Connected objects startup Netatmo has been using hardware to take care of your home for the past few years, with its connected smoke detector & its air-quality detector; however, it seems Netatmo was really looking to make life easier for families.
In Las Vegas this week at CES, you’ll find founder Fred Potter and the Netatmo team sporting their latest gadget, a connected bracelet named June. June’s purpose is to make sure you don’t get too much UV exposure – June does so by taking UV readings via the bracelet’s crystal-like sensor. Like Netatmo’s connected thermostat, June has a very bold sense of fashion, which will either play to its strength or weakness.
Speaking with Potter late last year, he confided to me that connected home products remain niche – indeed, there are only a certain amount of people concerned enough with their air quality to buy air quality censors for their home. However, along those same lines, if the goal is to be a little more aware of your surroundings, June certainly accomplishes the goal.
While CNET didn’t seem to be in love with June, which will reportedly be priced at 99$, I personally think that Fred Potter has gotten in spot on with connected objects. It’s true that connected objects are not yet mass market – wearable tech, whether a bracelet or a pair of glasses, was more or less a flop in 2013. Perhaps the world isn’t ready to assimilate just yet, but targeting niche markets and people with niche needs is a good way to ride that rising wave of connected tech.
What’s more interesting is to look at Netatmo’s recent launch of a Weather App, which gives you weather around the world. It would seem that, with its plethora of weather stations, Netatmo has the ability to crowdsource weather from individuals; perhaps Netatmo June will further their ability to crowdsource environmental information. I wonder what else besides UV readings June is gathering?
If he hopes to propel himself to the level of fellow French consumer electronics companies Archos or Lacie, Potter will eventually need to bet big on what he thinks will be the next mass market trend; however, the timing may not be right now (even if the startup world wants it to be), and this may not be Potter’s goal.
Image courtesy of Mashable