Published at 30 March 2017
Dutch smart home controller goes abroad
Enschede, Netherlands, March 30, 2017 – Athom, the Dutch company behind Homey, announces the international launch of its smart home product, starting March 31st. Homey combines al your wireless and smart devices at home into a single, easy-to-use and smart system. After a successful launch in the Netherlands the product will be available in retail in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
Homey is designed to make device control better and easier. After a very successful Kickstarter campaign, it has won several Awards, including the EIT Digital Idea Challenge and ING Starter of the Year. In the Netherlands, Homey is greeted with lots of enthusiasm and great market interest.
The launch in the UK and Scandinavia is the first international move by the company, which aims to cover most of Western Europe later this year. “We have a strict per-country roll-out policy to ensure availability, information and compatibility at the right times and places” says Stefan Witkamp, Commercial Director of the company.
“By launching per county, we can ensure Homey works well with popular local devices”, Emile Nijssen, Creative Director of Athom, adds. In this context, integrations for British Gas’s Hive thermostat, Amazon’s Echo, LightWaveRF, Sartano and Nexa have been developed and released. “This way, we enable everyone to use Homey along with the devices they already have, know and love.”
In the Netherlands, Homey is available in multiple retail locations. In the UK, Homey is sold through Vesternet, and Athom has partnered with Amazon Launchpad. For the Nordics, Athom has partnered with Biggerthings.io, and Homey will be featured at Tronika, ioteksperten and Proshop. In all these countries, Homey is also available through www.athom.com.
Homey combines al your wireless and smart devices at home into a single, easy-to-use and smart system. Control your entire home with the free app for Android and iPhone, and make all your devices work together in harmony. Regardless of brand or technology.
Homey’s main power is its open platform. This works similar to a Smartphone: it enables external developers to build apps for Homey. Through Homey Apps, new devices are integrated at an unparalleled pace, making sure all your favorite devices work perfectly with Homey.
Homey controls Television sets, smart thermostats, lightbulbs, home automation systems, sensors, wireless switches, blinds and roller shutters, speakers and many more devices, from various brands.
Athom is founded early 2014 by Emile Nijssen and Stefan Witkamp. The Athom team consists of 15 highly skilled engineers and professionals who work on the development and distribution of Homey. Together, we want to make technology simple, usable and fun – for everyone. Homey has been a success on Kickstarter and is now available at multiple retail locations and www.athom.com.
Published at 28 November 2016
Multiple sales locations sold out on the first day
Enschede, Netherlands, 28 November 2016 – The Dutch retail launch of Homey is a resounding success, announces Athom, the company behind Homey, today. Stefan Witkamp and Emile Nijssen, founders of the company, state that hundreds of products have gone over the counters in the first week alone: “Various stores sold out on product launch day already.”
Homey connects all (wireless) devices at home and combines them in a single system. This way, all devices are easily controllable via smartphone and even voice control. Homey combines 8 wireless technologies, enabling it to control almost all wireless devices and appliances. These can be integrated into scenarios through easy-to-use Flows.
Homey controls Television sets, smart thermostats, light bulbs, home automation systems, sensors, wireless switches, blinds and roller shutters, speakers and many more devices from various brands.
The product is available in retail from Saturday, 19th of November, and has been a huge success from the beginning: “We see the market is ready for Homey, and December is yet to come”, say the founders.
The production line in Haaksbergen is working hard. Despite a significant stock, the company is unsure whether it can meet full demand immediately: “December is always an interesting time. With this launch as prelude, we’re certainly stepping up our efforts”.
Homey is sold at iCentre, MediaMarkt and Ivizi stores, alongside specialist and online shops. Athom also features their own online store. “We are proof that not only Silicon Valley can make beautiful and cool tech products. Homey is unique – even the States don’t have a product like this – and it is designed, developed and produced locally in the Netherlands”.
The most important aspect of Homey is its open platform. This works similar to a Smartphone: it enables external developers to build apps for Homey. “Apps add functionality, like support for a new device or service. This makes Homey even more versatile and allows everyone to contribute.”
Athom is founded early 2014 by Emile Nijssen and Stefan Witkamp, emerging from their studies at the University of Twente.. At Athom, a team of 15 highly skilled engineers and professionals work on the development of Homey. With Homey, Athom wants to make technology at home simple, usable and fun again. So everyone can have a home that works the way you want. Homey is currently available at www.athom.com.
Published at 16 November 2016
Published at 26 September 2016
Enschede, Netherlands, 26 September 2016 – Athom.com is nominated by the jury of the ‘Website of the Year’ award to compete for the title in 2016 within the ‘Consumer Electronics’ category. The company from Enschede, known for their product Homey, is in the ranks amongst Apple, Samsung, Dell and Microsoft. “An absolute honor”, say Stefan Witkamp and Emile Nijssen, founders of Athom.
The website is dedicated to Homey: the product of Athom. Homey connects all (wireless) devices at home, and combines them in a single system: convenient, clear and very smart. They aim to make technology fun and easy to use again with Homey. “we saw more and more wireless and ‘smart’ devices appearing, but in reality it just meant more remotes and separate apps”, explains Nijssen. Witkamp adds: “Every device lived in its own ‘world’, and didn’t collaborate or connect with the rest of the home. All those remotes and apps are actually quite hard or cumbersome to use.”
Homey solves this problem. It does so by combining 8 different wireless technologies with an open platform. This makes Homey capable to connect with almost any device. All those devices can again be linked to each other through Homey. The system is designed for everyone. Nijssen, Creative Director: “We designed everything so controlling it is as simple as possible”. That’s why Homey can be controlled through a simple Smartphone app that collects all different devices, but also through automated Flows, and even by talking to Homey!
By merits of its open platform, comparable to a smartphone, external developers can create apps that run on Homey. “Apps add functionality, like support for a new device. With apps, Homey will continue to improve, and users are less reliant on a single party for further development”, notes Witkamp, Commercial Director.
Both are extremely proud of the nomination their own, in-house designed and developed website received. “For a business like ours, the website is crucial – our company runs almost entirely online.”, states Witkamp. This is why they renewed and expanded their website completely earlier this year. Nijssen: “We wanted to give Homey the presentation it deserves. It’s amazing that we’re also rewarded for that in this way!”
The ‘Website of the Year’ award is the biggest annual competition for the best and most popular websites. The jury selects a limited amount of selected, high quality and popular websites per category, after which the public can vote for the winner. Votes for the 2016 competition can be cast until November 4th at https://websitevanhetjaar.nl/vote/athom/.
Athom is founded early 2014 by Emile Nijssen and Stefan Witkamp. At Athom, a team of 20 highly skilled engineers and professionals work on the development and realization of Homey. Homey is currently available for pre-order at www.athom.com.
Published at 12 June 2015
Enschede, 12 June 2015 – Athom, the company behind the voice controlled personal home assistant Homey (www.athom.com), has raised over 1 million euros in funding. The Enschede-based made the announcement on Friday after closing their first investment round with private investors. The funding will be used to bring Homey, the speech-controlled all-rounder at home developed by the company, to market. Homey has been a success before on Kickstarter, with over a thousand users backing the project. Earlier this year, Athom has been crowned ING Starter of the Year.
Stefan Witkamp and Emile Nijssen, the two founders of Athom, say it has been a ‘magnificent year’: ”It’s fantastic to see the response of everyone on Homey. After our Kickstarter campaign last year, we have worked really hard on the project. Team expansion, production design, and continuing into production”, says Emile Nijssen, responsible for product development. “In the meantime we have also built Athom into a healthy organization. This enables us to support our current backers, and to launch Homey successfully in stores”, adds Stefan Witkamp, the commercial director. The two entrepreneurs see the investment round as the perfect addition to the devotion and hard work of them and their team. “This is the last step towards a mass-market introduction”. Homey’s market- introduction is planned right after the summer, when the people that have backed Homey on Kickstarter, or pre-ordered one on Athom’s website, have received their devices.
With this next step, the ‘Home of the future’ is approaching fast. With Homey everyone is able to make their home smarter, since Homey is easy to use, plug’n’play, and connects to a broad range of existing devices from numerous well-known brands. In the design of Homey, there is deliberately chosen to go beyond the functionality of existing systems, and to be ‘more than home automation’:
“People want to do more in their homes than just switching some lights, devices and changing the temperature. That is why we included TV/Tuner tuning, media center control and music streaming, Chromecast support and much more in Homey. Homey truly connects to everything at home!” explains Witkamp. Homey combines device control with online information services. This ensures that users can not only give commands to Homey, but can also easily request information. Everything can be tied together in automatic ‘flows’, realizing home automation in the easiest way possible.
Because Homey is an open platform with its own app store, comparable with modern-day smartphones, new functionality can easily be added by the means of Homey apps. “By means of our open platform it is simple for hobbyists, developers and product manufacturers to get creative and add new functionality”, clarifies Nijssen. “Niche products, the latest gadgets or interesting services can always be added onto the platform.” Ease-of-use remains the top priority – “just like on an iPhone, a user definitely does not need technological skills to use these apps”, adds Witkamp.
Athom is ready for the future with this investment round: “This funding ensures that we can bring Homey to market in the best way possible”, explains Witkamp. “It enables us to boost our production, build up stock and expand our team to keep improving Homey.” It is clear that this is not a one-off project: “We see so many awesome possibilities with and for Homey”, says Nijssen. “And the best thing is that others do too. That is why we invite everyone to jump in on the Homey platform.”
Athom was founded in the beginning of 2014 by Emile Nijssen and Stefan Witkamp. The team has grown to 15 people working on the development and realization of Homey, the personal assistant at home designed by the venture. With Homey they aim to realize the dream of a real smart home, connecting users easily and intelligently with all their wireless devices, entertainment systems and internet services, and let them all communicate with each other. Homey is available for pre-order at this moment at www.athom.com, and will be available in stores after this summer.
Published at 28 May 2014
Enschede, Netherlands, 28 May 2014 – Emile Nijssen and Stefan Witkamp, the two young Dutch entrepreneurs behind Athom, have launched their Homey Kickstarter campaign today. Homey is an all new consumer product that brings home automation to a whole new level by incorporating entertainment systems, multimedia and online accounts into home automation combined with natural voice control. The goal of their Kickstarter campaign, which everyone can back starting today, is a hundred thousand euros.
“Everyone has more and more smart devices nowadays, but through lack of collaborations homes and environments stay dumb”, tells Stefan Witkamp, co-founder and responsible for the marketing of Homey. “Next to that, current home automation is only aimed towards home appliances, and controlled by apps, two unnecessary limitations.” The new product, Homey, will therefore also, next to remote controlled home appliances, feature support for multimedia-systems like SONOS, media centers and Television sets, and is able to connect to online services as social networks, calendar and mail providers and for example weather predictions. “This way, all your existing devices and current services can fuse and complement each other, in a simple way to improve everyone’s lives. “
All of this is ‘plug and play’ and voice controlled. Using natural interaction everyone can control their entire home. “We see that controlling your home by the use of an app is ideal for on the go, but domestic, it takes longer than just flipping a switch. This made us decide to implement speech recognition for a swift and painless experience.” Next to speech, Homey features a mobile app for iPhone and Android devices, as well as a website that customers can login to to control their home.
To control all devices in a house, Homey features eight different wireless technologies. “Our goal was becoming a solution for áll devices, since in practice, there is never just one technological standard for everything”, says Emile Nijssen, co-founder and responsible for the technological development. “That’s why we built in support for the newest home automation protocols like Zigbee and Z-wave, but also for example Infrared.” Aside from these transceivers Homey holds an array with multiple microphones for the best speech recognition. “Only the best experience is good enough. Therefore, next to a very easy-to-use setup and interface, we have opted for a microphone array to improve sound recording and reduce noise.”
Homey is an open platform, for which developer can build apps themselves. “This way, we keep our product and platform future proof: support can be added for devices that currently don’t exist yet”, states Witkamp. “It also allows the use of Homey’s capacity to connect with homebrew projects or less mainstream devices”, adds Nijssen. They aim to let third parties extend the functionality of the product, like is currently done with smartphones.
Athom is a start-up by Stefan Witkamp and Emile Nijssen, two young entrepreneurs who met at the University of Twente. With support from the university and multiple start-up networks like ‘Kennispark Twente’ they have developed Homey. Using the Kickstarter campaign, they strive to collect a hundred thousand dollars to produce the product, which is now working as a prototype, on a larger scale and make it perfectly suited to the consumer market. The Kickstarter campaign is now live at http://kck.st/1jsMmvq until 27 June 2014, where you can preorder Homey for 229 euros or less.
The files below are free to use for publications concerning Athom.