Welcome to Inspire Labs - Inspire’s research and innovation division dedicated to helping people make an impact on the environment through a smarter home. It’s a connection point for Inspire’s product, development and engineering teams, to interact with a burgeoning community of Inspire members, who come from all walks of life and are devoted to our cause. Basically, everyday, we get to spend our days focused on expanding the frontiers of cleaner, smarter technology.
We take our cue from an incredible story that percolates throughout tech circles. Legend has it, in the late 70’s a group of Apple engineers led by Jobs visited the famed Xerox PARC. For the uninitiated, at the time Xerox PARC was the Boolean cathedral for some of tech’s most important parietal art. It’s the foundation for much of the digital world we know today. On this visit Jobs and co. discovered the mouse, windows, icons, and other technologies that had been developed at PARC but had just been sitting packed away and unused. Jobs, seizing on the moment, realizing what he had before him, struck gold. After this visit, he had his team take what they found, and incorporate it into the first Macintosh setting off a chain of events that have led to Apple being the most valuable, if not the most innovative, company in the world.
Now, Inspire isn’t yet Apple, and whether or not this story is true remains to be answered, but it still serves as great inspiration. At a certain level, it highlights the tremendous value of applying a fresh perspective to stale innovation; especially in what’s a rapidly developing space. The current smart home landscape, though full of different products and ideas with so much potential, operates at odds. There’s just too much friction between products and they still don't really make sense together; which is disappointing because there’s an incredible opportunity for the environment by putting it all in greater harmony. To draw further on the Apple story, there’s smart home technology that needs to be reimagined and brought to the world in a way that works functionally together; cue Inspire Labs.
Inspire labs is about engaging with customers, testing current technologies, and test driving ways to help people live smarter. It’s a megaphone for our members to give their real time, of the moment, feedback on what they really want. To put it succinctly, it’s where we take this feedback to build, break, test our products to precision; and research, probe, and incubate smart home ideas execution.
And above all, a fact that can’t be forgotten, it embodies the curious culture that's Inspire’s approach as a company - the future can’t wait.
What to expect?
There are three concepts that underpins Inspire Lab’s day to day work that informs what you’ll see and read.
There’s customer feedback. We want to understand our customer’s problems at its most base point. We’re always trying to get an accurate picture of how they live in their home. We ask invited Labs members to tell us as much as possible, no input is too minor or trivial. What time do they wake up? What time do they go to bed? Is there a pet that’s home during the day that needs to stay cool on a blazing hot summer day? What are some things that could make them feel more connected to their use of energy? We’re learning from them because they are their own best experts.
There’s experimentation. There are a lot of smart home products already out there with many more still on the way. There’s everything from smart thermostats and light bulbs to refrigerators and pet feeders. But not much of this stuff actually works seamlessly in the way imagined. So we’re constantly putting ourselves in the shoes of the customer by running experiments on these same products to see what actually delivers value, works together, and is worth it.
There’s research and development. We’re dedicated to the hard questions to find the hard answers to improve the smart home experience. Expect to see us document and catalogue our trials and tribulations, and twist and turns, of delivering products that maximize home automation and convenience while having a positive impact on the environment. Currently on deck, we’re creating a smart home platform app that fully integrates the smart home experience.
Also, expect to see profiles of Inspire Lab members who we’ve invited in to sample some of our solutions that we’ve been cooking up. Expect a lot, it’ll be fun.
Who’ll be there?
Though Inspire Labs is member-powered, its ideas, experiments, and research are brought to life by an incredible team of Avengineers in Santa Monica and Philadelphia. Our incredible Avengineer team is drawn from Inspire’s product, development and engineering teams. They’re a troupe of brilliant minds and colorful personalities. For instance, there’s Chris, who’s had his own touring rock band; or Zach our resident dodgeball champion; and let’s not forget Matt who codes in more than six languages everyday; and many others. They’ll weigh in on what’s been learned and discovered; explain next steps; and generally guide you on the behind the scenes journeys of smart energy technology that will sustain much of Inspire’s clean energy movement.
Basically, you’re in for a real treat, stay tuned!