A tale of 2 brothers: the smart furniture revolution from Latin America

April 6, 2016


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There are never enough hours of sleep these days, and if you’re lucky one night to be in bed at a reasonable time, you’ll probably realize you didn’t turn off the lights or that you’re too lazy to get up and set your phone alarm for a morning workout.

These problems, along with an argument over a tangled knot of phone, tablet, and lamp cables gave birth to Curvilux, the world’s first intelligent nightstand that launched on Indiegogo. It was the brain-child of Rodrigo and Juan Morelli, two young brothers from Argentina.

The Morellis learned the hard way that for crowdfunding campaigns there’s no such thing as beginner’s luck. About two years ago, they launched an unsuccessful first prototype on a different platform using personal funds and savings, which resulted more in lessons learned than in backers.

Fierce determination and the ability to use failure as a stepping stone is part of an entrepreneur’s DNA. Together with a team of five that combines experience in mechanical and computer engineering, industrial design, software development, satellites and radars, Curvilux has since gone through over a year’s worth of iterations.

Thanks to the support and advice of some renowned entrepreneurs, such as Andres Barreto (co-founder of Grooveshark and Onswipe), who walked this path before, a new prototype with renewed design and features was born and the Morellis’ flew from Córdoba to New York City to start preparing their new crowdfunding campaign.

Fate would have it that they met their now head of product and fifth co-founder, Colombian Andres Santanilla, at the small Airbnb they were staying at. Pablo Morales and Patricio Aguirre, the remaining members of the founding pack, now work from Argentina and are dedicated to developing the app and electronics.

Curvilux wants to become a key player in the smart furniture revolution.

“If you think for a minute, you’ll find that furniture is everywhere we go and basically is the soul of our homes. Chairs, tables, desks, beds and more, not to mention all objects that decorate the ambiance. With Curvilux we are making furniture truly personal and an active object that communicates with the smart home devices and helps you in daily life,” said Rodrigo.

Read More: Top 3 reasons people are turning to tech architects for smarter homes

The tech-enhanced nightstand lets you lock your drawer with a simple tap on your smartphone, as well as set alarms that simulate sunrise. It also lets you play your favorite music or answer phone calls.

The nightstand  has incorporated features like dual LED lights that replace a bedside lamp and illuminate the ground when you wake up at night, Bluetooth connectivity and Near Field Communication (NFC), a stereo audio system and wireless and USB chargers that let you charge up to three devices at a time.

Curvilux also promises an early update of the app which will allow you to analyze your sleeping cycles and predict better the best time to go to bed.

According to a study conducted by Spark Labs, Connected homes are one of the battlegrounds for IoT and hardware innovation in the consumer space in 2016, together with drones and wearables. The race between corporate players such as Google or Samsung (acquired Nest Labs and SmartThings respectively) and startups in this rapid consumer interest in IoT products will be an exciting thing to watch in the coming years.

Even though only 4% of consumers own an in-home IoT device, nearly two-thirds of consumers plan to buy one in the next five years. The challenge for both is the same: integrating technology in meaningful ways into our lives.

Curvilux was envisioned to be ready to use out of the box. Design-wise it looks very simplistic and modern but “is the elegant but tough and affordable furniture you deserve, and the easiest piece of furniture you’ll ever have to assemble” says Juan, who spent almost a year in Australia working at a furniture factory, honing his industrial design skills.

For now, you will have to wait a few months before you can make sure you don’t trip over your kid’s toy, wake up with the sound of a waterfall and find your phone fully charged and ready to start your day, but you can pre-order today, at the lowest price possible ($199) and be among the firsts to upgrade your bedroom.

Victoria O’Shee is an entrepreneur and business strategist at Publicize.


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