Global Q&A Series: Imont is Redefining the Role of the Cloud in IoT
As most smart home service providers and manufacturers head down the path of developing products or services for the end-user, most include in their development strategy some sort of cloud communication and storage protocol. However, as customer numbers inevitably grow, the cost of maintaining that cloud service will only go up, and if you’re talking about smaller manufacturers, those services could ultimately end up costing too much.
That’s a problem that Imont is hoping to make a thing of the past. The London-based company says that its software has a tiny footprint and can sit in most smart home hubs. And—best of all—it operates without cloud support, which saves the developer the cost of running a cloud platform as well as the hardware cost of over-specified hubs.
At the risk of sounding overly-technical, Imont does this through a decentralized system architecture that embeds the required software in the hub or device directly. That means everything runs locally, giving the end user instant response times, stronger control over their privacy and security, and higher device reliability. And they’re working with some fairly top-notch partners to get their technology in a wide range of products—names like D-Link, Wisenet, Silicon Labs, Texas Instruments, Skelmir, Fujitsu, Pod Group, and Intelligent Automation.
Dealerscope recent sat down with Imont Co-Founder and CEO Nigel Pugh to learn a little bit about his background, the Imont story, and where he sees the company heading in the next few years. Here’s a look at our conversation.
Dealerscope: What attracted you to the consumer tech world?
Pugh: Consumers often use technology in highly creative ways. I’ve always been interested in putting the latest technology in the hands of consumers to try to make their lives easier, and to see what they will invent with it.
What's the most challenging part of your job?
The biggest challenge revolves around trying to simplify something to the extreme, even though the technology behind it is highly complex. From the consumer perspective we want to offer something that works beautifully, does exactly what the consumer would expect it to do, and to exceed their expectations wherever we can.
What do you think is the most important thing that you are working on right now, and why?
The most important thing Imont is working on right now is to fundamentally improve the customer experience of Smart Home. We want to make it affordable, reliable, secure and much easier to purchase and set up just the way you like it. Although there have been many promises about the potential of Smart Home in the past, somehow it has never quite delivered on that, and Imont wants to improve that to the point where the majority of people see it not only as an interesting toy, but something that makes their lives significantly easier.
How is your industry being disrupted right now, and what are you doing to stay ahead that disruption?
Right now there is a lot of disruption around the smart speaker and voice assistant market, and around the growing ecosystems from the big cloud players like Amazon and Google. It’s redefining the way people interact with their homes, and opens up many possibilities. However there is also a privacy concern that many consumers have with allowing that technology into the home and whether those devices are listening in to things that you weren’t expecting them to. At Imont, we’re looking at ways to interact with your home that doesn’t have the same concerns and we believe that will allow us to play our part in that disruption.
Where do you see your industry heading in the next 5, 10 years?
We expect that Smart Home will become ubiquitous, and standard in all new homes. We expect that compelling new use-cases will emerge, and new ecosystems will grow around those use-cases, such that it will also be desirable to retrofit existing homes around those too. As that mass adoption happens, we believe that the cost to buy into Smart Home will also reduce significantly.
What advice do you have for retailers to help them better position your products to consumers?
I wouldn’t presume to advise them. I think they know their business and customers very well!