Microsoft's plans of futuristic homes come closer as the tech giant names the 10 start-ups participating in its home-automation accelerator that it announced this past June. These start-ups are: Chai Energy, Heatworks Model 1, Neura, Novi Security, Reemo, Plum, Red Balloon Security, Scanalytics, Sentri, and Wallflowr.
This venture accelerator is part of a larger picture in Microsoft's vision. The tech giant has recently bought id8 Group R2 Studios, whose technologies are speculated to be integrated into Xbox, and the living room vision that Microsoft has shown glimpses of. Additionally, there are in-house research projects such as the HomeOS aimed at home automation.
To fully appreciate the significance of this venture accelerator, one has to look at the scope of the startups. There are detailed focuses such as Heatworks’ fully digitally connected and water-conserving water heater, Plum’s outlets and lights that are connected to your phone, Wallflowr’s preventative technology for house fires, and a much broader foci such as Neura’s contextual and adaptive technologies. You can read about these companies in full here.
This type of all out assault in favor of a connected, smart houses is unique among Microsoft’s Silicon Valley counterparts. While Google has tipped its toes in the water by buying Nest, there is true potential for Microsoft to build a truly integrated ecosystem inside your future house.