IoT Goes Emotional

We’ve all seen a lot of IoT products, IoT pitches and IoT applications — for use in kitchen, factories, highways, farming, you name it.

But the clincher, which I recently came across, was IoT for the “emotional home.”

The pitch isn’t about just saving time or making things convenient. Instead, it’s using IoT — an end-node device and the accompanying cloud services — to enhance emotional connections people already have with babies, pets and elders.

The company promoting this digitally enhanced “emotional home” is Binatone. The man behind the concept is Kanwar Chadha.

For people who’ve grown up in the United States, Binatone, headquartered in Hong Kong and London, isn’t exactly a household name. But in the realm of cordless phones, baby monitors, navigation devices and other small, personal electronics products, it has brand recognition in the U.K., elsewhere in Europe and India.

Moreover, for anyone old enough to remember how GPS ended up in every smartphone, Chadha might be a more familiar name. Founder of SiRF Technology, Inc. in 1995, he pioneered the concept of “GPS for Consumers,” when the rest of the world thought it was both silly and risky.

Chadha became executive chairman of Binatone earlier this year.

Motorola Mobility
Binatone got another boost Wednesday (Sept. 2) to scale its global business. The company acquired license rights to Motorola Mobility’s accessories from Lenovo.

Binatone has had a partnership with Motorola Mobility since 2008. The company is already official licensee for Motorola baby monitors, home and pet monitors. The new agreement “will add a range of consumer mobile accessory products including mono and stereo Bluetooth headsets, wireless speakers and car connectivity products to its portfolio of licensed products,” according to Binatone.

So, why does this matter?

Binatone, since late last year, has been undergoing a major makeover into, Chadha told EE Times, an IoT company.

Call me jaded. The skeptic in me says, sure, every wannabe in the gadget racket has a “smart,” “connected” device that’s just perfect for the Internet of Things. Whether it’s smart thermostats, door locks or home surveillance cameras, we feel like these things have been clogging the booths at the Consumer Electronics Show since the turn of the millennium.

But Chadha, who likes to describe his firm a “startup with 56-plus years of heritage” explains that Binatone isn’t climbing onto IoT bus just to make a lot of point products.  “It’s an end-to-end platform play we are interested in.”

Baby, pet and family
Binatone is building an IoT platform where a number of small – and connected – consumer devices can be effectively served by Hubble Connected Limited, a global IoT service provider. Hubble brings the ability to offer affordable full global cellular connectivity. Chadha also — not coincidentally — executive chairman of Hubble, says it will deliver exactly what those IoT end devices need, by offering live video streaming, cloud recording and GPS tracking among other things.

Further, Binatone is organizing the company’s vast portfolio of seemingly unrelated products in three main areas: Baby, Pet and Family.

Of course, every company promotes its IoT products as labor-savers that make consumers’ lives easier and more convenient.   

But Chadha thought, “What if we zero in on the emotional aspect of family lives, and use IoT to enhance consumers’ emotional experience?” In short, Chadha is pitching IoT to improve the connections consumers already share.

To read the rest of this article, visit EBN sister site EE Times.


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