One of the easiest ways to save energy is to switch off the unnecessary lights. While a lot of us already do it at our own homes to decrease the electricity bills, we are still amazingly wasteful in public places. Eter.io is a Croatian startup founded by academics from Zagreb that offers an Internet of Things solution to this problem.
“We researched the lighting market and were surprised that, in commercial and public lighting, these kind of systems are still rare despite their decade’s old presence,” explained Ivan Britvić from Eter.io. “The reason was that they are too expensive, vendor-centric. So we decided to create a vendor-independent, cost-effective solution that could pay itself directly.”
The main idea behind Eter.io is the same as in other, similar, solutions. The system consists of sensors and switches that are placed in the building, a software central platform, and a mobile app. Sensors measure the illumination level in the room and detect motion to decide when to turn lights on and off. The system uploads all data to a cloud where it is aggregated and presented through customized dashboard. You can also use the mobile app to adjust the lighting manually.
One of the unique features of Eter.io is that the system is constantly improving through machine learning. Each time a user switches the light on or off manually, algorithms are adjusted to do it automatically in the future. The software runs on all platforms but is optimized for mini-computers such as Raspberry Pi. The system is not dependent on vendors; it is compliant with different industry standards such as KNX, DALI, Zwave, XBee, radio.
Eter.io has three founders: Anja Nikitović, Jurica Đurić and Ivan Britvić, all working together on VSITE, IT college in Zagreb. Britvić has over 20 years of experience in IT management and software development. Đurić is a passionate web and mobile developer, while Anja is a young marketing and sales professional.
The system is still being tested on VSITE. The product should be ready to launch on the market in the second half of 2017. “We are cooperating with local energy agencies and expect to have our system implemented as a central management unit for all lighting in a local EU-funded smart city living lab project,” said Britvić. He also expects the team to search for external funding by that time, as the project is currently bootstrapping, using the college as a development hub.