Belume Living comes out of stealth mode to launch at CES in Las Vegas

  • Rachel Gawley’s new smart technology product, Belume Living, comes out of stealth mode to launch at CES in Las Vegas in January 2023.  We catch up on what she's been working on and what 2023 holds.

     You’ve been very quiet this year, what have you been doing?

    I was in a dark room for the first few months of the year, conducting research for Belume Living. Day-to-day, I’ve been leading a small team to create a new smart device for the home that focuses on sleep.  We have been working towards creating a product that provides a personal sunrise from your window. Imagine being able to turn up the sun on a dark or cloudy morning to gently nudge you from sleep to waking.  Obviously, we cannot control the sun and switch it on or off as we wish, however, we can create something smart for your window that extends daylight when it isn’t naturally there.

    How does it work?

    Simply put, it’s a blackout sleep blind with a light that mimics a sunrise.  Firstly we create darkness to help you sleep removing unwanted light from the sun, moon or street lights. This enables us to recreate a sunrise when you would like to experience it, on your schedule.  We have found there’s only a short window of the year when sunrise is at the perfect time for individuals.  In winter it’s too late and in summer it’s too early. With this method, you can control it all year round to suit yourself.

    Why would you want to schedule sunrise?

    Light helps regulate our body clock, this is well known, and the presence of light provides signals for the body to wake up or stay awake.  Most of us use alarm clocks to wake up, which are traditionally sound-based.  These do exactly as they say, provide an alarming wakeup and your body is shocked out of sleep suddenly.  The switch to light based wakeup routine is something more natural and gentle. We’ve conducted and repeated customer research into wake-up routines and alarms and the majority of people want to wake up naturally without the “alarming” element.  That’s what we are aiming to provide.

    We are used to seeing you create mobile apps, VR experiences and software.  How has the transition to physical product development gone?

    There is still an app to set your wakeup routine.  This is an enabler, and our main focus is the outcome of a personal sunrise, which is driven by the novel design of the physical product.  There are many more moving parts and types of engineers required to make this a reality. There is the electronic design of the circuits and lights, the firmware to control it, the design of the look, the mechanical engineering to make it all work together and finally software engineers to connect the IoT elements to backend cloud services and create a mobile app.  I’m pleased with what we have achieved in the space of 12 months with a small core team supported by experts.

    What’s on the horizon for 2023?

    I don’t want to give too much away on Belume Living as we want to have a few surprises and announcements for CES to show the direction of the product line.  My focus is still the same, technology as an enabler.  Any traditional company needs to rapidly become a technology company for growth and long-term survival.  I’m particularly invested in using technology during the difficult, complex and time consuming task of creating hardware and physical products.  There is so much open opportunity to enhance and make the process better through software and emerging technologies. 

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