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Meet Smartlock company Photosynth Inc., Winner of EY award (2nd Tech Plan Grand Prix, 2014)

Meet Smartlock company Photosynth Inc., Winner of EY award (2nd Tech Plan Grand Prix, 2014)


Smart lock opens the new IoT market

Photosynth Inc.

Winner of EY award (2nd Tech Plan Grand Prix, 2014)

These days, Internet of Things (IoT) has come to attract much attention. IoT technology is thought to change our day to day activities by connecting things around us to the internet. Photosynth Inc, a winner of EY award in the 2nd Tech Plan Grand Prix in Japan final round, suggests a new IoT solution to door locks.


Solution to“Grr!!! Where is my key???”

Several bags full of all the goodies from the summer bargain in hands, I stand in front of my apartment door, wishing to have had a third hand to grab my key from my bag…

Akerun, a smart lock device developed by Photosynth Inc, will communicate with smart phone via bluetooth to open the door for you. Though there are many other smart lock devices similar to their product on the market, most of them requires the door lock itself to be replaced completely to make it to work. Akerun, on the other hand, is a device that can be attached on top of the lock, thus is easier to use and is reasonably priced.

The beginning was to make just any IoT device

Members of Photosynth Inc has initially come up with the idea of the product in the beginning of 2014, and launched the company by September. “At first, the members just wanted to challenge making any IoT device”, says Mr. Kawase, the CEO of Photosynth. Looking around the house searching for where there is not yet hacked by the IoT technology, they saw a lock as a frontier. As he realized its potential, he approached collaborators for team building. Many of them were, at the time, worked for renowned companies and were successful in their own field. They now make a very talented team for accelerating its business development in a short term.

Applying the technology to B2B

“Many IT startups showcases B2C services. The strength of Photosynth’s technology is in its applicability to B2B services, ” says Ms. Miho Tanaka of Nihon Unisys, Ltd. (NUL), one of the partner in this business. NUL also worked with another partner, Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd. a major real estate company in Japan. Though it has started as a solution to personal day-to-day activities, the technology can also be applied to many businesses. One day, the three met up and pondered over new business model for making a use of increasing numbers of vacant offices in metropolitan area. “There was a perfect match between what Mr. Kawase wants and what we want, ”says Mr. Takeru Kawaji from Mitsui Fudosan. Not only this collaboration with these two major companies, Photosynth is now collaborating with house builders and elderly care services to broaden its potential. Akerun will not only open your doors but also opens doors to new possibilities we have not yet experienced before.