Business Technology

Alfred Smart Home: App with name of Batman’s butler set to boost connected device trend

3 min read

03 March 2016

Deputy Editor, Real Business

With billions of dollars at his disposal and the latest technology at his fingertips, it’s surprising that Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, lives in a mansion devoid of smart home automation. But this may soon change with the expansion of UK app Alfred – named after the superhero’s butler.

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Name: Alfred Smart Home
Industry/sector: Mobile
Date founded: 2015
Founders: Nicola Russo, Michelle Galli, Marco Matera, Silvia di Nardo, Adam Lamkharbech
Location: London

The European connected and smart home product market has been growing rapidly, with 2016 seeing it continue to evolve along a number of different fronts. But one piece of technology that has truly been making waves in the sector is an app which gives you one central place to control your smart devices, while at the same time monitoring usage and managing consumption and bills.

Through the use of a set of unique algorithms, the app analyses energy trends, user habits and performance, then presents it back within the app in a useful and usable display.

Now working with the IncuBus Future of Work programme in London, the Italian team behind Alfred Smart Home developed the app after a prototype smart socket brought to light the fact that an interface for multiple devices was sorely lacking. And with the UK offering 56m connected smart home devices, and over four million households of which are already automated, Alfred Smart Home is set to expect a growth spurt in the near future.

The app has seen early success, having gone on to become a finalist in the John Lewis JLAB accelerator program in 2015 – the team sought an investment of £500,000 – where the app’s features had been slightly tweaked. 

Alfred was originally meant to be a system allowing people cheaper access to smart home technology, but the approach changed during the JLAB experience and the team has since built an open framework with bigger market players in mind.

It was suggested that given the fact the smart home market was not well-established yet, the team would initially target large business-to-business customers, such as John Lewis, which may already have customers using such devices.

But in a couple of years the Alfred Smart Home founders believe the app’s profile will be high enough to enter the business-to-customer market. As of yet, however, the team has started by partnering up with the likes of Philip Hue, Motorola, Belkin and Sonos, as well as gained sponsorship from French home security firm MyFox.

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