“AI and ML enhance the adoption of IoT by adding the Return on Investment (RoI) layer on top of the IoT stack for both businesses and consumers.”- Arpit Chhabra, CEO of IoTfy.
Utility and convenience have been one of the primary forces behind increased adoption of IoT in the Appliances and Consumer Electronics (ACE) sector in India. With Smart IoT powered appliances, end users can control and monitor appliances, set schedules, and automation rules using mobile apps and voice commands from voice assistants such as Google Home, Alexa, and Siri.
Acknowledging this market trend, almost all major brands are adding IoT enabled appliances to their catalogue. From smart lighting to smart air conditioners and smart water purifiers, the Indian market has started witnessing the adoption of IoT products.
Further, there is also a push from giants like Amazon, Google and Apple towards growing the IoT appliances ecosystem. For instance, the voice assistants provided by these giants are an integral part of every home these days.
Following a similar vision, a Delhi-based company — IoTfy — works with India’s top consumer durable and appliance brands and enables them to create smart appliances that are responsive to apps and voice commands.
Founded in 2017 by Arpit Chhabra, Sushant Taneja, Shashank Saxena and Shivam Dikshit, IoTfy is a #MakeInIndia IoT and AI cloud suite that powers the consumer durable brands to add IoT capabilities to their device categories.
IoTfy is a chip-to-cloud company whose motto is “RoI with IoT.” According to Arpit, the company’s product suites are helping brands establish scalable business cases for their respective categories. He said, “We enable Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs) and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to introduce smart home products in their respective categories.”
The flagship products are iACE IoT Platform and iota Device Operating System.
The iACE IoT Platform is a self-serve platform, built on a flexible and open device-agnostic architecture, and supports various communication protocols, device schemas, and workflows specific to various device types. The platform presently supports over 28 device categories in home appliances and consumer electronics including air-conditioners, fans, switches, lights, chimneys, inverters, washing machines, plugs, and air-purifiers.
The iota Device Operating System (OS) is a production-grade device RTOS, which can run on different WiFi modules and makes it possible for the manufacturers to convert their devices into smart products. This device makes it possible for smart device owners to connect and control the device even with WiFi Direct mode. In conjunction with the iACE IoT platform, the iota device OS extends the platform capability by providing features of remote control, monitoring, predictive maintenance and OTA updates.
How It Is Different From Others In The Market
According to Arpit, the IoTfy platform can be differentiated by the following strategies: –
- IoT Cloud cost as a one time fee based on the average lifespan of the product category.
- IoTfy’s strategy of offering a fixed cloud cost makes decision making very simple for the brands, resulting in quick decision making to adopt IoT in their businesses.
- IoTfy decoupled WiFi Hardware from the IoT Cloud Platform, giving brand partners the option to source hardware from vendors of their choice.
- IoTfy’s engagement models for iACE IoT cloud platform address all possible concerns with respect to data security, long term sustained usage, and data localisation. This makes IoTfy a long term partner for brands/ODMs/OEMs customers.
- IoTfy is focused on various India specific requirements such as adding vernacular support on mobile applications, adding WiFi Direct functionality, etc.
- Engaging with OEMs and ODMs alongside brands has helped IoTfy build an ecosystem of manufacturers to scale IoT products adoption in India.
Use Of AI And ML
IoTfy uses AI and ML models to identify usage patterns and suggest automation and scheduling routines to help the end-users maximise the comfort and utility of appliances they own. The company mainly uses AI and ML for use cases to help the brand partners predict service requirements of their end customers based on the appliance health data that is gathered periodically from the appliances.
The AI and ML models can also predict upcoming spare part replacement opportunities which the brand customers can exploit to unearth revenue opportunities. The ML and AI models further enhance the adoption of IoT by adding the Return on Investment (RoI) layer on top of the IoT stack for business.
Furthermore, for categories like WiFi cameras and video door phones, the AI algorithms raise alerts based on movements, person detection, etc. to help users have more control of their premises.
Core Tech Stack
At the core tech stack, the company uses APIs for integrating with CRM and ERP (SAP). IoTfy’s Chip-to-Cloud products ecosystem includes the following products:
- iACE IoT Cloud Platform: iACE IoT platform is built on a flexible and open device-agnostic architecture and supports various communication protocols, device schemas and workflows specific to various appliances and device categories.
- iota Device Operating System: iota Device Operating System is an RTOS that supports multiple device categories. iota supports multifarious WiFi modules that are available in the market.
- White-labelled Mobile Applications: The white-labelled mobile apps for the end-users, both for Android and iOS enables them to control over 28 device categories. Vernacular support is also available for mobile applications.
- Voice assistant integration suite: All the categories supported by iACE IoT platform are compatible with voice assistants such as Google Home and Alexa. This provides the end-users with the flexibility to operate the device via voice commands.
Tackling Hiring Phase
Arpit said, “We look for people who are passionate about solving problems that have a huge impact. We believe that skills can be acquired, passion and a problem-solving attitude is something that we look for while we are hiring.”
IoTfy is working towards creating an ecosystem for IoT in India. The company has started taking baby steps towards empowering ODMs in India to be a part of the larger IoT ecosystem in order to fulfil the local and global demands. Furthermore, the company is also planning to become a global IoT platform from India that addresses data privacy concerns and will be a preferred platform of choice for the global brands.