Big Idea

Smart Control

Delhi-based start-up Octise lets you control electronic home appliances from anywhere

Vishal Koul

What if there was a way to switch on the AC to cool the room ahead of time before you enter the house, or turn off an appliance that you forgot about? Well, Delhi-based start-up Octise has heard your woes. Its device lets you control all your electrical appliances simply through a mobile app. “Everything around is smart: smart watches, smart phones and even, smart cities. So, now is the time to make smart home an affordable reality,” says founder Ujjwal Syal.

Octise uses cloud computing, machine learning and wireless networking to provide the smart experience to users. One needs to install the device in the switchboard and after connecting it to the Wi-Fi router, Octise’s mobile app can help one set reminders and switch on/off devices. It offers three types of devices — 4 Node, 1 Node and Smart Plug, that have individual function with different kinds of electrical appliances, depending on the voltage and load suitability. These are priced between Rs.5,000-8,000 (one-time payment). 

Designed by Syal, Octise has outsourced the manufacturing of its devices to vendors. Since September 2017, it has installed the devices in 50 households (75 devices in total) in Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The number of devices to be installed in a house depends on the number of electronic appliances they have.

Usually, with home automation technology, if something is wrong with a single device, the entire system stops functioning. Syal believes that is where Octise differentiates from the rest, as each of its devices run separately saving consumers from the breakdown of an entire home system. He adds, “Octise devices are designed keeping retrofitting in mind, to ensure that they easily fit inside the switchboards, without needing to disturb the existing infrastructure.”

Its competitors include large corporations such as Havells, Philips and peers such as Oakter, Inoho, IFIHomes, SharpNode. However, Syal thinks that their affordable range, quick service and better product quality will help Octise to sustain the competition and strive. Meanwhile, the offerings by competitors range from Rs.100,000 to Rs.15,000 per room.

Going ahead, the start-up leverages BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) technology to create indoor localisation. As such, Octise devices will soon be able to detect when you are moving from one room to another in your house and operate all connected appliances accordingly. For example, your smart home will know when you arrive at your doorstep and will turn on the lights automatically. The prototype of the same is ready and the team is currently working on integrating it with the Octise devices.

This six-month old start-up is now focusing on online marketing campaigns and tie-ups with large local electronic vendors to reach out to more people. It also sells directly to consumers through its website or app and have tied up with builders, architects and distributors. It has tied up with a local builder in Delhi to install 120 devices by the end of this month. The start-up also provides technological assistance to other start-ups. For Chandigarh-based Lumos, it has developed an IoT infrastructure leveraging sensor technology. Octise has also developed a smart delivery box for Gurugram-based LolChef to monitor the delivery process and product quality in real-time. Finally, here is a good solution to control your home appliances on the go.