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Interview: How Jucebox made one IoT connectivity device to rule them all

06 Dec 2016

​JUCEBOX is a technology start-up company operating the Internet of Things (IoT) space and based in Auckland, New Zealand.

The company says its product is the world first - a truly universal device enabler for all smart (and smart-convertible) devices in homes, businesses, and all other environments.

Ulrich Frerk, Jucebox's chief amazement officer (yes, that's his title), speaks to bizEDGE about Jucebox, its goals and challenges they've met along the way.

“Jucebox empowers people by enabling their technology. We want all our devices to talk to each other, to truly connect our world. To bring together the Internet of Things (IoT) world we have Jucebox."

While the product isn't at a commercial release stage yet, the company still has clear target markets and is always trying to expand its horizons.

"Jucebox was originally created for small to mid-size commercial buildings and smart homes in order to solve an integration problem. We wanted a device to connect and interact with a multitude of systems. For example, in Smart Homes we are helping avoid having over 20 applications or more on your phone to control a myriad of devices.”

"Currently there is no one simple way to configure everything in your house, so our first target market is smart homes. However, we are looking at applications for Jucebox in other industries as well."

Jucebox says that when customers install systems to make their buildings more efficient or near to zero energy usage, those systems can be complicated to install and with interface problems to overcome.

"Jucebox's main point of focus is creating an administration interface which installers can use to quickly and easily install and integrate the solution for their customers."

The company is also working on a new product it calls NIBBL, which was co-developed with customers that wanted to modernise products that don’t have 'smart' technologies built into them.

"Nibbl is a Smart Device that allows end-users personalised access and control of their devices at anytime from anywhere in the world, via interfaces such as mobile, voice, or even Artificial Intelligence bots and gesture control.

"Nibbl makes products smarter and able to utilise all available networks for connection and control, but more importantly allows collection of usage data from those products which was previously unavailable. That data can then be utilised to make products more energy efficient and last longer in the field."

The company has faced three key challenges in its journey so far: "Being too early, not being able to raise enough early capital and the fact that investors do not yet understand the IoT, its technology and its benefits."

Those lessons have influenced the company's future goals, but in the end the core focus for the Jucebox is technology empowerment through enablement.

"Jucebox is the 'one device to rule them all'. We envision a connected world where the consumer can experience all the benefits of technology without disconnects, within a smart environment."

With IoT adoption becoming more prevalent and happening everywhere, Jucebox says efficiency will always be an area where we can't do enough.

"The IoT can resolve real world problems very affordably, however the infrastructure is still being rolled out to enable mass adoption. We urgently need to see more Fibre connected to more home and cities and the rollout of SigFox and LoraWan networks completed to allow increased adoption of smart technology to reach further and further."

"Ever increasing adoption rates give the consumer access to Smart-Home technology which was previously very expensive, yet can now be purchased at a Harvey Norman store."

“We hope that you’ll also be seeing Jucebox on the shelves there soon.”

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