connect. On the other hand, he said, iControl is very much meant for service providers, but its entire focus is on home security and automation. GreenWave's ambitions are much broader.
In pursuit of delivering the primary platform for the connected home, GreenWave has integrated network intelligence into its Home2Cloud offering. The solution is self-monitoring and includes a self-healing application that automates necessary fixes, optimizations, and enhancements to the customer experience. Currently, the company offers specific hardware and applications for energy management, connected lighting, and home monitoring, but the platform is built to support far more.
"We actually think that there's a new category that we're pioneering called [the] Internet of Things infrastructure," said Williams. "So think about an infrastructure play for all the connected devices in the home that have to be managed and provisioned on a service provider network."
In Williams' view, the initial home security and automation services hitting the market are only the tip of the iceberg. Service providers are trying to figure out how to better monetize and manage everything that hangs off the home network, and the list of connected devices that encompasses is growing steadily.
Williams was also points out that GreenWave's management team includes a number of executives with ties to the media technology business. That suggests the company has near-term plans to bring entertainment and media-sharing applications into the picture alongside its original smart home services.
If Green Wave can continue to win major service provider contracts, the growth opportunity is tremendous. Strategy Analytics projects that in the US alone, the market for smart home systems and services will top $30 billion by 2018. So GreenWave is planting the seeds now in hopes of becoming one of the major smart home players in that promising market.
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