UW EE alumni, Ehsan Saeedi (Ph.D. ’10) and Harvey Ho (M.S. ’07), released a revolutionary new smart lock. Within one week of pre-sales on Indiegogo, the largest global crowdfunding site, the product, Gate, exceeded its initial funding goal.
Gate is the world’s first camera-equipped smart lock, featuring a motion activated camera, speaker, call button, and keypad. The device utilizes an individual’s mobile device, enabling remote and secure access to his or her home. Gate offers the convenience of a personal doorman, allowing visitors and service providers’ admittance.
To date, $1.5 billion worth of items have been stolen off of people’s doorsteps. For those that live in urban areas, receiving packages can be of particular concern. Because of this rising issue, many service providers will only deliver to an individual when he or she is home. Gate mitigates this issue by allowing for a homeowner to engage with a service provider through audio and video communication.
Currently, Gate has exceeded its funding goal by nearly 250 percent with three days left of the crowdfunding campaign. For co-founders and EE alumni, Saeedi and Ho, the success of Gate illustrates the significant need for this product as a smart home advantage
“The team was both excited and nervous when we first launched,” Ho said. “No matter how much work you put in, you never know how the world will react until a product goes live. I think the story we have shared resonates with what people expect out of home automation technology. These products should make your life easier/better without adding unnecessary complexity.”
Gate Labs, Inc., the founding company of the groundbreaking product, is made up of a team of hardware and software gurus – talented individuals from companies like Google and Qualcomm. Saeedi and Ho, both founding members of Google X, received their degrees from UW EE. Many facets of their education helped prepare them for the development of Gate.
“My degrees at UW EE helped me in many ways beyond just pure electronics design,” Ho said. “They taught me how to work with other disciplines and as part of a team. Many late nights at the office with the team reminded me of those late nights on campus doing EE group projects.”
For Saeedi, Ho and the rest of the team, Gate is just the beginning. The first camera-equipped smart lock has the potential to revolutionize the smart lock industry, expanding to other areas of home automation and partnering with other companies, like Airbnb and Rover.
“We are mainly expanding our users life through our software products and application layers,” Saeedi said. “For example you can think of in-house UPS delivery as one application. Another can be Airbnb, or a dog-walking company that has verified access via Gate. We are also adding face-recognition to our software package offerings. On hardware side we are looking into next version and also changing the form factor for other door types.”
Ho added, “We recognize that there is not just one design that will work for everyone. We will be focusing on creating more form factors that will be compatible with other types of homes and doors.”
Gate is available for pre-order now through the company’s Indiegogo campaign.