Wondrwall: The patented technology giving homes a brain

Alice Cachia

Chief executive and founder Daniel Burton says his smart home technology, which is partnered with Amazon’s Alexa, will protect consumers from burglars, reduce energy bills by 30% and have the heating on by the time users get home.

Burton said: “My vision was to understand how people lived and behaved in homes and I thought there must be an easier way to link sensors together than just through a mobile app to control devices, so my technology gives the home a brain.”

Wondrwall is based in 3 Hardman Square, Spinningfields. The concept replaces a standard light switch with Wondrwall’s smart version which uses sensors to gather data. That data is fed back to the cloud, which learns and acts on it. The algorithms for collecting data and how the home is controlled have been patented. Burton said: “If a human wants to learn to ride a bike they would use senses and gather sensory data. That goes to brain and the brain learns form it over time and then gives then the ability to do that task. We took that philosophy and put it into the home.”

Burton claims the Wondrwall light switch is the most advanced in the world and has 13 different sensors including heat, humidity, light, power, motion, along with wifi. These sensors run in its own operating system, similar to a mini computer. He estimates the average family home would need around 130 sensors in total, through 10 light switches, for the home to respond to users’ behaviours in the most efficient way.

He explained: “The sensors understand which rooms you’re in most often, what time you’re in the home and how the home heats up and cools down. We collect all that data and have a machine learning and predicting modelling that gives us the ability to start controlling the home.

“If you went to work at 8am, the home knows what time you will leave so will turn the heating up at half past seven. If you walk out the door and you’ve left any lights on, it will turn them all off for you. It can send you a message to say you’ve left the window open.

“We have a key fob with GPS so the home knows when you’re getting closer and can put the heating on, for example. It will also send a message through to phones when children have arrived home from school.”

Wondrwall even has security settings through built-in voice technology. The light switch is designed to recognise the sound of a window smashing. If it hears this, the burglar alarm will immediately sound, and all internal and external lights of the home will start flashing. Burton claims this will help deter burglars from entering the property. The light switch records an audio file of what it hears and sends this through to the user’s phone.

The key fob also acts as a panic button, which if pressed sends an alert to all linked contacts.

Burton said that all major homebuilders in the UK such as Kier and Redrow have placed orders for the full home automation system which he says costs same price as an alarm system, but will save between 20-30% on energy and electricity per home. Wondrwall technology is in Allied London’s St John’s showroom, and will be installed in every apartment when construction has finished.

He said: “We plan to be the standard technology that goes into new homes over the next two to three years in UK and Europe, and we will launch in America in the next twelve months.”

After establishing Wondrwall three years ago, Burton partnered with Amazon to make every light switch an Alexa device. This allows users to override the sensors through voice control. It also means every light switch can play music and enables consumers to order directly through the Amazon site.

A starter pack costs £499 and includes one light switch, an alarm siren, two key fobs and a thermostat, and additional light switches cost £119. More than £9m of pre-orders have been placed before Wondrwall launches next month in the UK, Belgium, Holland and Scandinavia.

Wondrwall Stock 2

An example of how the light switch could look in a home


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