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UK project judged to improve people’s daily lives
The latest innovations from across Europe set to improve people’s daily lives have been recognised in the 2017 EDF Pulse Awards. One of the top awards went to connected home system Howz, a winner of the first-ever EDF Energy Pulse Awards, launched in September 2016. The UK team who attended the award ceremony on 19 September were delighted with their success.
Louise Rogerson, Chartered Physiotherapist and Director of Operations at Howz, said:
We are absolutely astounded to win the EDF Pulse Smart Home category. Since entering the EDF Energy Blue Lab accelerator competition last year we have received nothing but support and encouragement from the team at Blue Lab.
To have recognition for all our hard work is fantastic. A huge thank you to all who voted for us, to all our testers, and to the whole Howz team who work so hard behind the scenes.
More than 500 innovations from all over Europe were submitted to the “projects of the future” award scheme run by EDF Group. The entries were whittled down to 12 finalists and, on Tuesday, a jury selected four category winners – for Smart Home, Smart City, Smart Health and Smart Business – and gave a special award for the project with the highest public vote.
In March this year, Howz took the top award in EDF Energy’s Connected Home and Business Challenge category as part of its Pulse Awards, after taking part in a 10-week acceleration programme at EDF Energy’s Blue Lab in Hove. Its success in the UK meant it was fast-tracked to the EDF Pulse Awards, giving it the opportunity to be more visible at a European level. Its latest success will expose it to international markets, as well as a cash award and marketing campaign to accelerate its development.
Jean-Benoit Ritz, Director of Innovation and Blue Lab, commented:
We are delighted to see Howz winning this prestigious Group-wide recognition and I would like to congratulate the team on their deserved success.
Following the EDF Energy Pulse Awards and the 100-day incubation at Blue Lab earlier this year, this is a huge achievement for this start-up and a great example of how new connected home technologies are challenging the norm to enrich the lives of our customers.
In essence, Howz links energy and people and that is clearly the heart of our mission – it’s our ambition! Working with Howz and more broadly with start-ups is a real opportunity for us to accelerate innovation for our customers and our core business.
What is Howz?
The Howz connected home system measures a person’s usage of electricity and combines this with information from a series of sensors that detect door movement, temperature and light levels in the home. In this way, Howz builds up a pattern of daily behaviour and alerts family members if the user’s normal routine is broken. It is aimed at elderly customers, or others needing some support, who are living alone or independently.
Following its success at EDF Energy’s Innovators’ Day, Howz has continued to work with EDF Energy in order to develop the offer and successfully bring it to a wider market. It has carried out a series of product trials using employees and customers who are friends or family of staff and now the Howz project team is planning a free trial of up to 500 EDF Energy customers to prove the concept.