Ambi Labs offers AI-enhanced air conditioning comfort

September 27, 2018 10:19
Ambi Labs, led by CEO Julian Lee, has launched an advanced version of Ambi Climate, an AI-enabled  air conditioning control device. Photo: HKEJ

Ambi Climate, an air-conditioning control device developed by Hong Kong-based startup Ambi Labs, aims to deliver personalized indoor climate control through artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

In an interview with the Hong Kong Economic Journal, the firm’s CEO, Julian Lee, revealed that the second generation of its flagship product is now compatible with the Amazon Alexa Smart Voice Assistant, allowing users to use voice commands to control the air-conditioning (AC) system.

Founded in 2012, Ambi Labs aims to bridge the gap between outdated appliances and modern technology to make the modern home comfortable and energy efficient. It currently has a team of 30 people in Hong Kong and the Philippines, according to its website.

Its flagship product, Ambi Climate, with built-in sensors and AI technology, detects and analyses the impact of multiple factors on a user’s thermal comfort, such as temperature, humidity, weather and sunlight, learns from feedback and personal habits, and auto-adjusts the AC to deliver a "tailor-made” indoor climate, while allowing the user to control the AC via a smartphone.

With a new location tracking feature, the second generation of Ambi Climate can turn on the AC when the user approaches his or her residence, and turn off the AC when the user leaves. In addition, it also provides data-­driven insights into the conditions in the user’s home and the impact of their usage behavior.

In a campaign on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter in 2014, Ambi Labs raised about US$114,000 from over 740 backers, surpassing an initial funding goal by 450 percent. Its sales network has expanded from Hong Kong to the United States, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, and others.

This year, Ambi Labs has worked with Meridian Energy, a New Zealand power utility, which will bring Ambi Climate to the country. Last month, Ambi Labs announced that its flagship product will be introduced in Craft Ploenchit, a condo project developed by Thai property developer Panjapol Property.

As its products are gaining steam in foreign markets, Lee told HKEJ that he is seeking financial support from investors and opportunities for strategic partnerships.

"We always welcome financial support, but financing plans... are not the top priority" right now, said Lee. "What I am focused on is how the management style and policy should transform when a startup has grown from a team of 10 to 30 people today.”

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Sept 26

Translation by Ben Ng with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal