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Microsoft's "Internet of Things" Accelerator Winners

The 10 Companies Will be Hosted On Campus This Fall

Let me think lemme think. Do I date myself unnecessarily by making a "Gaslight" reference? You know, the 1944 film with Ingrid Bergman and several other great actors in which the remote, seeming random dimming of a house's gaslights were part of a plot to convince Ingrid's character she was insane?

This classic-which by the way was released well before I was even born-comes to mind when reading about Plum, which "lets users control lights and electronics from...anywhere in the world."

This company is one of 10 IoT startups just selected by a "thematic accelerator focused on home automation, launched by Microsoft Ventures in partnership with American Family Insurance.

Microsoft executive Steven Guggenheimer says he and his team met with more than 400 companies over the past two months, selecting winners who will be hosted by Microsoft's campus starting in the fall.

Guggenheimer, who is Microsoft's Corporate Vice President and Chief Evangelist, Microsoft Developer Experience and Evangelism, says "We share the belief that over time the home automation trend will fundamentally change how we interact with and manage our homes-making them more efficient, communicative and ultimately safer."

In addition to Plum, the 10 winners include:

  • Chai Energy, which delivers real-time energy "understanding" from individual appliances to entire houses.

  • Heatworks, producing "the world's first fully electronic, connected, water heater."

  • Neura, which "creates intuitive and intelligent experiences between users and their connected environments."

  • Novi Security, "a portable smart-security system to track activities seamlessly across the home."

  • Reemo, "a wrist-worn, gesture control wearable, interoperable interface for both conventional appliances and more recent connected homes."

  • Red Balloon Security, providing "ubiquitous host-based defense for embedded devices."

  • Scanalytics, which aims to be "the centerpiece for understanding consumer behavior in the offline world."

  • Sentri, producing an HD camera and built-in sensors to track a home's temperature, humidity, air quality, weather, and other vitals.

  • Wallflowr, "connected home technology that helps consumers prevent and significantly reduce risks related to accidental fires caused by ranges, stoves and ovens."

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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