With things looking increasingly grim out there, some good news arrived in our inbox from one of the companies we covered recently: Kemuri takes home Innovation Challenge award for smart power socket system.
Home behaviour monitoring firm Kemuri has been announced as an Innovation Challenge winner at the Home of 2030 design competition. And, with elderly people now being forced to remain at home these days due to Covid-19, the technology is unfortunately quite topical.
Kemuri develops smart power sockets that are fitted with sensors for motion, power consumption, temperature and humidity, using AI to track changes in an older person’s behaviour that could be an indication of a decline in health.
Longevity.Technology: We like technologies like Kemuri, they’re scalable and uncomplicated while addressing a significant need for authorities as they endeavour to keep people in their homes longer – while using AI to make management easier. Loneliness is an issue we’d like to see AI address for people living on their own with little external stimulation.
Making new homes desirable to all demographics is a key focus of a cross-departmental initiative funded by the UK government: the Home of 2030 challenge. The initiative aims to ensure that homes can adapt to changing needs and work for an aging society by allowing people to live at home longer. The Home of 2030 competition is being run in collaboration with the Design Council, the Ministry of Building Innovation and Education, the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Building Research Establishment.
Kemuri won in the “Inclusive Living” category and was presented by Housing Minister Christopher Pincher. The company’s home monitoring technology is the brainchild of Dr Leonard Anderson after the experience of seeing his mother go through dementia.
“We believe that everyone who could be supported to live at home, should be able to do so and we’re proud that our service is regarded as innovative, sustainable and affordable,” said Dr Anderson, who also indicated that the company is making good progress in its bid to secure investment for expansion.
“Home of 2030 hints at our ambition to be a pioneer of networked multi-sensor power sockets in any property – this requires a sizeable R&D investment,” he told us. “We’re seeing interest from investors that want social impact – not just quick profits.”
Dr Anderson indicates that the company is close to inking a deal with a housing association following a proof of concept and that a regional council has signed an annual contract “aimed at helping to accelerate hospital discharge, improve health outcomes and increase safety in independent living.”
He also confirms that the company is not focusing on a direct-to-consumer model, preferring to remain focused on organisations and providers that serve the aging community.
“We have learnt from the difficulties experienced by 3-Rings and CanaryCare that the cost of sales and support is just too high for start-ups,” he explains. “We’d prefer a B2B2C model in due course when the demand is higher.”