At the very core of the Internet of Things is the idea of creating communications & synergies between two objects, normally your smart-phone and another piece of hardware; however, perhaps LeCamping startup Smiirl (“Social Media Integrated In Real Life”), whose ambition is to “build original & connected objects designed for businesses” has stumbled upon the next generation of connected objects by creating hardware that embodies the Internet. Co-founded by Gauthier Nadaud (CEO), Raphael Pluvinage(CPO) & Romain Cochet(CTO), the startup is currently raising funds.
You just need to look at Fliike, their first product which is currently available for pre-order, to get an idea of where their going. An Internet-enabled Facebook counter, the box is meant for brick and mortar retail stores, and updates in real-time as fans like a page. It’s Train-Station like roll-over (seen in the video below) is quite attractive to the eye – my gut tells me it would attract a lot of people liking the page just to see the roll-over effect.
Admittedly, I had overlooked Smiirl when I first came across them earlier this year as Season 4 of LeCamping kicked off – it may have been because they broke one of my cardinal rules for bad startup names; however, between them and Melusyn, a startup I discovered last month at Futur en Seine, I am starting to think that Season 4 may have some more hidden gems amongst its ranks.
As far as connected hardware goes, this one is going on the “tempting” list. For me, I’d like to have one of these in my home, if only to watch the Rude Baguette fan base grow; however, I can also see us using it at events like the Paris Founders Event. Nonetheless, given that so many funds are looking at getting in on brick and mortar stores, this first eye-grabbing product may be just the entrance point that Smiirl needs to break the untapped SME market that is retail stores.
One disappointing discovery was that Fliike.com does not point to the aforementioned hardware counter, but given their current fundraising, I’m sure that’s in the 24-month plan. I was also curious to not see a product like this being crowdfuned on KickStarter. Their 300€ price-point might be a bit high (or a bit low), and their need for capital might be satisfied by a successful crowdfunding.
For more information, check out this article on TechCrunch covered by Steve O’Hear (h/t).