Startup company partners with Microsoft to produce first smart alarm for apartmentsHome & Interior Design
Originally Published in June 2017
Elephant is a startup company that designs safety solutions. Its first product, Elephant Door, is the first smart door alarm intended for apartments. Although the device won’t hit the market until November 2016, it has already gained interest internationally. After winning six startup competitions abroad, the company partnered with Microsoft to perfect the technology; the product is highly anticipated.
Millions of people live in apartments, yet satisfactory security systems for this type of dwelling can be hard to come by. CEO and founder Radek Pallach realized this after a friend recounted a break-in at her apartment. Pallach, who is CEO of K&Y Innovation Agency with experience in business and technology, decided to form a task force dedicated to developing a product that would protect apartments.
While traditional alarm systems are costly and require complicated installation, Elephant Door costs as much as six times less and can be mounted in minutes without any tools. A magnetic attachment is affixed to the apartment door and the alarm is attached by a magnetic plate. The alarm can be disarmed when not in use, and stored or packed up when tenants move.
Elephant developed a technology called Smart Warning System. Using sensors and algorithms, the device can detect and decipher if there is a threat. An accelerometer detects vibrations and a gyroscope detects motion. The device is programed to distinguish break-in attempts from actual break-ins. When a threat is detected, the 110-decibel alarm sounds and a notification is sent to the owners’ smartphone through the Elephant mobile app. The app also allows users to activate or deactivate the alarm, provides useful advice on how to proceed if a break-in occurs and can send notifications to family, friends or neighbors if the user chooses to add their contact information.
While traditional alarm systems are costly and require complicated installation, Elephant Door costs as much as six times less and can be mounted in minutes without touching a any tools.
Pallach said the idea behind the “elephant” company identity came from the animal’s intelligent, caring nature and the belief that elephants bring good luck. He said that he hopes the alarm will be set off by an actual break-in, but if it does happen, the burglar will hopefully be discouraged from entering the home. He hopes people will rely on their neighbors to call the police or investigate if the alarm sounds and the tenant is not home.
Elephant presented its product to companies such as Google in Silicon Valley and at Stanford University. Although the launch will begin in Poland, the company has already received orders from San Francisco to Tokyo. Pallach said creating a simple, effective affordable device will allow more people in the world to live worry-free. “Times are strange and there’s a lack of solutions,” said Pallach. “People don’t feel safe. Elephant is trying to help regular people with a super useful device.”