Below is our recent interview with Mark Lyle, Co-Founder of Atmos Home:
Q: What’s the story behind Atmos Home? Could you introduce your company to our readers?
A: Sure, I’m Mark Lyle, one of the Co-Founders of Atmos Home, along with Chris Ladwig, and several years ago I had problems with setting up my smart home.
I was beginning to piece together my first few devices, I think it was light switches and a few home theater devices, but I couldn’t find anything that would let me control all of them. Kind of like a universal remote control that works your TV, cable box, and DVD player, but for a smart home.
So I started doing some research and read that a lot of people were trying to build their own smart home hub with generic servers or Arduino kits, and I realized there was an opportunity to solve a problem that was only going to grow bigger.
My background is in electrical engineering and manufacturing, so building my own hub would be pretty easy, but I know my friends and family would struggle with the tech part.
From there, I grabbed Chris, because he’s an award-winning product and interface designer, and we started building Atmos.
Almost 2 years later, we’ve built a team, closed on a $1 million seed round of funding, and now we’re ready to launch our 1st product, AtmosControl and we couldn’t be happier with it.
Q: What’s the most important thing smart homes will change in our daily lives?
A: One of the biggest things a smart home does is help with money and safety, because both of these are driven by human error.
Here’s a good example. Have you ever gone to bed and the next morning realized you forgot to lock the back door? Or lower the thermostat? And didn’t realize it until the next day?
With smart home devices like Yale’s locks and Nest’s thermostats, we can use their smartphone apps to do these tasks and trust they’re taken care of.
But your smart home is expanding and you’ve added more devices, so you have more apps to manage. Now, you have a dozen apps on your phone and it’s become a little cumbersome.
And what happens when you buy a device that uses Zigbee to connect? Do you know how to make that work with Wi-Fi devices?
That’s the problem AtmosControl solves – simplifying your smart home.
Q: What advantage does Atmos Home have over its competitors?
A: I love this question, because it ties back to what we were just talking about.
There are 2 things. First, we give people 4 ways to interact with AtmosControl – touchscreen, voice, app, gesture controls. And we’re the 1st hub to even offer gestures.
Second, we give them 5 smart home connections already built in – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Infrared.
Here’s why both of those are important. Most smart home hubs only give you Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. So what happens when you buy a device from Leviton, Yale, or Bosch that uses Zigbee or Z-Wave? Well, you’re buying another hub and figuring out how to connect everything.
And don’t forget about Infrared, just because it’s old school. It still controls your tv, ceiling fans, etc. That’s why we’ve included all 5 connections in AtmosControl and given you 4 ways to interact with it.
At the end of the day, if you want to simplify your smart home and easily connect your devices, AtmosControl is your best bet.
Q: Congrats on raising $1M! Could you tell us more about your recent funding round?
A: Sure, thank you. We’re really excited. And it’s not just because of the money, but also the investor.
Luminance is a big player in the lighting industry, with brands like Sunset Lighting and Concord Fans selling in Home Depot and others. So their support means they’ve bought into our idea of simplifying the smart home, by making it easy for people to connect and control all of their devices with AtmosControl.
And we are going to work together on some pretty cool smart home lighting, but I can’t talk about that just yet. Ask me next year!
Q: What are your plans for 2019?
A: First, our launch at CES on January 8th. Right now, we’re 100% focused on making sure we absolutely crush that. Then, we’ll start expanding into multi-language support for international customers and more smart home devices.
We have plans for a better smart switch and some other accessories, but right now, we’re focused on getting AtmosControl into peoples’ hands, finding out what they like and don’t like, and then fixing it and making it even better.
From there, we’ll expand Atmos into a full smart home brand that people absolutely love. That’s it. That’s all we want to do.