Tech companies continually invent new and innovative ways to make consumers lives easier, more convenient and better - but for most of us, adopting new technology comes with the risk of spending time, money, and effort on a solution that doesn’t actually make life simpler.

By the time a prospective customer has researched and compared products, purchased the hardware, software, accessories, and then successfully navigated a brand new platform and UX, adopting this new technology doesn’t seem simpler than the status quo.

For our fifth Startup Spotlight, we interview Alex Kim, the COO of Cubic.ai, who aims to change that.

Cubic.ai - a smart home app and personal voice assistant, helps users manage their home from a streamlined platform to simplify their lives.  By using natural language understanding that adapts to users’ language quirks and building compatibility with products like Nest, Hue, or even the upcoming Apple Home, users can manage their entire home - devices and all - with a single assistant.

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1. Tell us a bit about you and your company. 

I am currently the COO at Cubic.ai, and a serial entrepreneur who has owned several companies in different sectors. Cubic.ai is a natural language processing and smart home startup based in San Francisco. We are building the Cubic Butler App - a virtual assistant for smart home control.

The company was founded at the end of 2012 with an idea of a personal voice assistant, which can help a user manage house chores and everyday tasks. Later the idea evolved and crystallized into a smart home butler with voice capabilities. A user can talk to Cubic naturally and control connected devices easily.

Cubic.ai learns and adapts commands to the way you speak.

Cubic.ai learns and adapts commands to the way you speak.

2. What problem are you solving?

The problem we are solving is the ease of use. Today every smart device or appliance has its own app with a complicated interface. If you have several devices, you will end up with a number of apps, with different UIs, functions, and, on top of that, all those devices will not be interoperable. We address this problem by making connected home devices interoperable and providing a user with a simple and natural interface - voice. Natural language is a very efficient way to control complex systems without additional training and learning.

3. Why is now the time for your company to exist?

Today the smart home market is actively developing, more and more devices appear every year and the price of these devices is constantly decreasing. However, the “smart homes” are not getting much smarter, and the main reason is the lack of interoperability and proper interface.

4. What do you offer and to whom?

We provide smart home owners with a single and convenient user interface. It’s a mobile app with a combination of graphical and conversational interfaces. So a user can control a smart home by talking to Cubic, tapping buttons, or setting up automated routines. Due to the proprietary natural language processing technology, Cubic can retain the context of an interaction and make the home control experience natural and seamless.

Set routines with cubic.ai.png

5. Why are you the ones to solve this problem?

Our team has over 5 years of experience in natural language processing and home automation. The team had been working on a personal voice assistant even before Amazon Alexa was announced. Also, we are owners and users of smart homes ourselves, so we know about all the problems first hand.

6. Where will your company be in 3 years?

Within the next 3 years, we plan to release an iOS version of the app and to support more smart devices and home automation systems. Also, we are going to make Cubic ubiquitous and put it into different “bodies” - smartwatches and other devices - and not just a smart phone.

7. What is one piece of advice you would offer to someone who is considering taking the leap into entrepreneurship?

Put customers first and work backward, focus on real customers’ problems and building a great product.


 

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