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I’ve said that there’s no such thing as an IoT expert. That may seem strange coming from an IoT product lead, but I’d like to explain it with a story about smart partnership and innovation. Halifax-based company HomeEXCEPT used smart collaboration, taking their product from prototype to market in only 10 weeks.

The Idea

John Robertson, founder and CEO of HomeEXCEPT, sensed an opportunity in the increasing number of seniors who want to stay in their homes. This comes with challenges—like knowing your loved ones are safe. With so many stories about major security breaches, the public is concerned with the privacy implications of video and audio monitoring in the home. John wanted to figure out a way to make home monitoring non-intrusive—no cameras, wearables, microphones, or any exploitable raw data.

The Product

It took John time to figure out how the product would work, iterating to assemble a working prototype. The idea was simple: use sensors to detect vague data like temperature, sound, light, and motion, then interpret it to enable caretakers and family members to check on aging relatives without compromising privacy or independence.

HomeEXCEPT decided to partner with T4G, an organization of tech experts and creative thinkers, to build a prototype. Together they brought the solution to MVP. From there, HomeEXCEPT hired their own team to complete the project and manage everything from user experience to AI and data science.

And as there’s no singular IoT expert, collaboration was a necessity for HomeEXCEPT: it took John’s initial idea, his team’s prototype, and the technical know-how from T4G to really bring HomeEXCEPT’s solution to life.

Where Azure Comes In

I love this part of the story. Since T4G was one of our long-time partners, we already had a great working relationship. Supporting our customers is a priority, so we sent a team of engineers to support the HomeEXCEPT team with the Azure stack.

John says that the partnership at this last stage of collaboration was key for keeping the project on track. And what’s so impressive is that HomeEXCEPT built their entire product in just 10 weeks. It’s a great example of how we approach our goal of simplifying IoT and cloud computing by providing expertise where it’s needed. When teams collaborate, the potential for building impactful solutions is unlimited.

The Takeaway

HomeEXCEPT has already received industry recognition, winning the grand prize in the 2017 AARP Innovation Champion Awards. From a tech standpoint, a non-intrusive monitor coupled with machine learning and cloud computing is an interesting challenge and from an innovation standpoint its potential is vast.

Smart partnerships enable rapid and agile innovation, and success requires collaboration more than ever. Shared expertise is the best way forward.

You can watch the full story from HomeEXCEPT and T4G here.