12 Smart Startups That Changed Our Homes (infographic)

Today, smart technologies have become a focus point of our daily lives. For example, Google Maps is used to help navigate our way to unfamiliar destinations and ride-sharing applications like Uber help us get around chaotic downtown areas. Both of these smart technologies changed the way we live.

Google Maps and Uber are only two examples of smart technologies that help make human lives more convenient, controlled and connected. The Zebra reveals how some new technologies are beginning to shift our daily lives even more. Whether it’s a utility, security, health, or entertainment function, the following technologies are elevating the way we view smart home technologies. And even though some of them didn’t make it past the startup phase, they still changed the way we view the possibilities of smart home tech.

First, let’s look at three utility smart technologies. These include Lifx, Tado, and Nest.


Lifx is a company that produces Wi-Fi controlled LED smart lights. These smart lights come in an array of colors and can pair with other devices like Nest and Google Assistant. Some people use these in their living room to create a more chill mood. This makes them great for party spaces. Other people use Lifx lights in their garages to create a more sleek, edgy vibe for their sports car.

Compared to other smart technologies, Lifx smart lights are low in cost and had a small impact on their industry.


Tado is a smartphone-controlled air conditioning and heating product. This product adjusts temperatures in relation to how close a user it to their home. Tado helps reduce a user’s energy consumption which can result in lower utility bills. Now that’s a win-win situation.

A cool aspect about Tado is the user can control the temperature of their home anywhere at any time. This means you can enjoy a comfortable climate while at home and practice efficient energy usage while away from home. Therefore, this is a great company for people who value sustainability.


Nest is a company commonly known for the Nest Learning Thermostat, a flagship product. In 2014, Nest was acquired by Google and they now operate under one roof. The Nest Learning Thermostat can program itself to a user’s schedule which saves a user’s time, money and energy.

Next, we’ll identify three security smart security technologies. Some examples are Smartfrog, Cocoon, and August.


Smartfrog is a fairly inexpensive, home security technology that is operated by an app and smartphone. Smartfrog can store pre-recorded video in the cloud for users to view at their convenience.

Smartfrog helps users feel safe and protected from risks because users can see what’s happening anytime. Many people use Smartfrog for a variety of uses including business monitoring, keeping an eye on pets while at work, and watching over loved ones. This can decrease a user’s stress and increase their attentiveness.


Cocoon is another home security smart technology that identifies disturbances in users’ homes. Cocoon provides multi-room security and connects to Wi-Fi which means no additional clutter for the user.

Artificial intelligence allows Cocoon to learn how a home behaves, thus increasing its effectiveness in protecting a user’s home. Cocoon refers to this as “sound signature.” This allows Cocoon to distinguish a pet from an intruder walking by. Users will then receive alerts via smartphone to the situations that matter.


August offers smart lock products which allow users to gain access to a home without a tangible key. All a user needs is an app and their “virtual key.” The August App tracks activity at the user’s doorstep and provides door status updates revealing when a door is locked or unlocked. The Activity Feed is 24/7 which helps users feel safe.

August had a large impact on the industry because there weren’t a strong number of competitors before 2017. In fact, August raised $73 million dollars before acquired by Assa Abloy.

Now, let’s explore health smart technologies. A few examples include Sleepsapce, Awair, and Jibo.


Sleepace provides a variety of sleep monitoring products that can track a user’s breathing and heart rate without wearing a bothersome device. These products are changing the smart bedding, baby monitoring and elderly care industries.

Sleepspace can increase a user’s quality of sleep through adjustable bed control features.

An abnormal heart rate alarm is built into Sleepace’s baby monitor to help minimize a user’s stress as a parent. Lastly, Sleepspace can alert a user when someone leaves a bed. This can help senior caregivers stay more informed.


Awair monitors what lingers in a home’s air. Awair can detect allergens or chemicals and offer solutions for a user to improve their home’s air quality. This can help increase a user’s overall health and safety.

Awair also provides an app that can be used to track improvements in air quality over time. Along with this timeline, Awair scores your home in temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, chemicals and fine dust. Maintaining good scores in all these areas can lead to better sleep and health.


Jibo was a social robot that could deliver reports, run smart home devices and teach kids to code. Through social learning, Jibo was able to constantly learn how to solve any questions users have. Some basic questions Jibo could answer included “What’s in the news today?” or “Do you have any words of wisdom?”

What separated Jibo from products like Alexa, is Jibo learned your face, voice and what matters to you. Don’t worry, Jibo’s a friendly robot. Though Jibo is no longer around, this innovation presents possibilities for future personal robot assistants.

Lastly, we’ll summarize a few entertainment smart technologies. Some examples are Innit, Sonos, and Electric Objects.


Innit is a smart kitchen application that assists users in meal scheduling based on a user’s dietary needs and appliances available. By completing a “Food Profile”, Innit’s app is able to match recipes that take into account your likes, health concerns and allergies.

In addition to recipe matching, Innit can ping alerts when there are any food items that go against your profile. This means it may not always be necessary to read the ingredients on a nutrition facts label. Hungry yet?


Sonos is a smart home sound system for anyone with a smartphone. Whether you use it for music or TV, Sonos makes sharing audio with people easy through their app. Sonos connects a variety of streaming services in one place making their product loved by many people.

One of the cool features that gained Sonos popularity is their synced speakers. This allows users to play any audiobook or song throughout their entire home or workspace.

Electric Objects

Electric Objects allows users to bring professional art into their homes via high-definition screens. In 2017, Giphy acquired Electric Objects after generating $8.9 million dollars. According to Electric Objects website, Giphy does not sell or support Electric Objects hardware any longer.

Therefore, what remains of Electric Objects is a maintained app for existing customers.

From robots to apps, these smart technologies make people's lives more convenient and efficient. Some smart technologies on this list appeared impossible years ago, but as technology advances, innovative solutions to consumer problems are being solved.

A problem that comes up around smart technologies is price. However, not every smart technology has an intimidating price tag. Some companies like Lifx and Innit allow anyone with a smart device to use their products and services.

What’s next for smart technologies? Some predictions for the future are explained in The Zebra’s smart home tech infographic.

How Smart Tech Startups are Making Our Homes More Intelligent - infographic

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