Yoga redefines simplicity in DIY home management

Yoga redefines simplicity in DIY home management
Yoga Systems has been working on intelligent remote management of appliances, devices and buildings since early 2000s. Its revolutionary cloud-based IoT platform is built for service providers across the range, including telecom companies, cable operators, ISPs and utility companies. Co-founder Raivo Raestik says he can provide solutions to anyone wishing to include smart home services to their end customers. 

What is the Yoga platform and what is Yoga Tiny?

Yoga is an intelligent smart home platform that connects to wired and wireless security sensors, cameras, thermostats, smart plugs, lights, entertainment systems, locks and appliances. Yoga allows you to manage these items from anywhere with any device possessing an internet connection. 

It’s also a cloud-based solution that possesses all the technology in the cloud. We have defined the true essence of simplicity in what is needed for DIY home automation. Our solution also features true plug-and-play.

Yoga Tiny is the world’s smallest and most secure smart home gateway. It is based on the Intel Gateway Solutions for the Internet of Things using Intel Quark SoC X1000 with special security features. There is no way to manipulate the built-in software, so what that means is that it is practically impossible to hack in. 

You can define your own set of rules in a mobile phone, tablet, computer or any Internet-connected device. This gateway is compatible with ZigBee and Bluetooth low-energy radio devices, such as smart plugs, motion detectors, temperature sensors, smoke sensors, and so forth.

How are your services offered, through starter kits or software licenses?

It depends entirely on the operator and how they see their market. For instance, markets in the Middle East, the US and Europe vary immensely. So, it’s up to the operator to decide what options are more suitable. However, our intentions are to provide solutions for various applications, such as security, energy management or lighting control.

We provide both the cloud software and smart home gateway, which we then integrate them with third-party products. In other words, we offer device makers automation solutions with our smart “brain” gateway.

How many telecom operators do you currently work with?

We are deploying our solutions with Elion in Estonia and Sonera in Finland, and also Saudi Arabia through Orange Business Services. If this turns out well, we are looking to expand to other cities in the Middle East.

Also, we are currently closing a deal with one major utility company. All I can say at this present moment is that the possibilities are infinite.

Would you say your current largest revenue is generated through telcos?

Yes, definitely. In the telecommunications industry, there is a marketing term coined the “quadruple play.” First of all, you have the telephone, then the Internet and the smart TV, and consequently followed by the smart home. Since the former three have nothing else new to offer, the smart home is fast becoming the major player on the field. And although the shift of paradigm occurred two years ago, it is only now that the smart home is being observed in a new limelight. Also, big boys such as Apple, Google and Samsung are helping push forth this evolving trend.

Would you say telcos play the most important role in the smart home?

I believe telcos can generate new business opportunities in the smart home because people already have smart TVs and the Internet. In the past, telcos and utility companies have always been selling water and electricity and nothing else. Today, they can include smart home services to their lineup to tell consumers that they have the innovation and technology to stay ahead of the game. In short, changing the mindset is what it takes to propel this industry.

People love the smart home because it is the closest thing to what you already have, such as watches, mobile phones, cars or home. It is also a technology that you can easily relate to. As such, we are already partnering with chip maker Intel and are also in talks with several car makers to extend our solutions to the market, and in particularly with regard to electric cars. 

And why Intel in particular?

Intel Labs chose to partner with us because they take the IoT as a strategic direction where they have to be seen as a competitive player on the market, and also because the smart home is currently one big part of the IoT world.

How do you view the smartphone and wearable devices in the smart home?

The smart phone is already a mature device that has evolved over the years. At any given moment the user can connect to the home using an app on their mobile phone or tablet. The home automation system is already very proactive, meaning that only a few clicks of a button on the app can help you get things done. As for wearable devices, I believe voice control will certainly become a huge hit on the market as they become the norm amongst consumers in the near future.

The only obstacle now would be for users to become accustomed to voicing their command without having to feel awkward in public places. And so, with regard to wearables, we are taking it step by step because it is still a relatively new notion. 

In the smart home major sectors, which area do you think is posing the fastest growth?

There is no concrete answer to that question because it depends hugely on the market. For instance, we have seen some markets that are very security conscious while others like Saudi Arabia and the UAE it’s all about the entertainment because security issue is not a concern in those places. The only time it may become a concern is when they travel abroad for a month or two on vacation and they would need security devices to watch over their property. 

Meanwhile, energy management is a growing sector because energy prices are always fluctuating and in some markets there are increasing demands for those related services. As for healthcare, I don’t think it has made any significant mark over the past few years in terms of offerings and novelties but there are still immense opportunities for that sector to grow nonetheless.

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