April 18, 2019

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HOME REGIONS EMEA › ’Market ready’ Kevin to debut at DISTREE EMEA

’Market ready’ Kevin to debut at DISTREE EMEA

by Stuart Wilson, Monday 14 January 2019

Julian Stylianou, co-founder & CEO at Mitipi, the company behind Kevin
Julian Stylianou, co-founder & CEO at Mitipi, the company behind Kevin

Building strong channels remains vital for new brands and new gadgets looking to build sustainable long-term businesses. DISTREE Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) 2019, gives exhibitors access to senior executives from hundreds of top channel partners from 50-plus countries.

One new product looking to make its mark at next month’s event is Kevin, the first IoT device to simulate the presence of people in a room by emitting light, shadow effects, and sound. Burglars will think someone’s home, and won’t want to break in for fear of being caught. DISTREE EMEA 2019 takes place in Monaco from February 19th to 22nd.

Julian Stylianou, co-founder & CEO at Mitipi, the company behind Kevin, commented: “We want to find new distribution partners for our product Kevin. DISTREE EMEA will be the first event where we present the ‘market ready’ Kevin product.”

“We are going to present Kevin, the virtual roommate against burglars. Kevin authentically simulates the presence of people based on their profiles by leveraging audio, light and motion effects. Compared to time switches and other methods, It is a more modern and convenient way to implement presence simulation,” he explained.

“To deter burglars it is important to combine audio and light effects since light can only work during the night, but audio also works during the day. Both light and audio are integrated into one device, Kevin, which makes it super easy to adapt for consumers. The simulation is based on three layers,” he continued.

“The first layer is the hardware - it’s a speaker and a light at the same time. On the backside, five power LEDs can illuminate large rooms. The LEDs also generate shadow and motion-effects through special angles and LED sequencing. In addition, nine RGB LEDs can also generate colored lights in order to simulate TVs. Even though we generate a lot of light, the power consumption is 90% lower than letting your 50” inch TV running while you are away,” said Stylianou.

“The second layer is the software algorithm - each environment and family structure are different, in order to generate an authentic presence simulation, our algorithm considers user profile as well as external data points to create an authentic simulation. The third layer is the simulation database - in order to simulate authentic activities we have built up a unique simulation database of daily activities - people having conversations, people cleaning, people watching TV, people having a party, and many more as you can imagine,” he explained.

Retail agreements

Kevin is well suited for apartments and small houses and can also be used as a complementary security measure in addition to alarm systems. Kevin also operates as a Bluetooth speaker. Even before the product was commercially available, Kevin secured agreements with major retailers in its home market of Switzerland including Interdiscount, Microspot, Digitec and Brack. The company is now ready to build out its international channel reach.

Stylianou said: “We are ready to work in any country where there is a need for smart prevention and security. We are open to expanding our business. With the right partners, we will enter new markets. Currently, the focus is on Europe, nevertheless, we see potential in other regions as well.”

“There is no product like Kevin in the market. It’s a smart product focused on prevention, rather than the flooded market segment of detection devices. Nevertheless, it is complementary to detection products and it will grow its capabilities over time. It is a product well suited for a wide range of users and it is plug and play and therefore easy to handle for users. People understand quickly what the product is about,” he continued.

“We are a young and highly ambitious company and therefore there are no super structured channel programmes. Important is to find suitable partners who are willing to walk the journey with us. Of course, we will provide a decent margin for our partners,” he added.

Stylianou continued: “It’s a give and take relationship. We are going to provide marketing materials to the point where “Kevin” becomes self-explanatory. We see it as our responsibility to do PR work and general marketing. Our distribution partners should help us generate traction and open new sales channels for us. Of course, we can support with our insights and train core people.”

The smart home security market is growing over 30% year over year in Europe, according to Mitipi. People worry about their safety and new connectivity possibilities enabled smart home security technology to evolve.

“Large players want to grab a share of the cake, namely Amazon is becoming a big player in the security space. Nevertheless, also Amazon has its limits. Kevin works complementary to other products and it is also a great fit for people, who are more security sensitive and do not want to have a potential spy device at home,” said Stylianou.

He continued: “We are going to work with partners who are willing to work with us and who have the capabilities to drive volumes. It doesn’t really matter whether we enter France or Italy first, as long as we have great partners. In our home market Switzerland, we will drive the business ourselves. We might leverage Amazon in major European countries, but we are also open to reviewing other models. There will be many markets which we cannot reach and manage ourselves and there we will fully rely on channel partners.”

“Most important is the uniqueness our product brings, with a clear value proposition of burglary prevention and ease of use. We are going to introduce extensions to third-party systems as well as add additional products to the portfolio. We have the abilities to scale fast and scale large. Let us partner and grow this business together,” concluded Stylianou.

DISTREE EMEA

To request a hosted buyer invite for DISTREE EMEA 2019 - CLICK HERE

Distributors, retailers and e-tailers confirmed to attend DISTREE EMEA 2019 will have the ability to pre-request one-on-one meetings with Kevin’s executive team at this year’s event.

For further information on exhibiting at DISTREE EMEA 2019 to meet channel partners from across the region - CLICK HERE

Exhibitors at DISTREE EMEA hold pre-scheduled meetings with a carefully selected audience of senior executives from the region’s top consumer tech and consumer electronics channel partners. Channel EMEA is an official Media Partner for DISTREE EMEA 2019.

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