Synxer aims to make a smarter home
October 13, 2012 in Startup
When friends visit my home, they typically get a kick out of watching themselves on my home security system. But home security is more than just a cool gadget. Consider these sobering statistics: only 17 per cent of homes have a security system, a residential burglary occurs every three minutes in Canada, and most home burglaries occur between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.
Synxer began in Nick Tomkinâ€™s basement where the lifelong technophile was ordering parts online in an effort to automate his Hamilton home (www.synxer.com). From opening garage doors with his cellphone to controlling stereo equipment and robotic vacuums from his computer, Tomkin was scouring the web for solutions that he could hack together.
Unfortunately, the technology to create his smart home was too fragmented and complicated. Tomkin theorized that the missing piece was the bridge that would pull all the pieces together and allow a user to control their home in an integrated way. A business idea had formed in his mind.
Fast forward two years, and Tomkin has surrounded himself with two partners to help take his idea to market. Those partners are Rob House and Brian Banks and the bridge is now known as Synxer, and is a Hamilton startup which was a finalist in the 2012 Lions Lair competition.
Synxer has developed an application that resides on a userâ€™s smartphone which communicates with a homeâ€™s wi-fi network. Synxer can control electrical outlets, switches, thermostats and door locks. These elements all have the ability to work with a communication protocol named z-wave. These z wave-enabled elements communicate with the Synxer platform and the wi-fi system, thereby completing a secure internal network.
Practically speaking, this means that a Synxer user can unlock or relock the door of a home from anywhere at anytime. Synxer users can also virtually adjust thermostat settings. With the GPS functionality of oneâ€™s smartphone, Synxer can also be programmed to turn on your driveway lights at a predetermined distance while you are on your way home. â€śWith Synxer, you can set, monitor and secure your home in a matter of seconds,â€ť Tomkin proudly states.
Synxer believes that as the demand for these types of solutions grows, so will the elements that a platform like Synxer can control. It is not unlike the smartphone app market itself. Software developers are clamouring to create new tools that consumers desire. Tomkin predicts that Synxer will become an extension of a personâ€™s life, like a set of keys, or a trusted neighbour. Soon, every element in someoneâ€™s house could be controlled remotely.
So far, customer feedback has centred on convenience and peace of mind. The burgeoning smart-home market has some early players who are building their business model on traditional hardware and monthly subscriber fees.
But Synxerâ€™s pricing model is simple. It requires no unnecessary hardware in your home and has no monthly fees, just a one-time investment. Tomkin wants to grab market share as quickly as possible and make it easy for homeowners to feel secure.
If you happen to be living in one of the 83 per cent of Canadian homes without security, give Tomkin a call. Peace of mind is always a worthwhile investment.