Italian SMEs on the assault of the smart home

The Italian smart home market has grown 23% in the last year - according to the Politecnico di Milano - and is worth €185 million

Angela Tumino, director of the Internet of Things Observatory of the Politecnico di Milano, illustrating a recent report last April 21, talks about the presence of at least 291 smart home products already available in Italy: half proposed by startups, half by established companies or brands. An offer, however, still rather fragmented.

The good news is that there is great ferment and numerous initiatives around the Italian smart home sector. According to a February Doxa survey, 26% of consumers have already purchased an iOT product for their home. However, Angela Tumino also points out that "the big international players" are not yet present in our country if we exclude "Google, which has introduced the Nest smart thermostat" and "Samsung, which offers connected appliances, from refrigerators to washing machines". Meanwhile, the Italian home automation supply chain is innovating with simpler or less expensive solutions.

Genius Italicus

This is the case of the small Sicilian startup Morpheos, born in 2015, incubated by Digital Magics, funded by the Smart&Start announcement (828 thousand euros) and by local banks, and now looking for more funds on Kickstarter, where the domestic robot - Momo-The Home Genius - is proposed at the discounted price of 279 dollars. Momo is placed in a living room lamp, cylindrical in shape like Amazon's Echo, and performs functions very similar to Alexa, the web giant's virtual assistant, which has not yet landed in Italy. "With Momo you communicate via voice commands, you can chat via Messenger or send instructions from the app with your cell phone," explains Edoardo Scarso, founder with his brother Davide of Morpheos, and in addition, "the system automatically recognizes objects in the home with which to communicate via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and acts as a hub." The Momo digital assistant, thanks to special sensors and a 360-degree camera (equipped with facial recognition), is able to recognize the presence of people, adapt lighting or heating at different times of the day, but also promptly report a domestic accident.

Startups and established brands

Morpheos is not the only Italian company that is staking its future on the "smart" home market. There is also the startup from Bergamo and its Domoki on sale from January at 279 euros. This device is installed instead of normal switches that become touch-screens or controllable with voice commands. Domoki, says Alessandro Benedetti, founder of the company, "allows you to manage lights, heating, appliances or TV from a cell phone or tablet". His is an ambitious project: 4 thousand customers by the end of this year. MyVirtuoso, from SmartDHome of Lombardy, is instead a wireless control unit - modem type - which aims to keep consumption under control, monitor security and manage lighting or heating. Finally, there could be no shortage of already well-established Italian brands such as Vimar with its wireless chronothermostat, and Ariston with Genus Premium Net for those who want to always have the ideal temperature and that can be managed via smartphone.