[UPDATE] Luko technologies and where we are on it

Brieuc du Maugouer
Oct 18, 2019 · 12 min read

Since the very beginning, Luko’s mission has been to protect homes. This requires simple and transparent insurance, but also prevention.

This is why Luko is also developing protection technologies to fight theft (Luko Door), leaks (Luko Water) and fires (Luko Elec).

Many of you are asking us for news, so here it is!

“Who will it be addressed to? At what prices? “

“What are they actually used for?”

“When will they be ready?”

I am Brieuc, in charge of the “Hardware” (= all Luko’s physical technologies), and I propose that we take a look at the situation together 👀

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Summary

  1. Why is Luko struggling to make sensors?
  2. Update on the Luko Elec
  3. Update on the Luko Door
  4. The next steps

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Insurance that makes sensors

🌳 Protecting your home and the environment

Our mission at Luko, beyond providing you with the best insurance, is to protect your nest and everything that matters most to you.

Since the beginning, we have decided to focus on prevention and integrating protection technologies into our insurance. These technologies help you protect your home on a daily basis and maintain it to reduce the risk of disasters.

Double shot, our technologies also help you monitor your energy consumption more closely and give you tips on how to reduce it. This is already the case today with our Luko Elec (which provides you with weekly reports and advice) and it will also be the case with our Luko Water, still in R&D at the moment.

👫 Accessible to all

It was essential for us that our technologies should be accessible to everyone in order to give each of our insureds the means to become part of the virtuous circle of prevention.

So we worked hard to make it:

  • as easy to use as possible — it takes 10 minutes to install the Luko Elec and Door at home
  • affordable and lent free of charge to our insureds, even offered to our insureds

And of course, there is no obligation to equip yourself with Luko technologies. It is a proposal, a service in addition to your insurance.

🛡The data belongs to you

If there is one thing to remember about Luko protection technologies, it is that the data collected belongs to you, we do not use it for your insurance coverage.

What we don’t do with your data:

✖︎ We do not use them to determine the amount of your insurance premium

✖︎ We do not disclose or sell them to third parties for commercial purposes

✖︎ We do not store them in the same place as your personal information or address. If a hacker were to access your data, he would not be able to identify you

What we do with your data:

✔︎ They allow us to give you access to your electricity consumption in real time and to the condition of your door.

✔︎ They allow us to develop our consumption analysis algorithms to help you better understand and take care of your home

✔︎ They allow us to develop algorithms to detect anomalies in order to prevent problems.

Focus on Luko Elec ⚡️

Attached to your electricity meter, it analyzes your consumption in real time and allows you to track your consumption, decompose it to detect a forgotten dangerous device (electric plate, etc.) and offers energy coaching.

This is the first prevention technology developed by Luko!

📜 The history of Luko Elec

Since the beginning of Luko, there have already been 2 versions of the Luko Elec:

The proof of concept

It was a large black box, which was intended to show that:

  • Its electricity consumption could be easily and in real time monitored via the meter
  • This had value and that the data collected could be processed

The proof of concept was successful, leading to the first version of the Luko Elec

First version of the Luko Elec

The first version of the Luko Elec was manufactured in France in 1,500 units, a clever mix of mass production and handcrafted prototypes.

The objective was to prove that it was possible to take it to the next level by collecting more reliable and large-scale data to refine our algorithms. This is the version of the sensor that some of you already have at home.

This version worked well overall and allowed us to collect a fairly large amount of data necessary for our algorithms to learn and to make an interesting (and usable!) breakdown of individual electricity consumption. Thank you all for your participation 👏

Why a second version of the Luko Elec?

This first version deployed on a large scale also made it possible to identify the product’s technical concerns and weaknesses:

  • Complex installation at some people and need for assistance from us. The main blocking point was the moment when the Wifi connection had to be configured;
  • Weakness of the sensor’s radio signal (which allows the Luko Elec sensor to communicate with the bridge that centralizes the collected data and sends it back to your app). In the case where the Luko Elec is too far from the Bridge, the connection could be poor and intermittent, the radio signal not carrying far enough.

In order for our techno to work for everyone and really protect all homes, we had to review our copy.

Update on the new version, mid-October 2019

For more than a year now, we have been working on the second version of the Luko Elec and have had to face many challenges, both in terms of hardware, logistics and firmware. A lot of barbaric terms that I explain to you right away….

✅ What we’ve already accomplished

New design

Since V1, Luko has changed a lot! We have worked with Storm Studio and are proud of our new design. It will clearly beautify your meter….

These new sensors are produced in Shenzhen (China) where I have been 3 times recently to meet our partners, finalize our specifications and launch the production of the first 200 prototypes.

This is me with the plastic cap, the overalls and the slippers

The packaging has also been revised (thanks to our designer Quentin!) and will be made in the same factory with recycled cardboard.

Installation aspect: achievable by a child

In parallel with the work on the sensors, part of the Luko team has focused in recent months on the development of our new application (released several months ago).

This new application has taken over the entire “installation” part of the sensors to greatly simplify the procedure and in particular to review the Wifi configuration.

Installation video of Luko Elec

Radio level: all clear, Houston!

To resume: there is on one side the sensor connected to the electricity meter and on the other side the “bridge” which receives the data from the Elec sensor and transmits them, via Wifi, to your application.

Luko Elec and bridge do not communicate in Wifi but in radio (433.92MHz). Why this choice? Because the Luko Elec is not always within range of a Wifi (cf. The case where the sensor is not in the dwelling but in the common areas, a garage, in the cellar, etc.), you need a means of communication that works whatever the configuration and that has a large range. Hence the choice of radio. But not enough in the first version. Here is what we have improved on, which now functions well:

✅ Firmware optimization (= software implemented in our sensors). We have updated this software by adding a new security layer and improved the reliability of data reception. Today, the firmware is optimized to the maximum of its capacities to receive the data from the sensors.

✅ Integration of a more powerful transmitter (= a larger antenna) that transmits 4 times further than on the V1. The problem here was to integrate a larger antenna while reducing the size of the sensor.

Old antenna on the left, new larger antenna on the right

✅Optimization of electrical circuits to improve radio reception performance. In particular, we have reviewed the tracks carrying the signals in order to reduce losses.

New electronic circuit on the right — with a bird as a bonus

✅ Addition of indicators to better diagnose possible problems:

  • addition of a multicolored led on the bridge to indicate its status. Red: wifi offline, orange: update, etc. This allows the user to better understand the problem if something doesn’t work.
  • addition of a received signal strength indicator (RSSI) to better diagnose radio problems and elements that influence radio reception.

▶️ What we have to do now

The new version of the Luko Elec is validated and works as we would like it to since our last tests. So we had 200 prototypes produced. They just left the factory!

‍Beta test program

In the coming days, we will launch a 3-waves beta test program on these first 200 copies with our community. The purpose of this last test is to validate that the installation is simple and that the data from the devices is fed back into the application.

Focus on the Luko Door🚪

Attached to your front door, it analyzes its movements and vibrations to detect intrusions, to alert you if you forget to close the door and to notify you of your house’s entrances and exits.

We are also working on the implementation of a “Holiday Mode” that couples with your Alexa connected speaker. Once activated, in case of suspicious movement of your door, the Luko Door triggers Alexa, which then emits dissuasive noises such as a baby crying, a barking dog, etc.

✅ What we have accomplished so far

Design, packaging and installation process

The Luko Door, although initiated after the Luko Elec, is now at the same stage of development.

It adopts the new design, is part of the new “Pack” and has also been produced with 200 prototypes.

We have also developed a completely new installation process, even more intuitive than for the Luko Elec. You chat with Emma, our adorable bot, and in 3 minutes, the device is installed!

Installation video of Luko door

Development of our door motion detection algorithm

In recent months, we have developed the firmware and all the algorithms to analyze the movements of your door raised by the Luko Door.

We have trained our algorithm so that it can recognize the potential unusual movement of your door. How did we do it? We taught it to recognize certain events (open / closed / locked / locked door / someone knocking on the door) in “laboratory” condition and then we put it to the test for approximately fifty people.

Via a Facebook Messenger bot that gave them information sent by the Luko Door on their door, users had to label each new event to confirm or invalidate the AI’s proposal. This makes it possible to train the algorithm, to make it more “intelligent” so that it can easily adapt to the new environments in which it is installed.

Example of an event reported to be tagged via the Facebook bot

▶️ What we have to do now

Beta test program with Luko Elec

The Luko Door is part of the same “pack” as the Luko Elec and will therefore follow our beta test process. We also want to test the ease of installation and good data reception by the application.

Continue to “train” our algorithm

People learn throughout their lives, and so do our algorithms!

We still need to improve our algorithm on the locked door/unlocked door event.

And after the beta?

So as you have understood, to date, our technologies Luko Elec and Luko Door are at the same stage of development. Luko’s technical team has grown considerably in recent months, which has allowed us to make rapid progress on the Door and to be able to parallelise the two productions. Many thanks to Julien, Rimane, Qiwen and Tom in particular!

🔬 1. Pass the famous CE “certification”.

We are currently working on the CE certification of our technologies (Luko Door, Elec and bridge). This is a crucial step to validate their reliability and protect consumers.

What is the CE marking?

The CE marking is a commitment that validates that we, the manufacturer, comply with European legislation and that our product has passed various tests before being placed on the market.

The purpose of these rules is to protect consumer safety and avoid problems of incompatibility between devices.

The different rules that our technologies must respect

I will detail the main ones here and come back in a future article on all the rules and compliance.

  • Compatibility: our Luko Elec communicates with the bridge via radio waves. It is therefore advisable to check that these radio waves respect a certain limit and do not interfere with the operation of your radio, hifi system or TV (= RED Directive (2014/53/EU))
  • Safety: our Luko Door contains a battery. We must therefore ensured that it will not ignite, even if it is subjected to extreme conditions (= RoHS Directive (2002/95/EC))

Who is in charge of these tests?

Only a certified laboratory (internationally recognized and regularly audited) can carry out these tests to validate or not the conformity of the product.

Ours is in Shenzhen, China. So they’re in the process of putting our technologies to the test! Example: drop a 500g weight on them from a height of 1 metre to check that they are resistant to everyday shocks 🤕

When I (get lost in Star Wars Studios) visit a certification laboratory

We should obtain our certifications by the end of October — beginning of November. And start the last phase!

📭 2. Produce thousands of pieces and distribute them to you

As soon as the certification procedure is completed, we can begin production. We plan to produce 1000 packs for this first wave, that is 3000 pieces! Indeed, each pack contains 1 Luko Door, 1 Luko Elec and 1 bridge.

As soon as these first 1000 packs leave the factory, you will receive an email and a notification. It will then be sufficient to order them via the application and we will deliver them directly to the insured address.

Concerning the installation: it takes about ten minutes for the whole pack and you will be guided step by step from the application. It’s a piece of pie!

📌 How to get our technologies?

You are insured with Luko

If you are insured for your apartment or house with the “Peace of mind” formula, they are offered to you free of charge! Why ? Simply, because it is part of the Luko service: giving you the means to better protect your home 👼

You will simply have to pay the shipping costs of about ten euros.

If you are insured for your apartment or house with the “Minimum Legal “package, it is not included. You can still receive them but they will be charged: 49,90€ (shipping included)

You are not (yet) insured with Luko

For the time being, only our policyholders will be able to order our technologies.

But within a few months, when our policyholders are equipped and we have increased production, we expect to open their distribution to all!

If you are interested in having them without being insured with Luko, you can register here and we will contact you if necessary.

In short, we are very happy with the latest advances and we are especially looking forward to sending them to you! 😎

Any questions? Feel free to write to us on the chat or on hello@luko.eu, we will be happy to answer you. Remember to check our FAQ as well, it explains everything you need to know about our technologies.

Signed Brieuc and the hardware team: Como, Qiwen, Ahmed and Tom thanks to whom we have been able to progress a lot these last months, thanks again to all 4!

Originally published at https://www.luko.eu on October 18, 2019.

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