Startup Shaking Up PERS Market?

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Sep 04, 2013

Few markets are as technologically stagnant as PERS, or Personal Emergency Response Systems, yet with mobile technology advancing and increasingly aging populations, an opportunity for major disruption exists. A startup named Amulyte has attracted strong backers positioning the company to raise millions. Does the company indeed have a winning, market changing product? In this note we examine Amulyte and contrast it with existing offerings.

The YC Effect

Amulyte is backed by Y Combinator (YC), the most respected Silicon Valley incubator known for selecting top technical teams. While YC backing is no guarantee of success, the investment company has many backed many winners, and has a powerful network of investors / followers that essentially guarantees serious investment for Amulyte from outside funding sources. This 'sure thing' in raising capital will allow Amulyte to focus on solving business development issues in the short term, rather than becoming distracted by seeking capital. 

The Amulyte Pendant

Essentially, Amulyte expands the 'Internet of Things' concept to include the elderly and infirmed. The end user wears a small battery powered device with a single button:

If the wearer encounters trouble, like a fall or disorientation, they press the button and a predefined list of phone numbers are called or text messages sent for assistance. In addition to calling, a web based portal allows others to 'check-in' and observe real-time activity of the pendant.

While the final design is still in process, the current plans call for bidirectional audio to be hosted on the pendant as well, so a responding party can directly communicate with the wearer. In addition to the 'panic' feature, the device is also slated to include:

  • Multiple Radios: CDMS, 3G and Wi-Fi communication is onboard
  • GPS Module: Using transponders and cell towers, the unit closely approximates location. When in range of WiFi, location tracking claims 'even higher accuracy indoors'.
  • Accelerometer: This onboard feature detects movement of the wearer. Movement thresholds can be configured to that no movement, or limited movement automatically creates an alarm and dials emergency numbers.
  • Pricing: During the 'pre release period', a pendant costs $99, with pricing increasing to $149 after release. There is a $30 monthly subscription fee per pendant.

Product Strengths

Amulyte is not the only PERS device on the market, but the concept does have a number of advantages compared to current offerings, including:

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

No Physical Restriction: Unlike traditional PERS, the addition of cellular radios means that Amulyte is active wherever the bearer may be. Most PERS use a phoneline-connected base unit in home or facility, and the call button must be within local wireless range to be active. Amulyte claims a much larger operational range, and is active wherever mobile phone service is available.

Mobile Monitoring: A cloud based portal allows user to peer-in on the device at any point, revealing activity of the wearer. Traditional PERS are limited to audio interface only, while Amultye includes data from other onboard sensors, allow for passive observation or exception reporting to be noted anywhere web access is available. A concept screenshot of the app is shown below:

No Base Station: Unlike traditional systems that require buying pendants and base stations, often costing $300 or more, Amulyte is a self-contained and 'baseless' system that requires no additional equipment or phone utility for use.

Simplified Design: Once a pendant is enrolled, it remains active all the time, only requiring the onboard batteries to be recharged weekly. Unlike traditional systems that are codependent on power and phone utility, Amulyte is an entire system in a device.

System Disadvantages

Design In-Process: Amultye's hardware design is incomplete and the product is not shipping. One of the more substantial challenges appears to be fitting all of the features into a small, wearable form factor. Ultimately, the success of the platform only comes with the agreement of end users to wear/use the platform, and the matters of size, weight, colors, styling, and user interface design are not trivial and still have yet to be executed.

Producibility: Even wildly successful fundraising campaigns are fraught with problems in development and production. While early speculators are bullish on Amulyte, the company still is wading through significant platform design and operational issues. For example, there is no final decision on how emergency numbers like 911 are included in the call tree, app design is not beyond beta in any platform, and no concrete shipping dates for the product have been released.

Smartphone Duplicity: Amulyte's features can be found in most modern smartphone platforms, and alternative offerings simply leverage an app [link no longer available] onto hardware already being carried by many users. While a significant chunk of the intended market is the elderly who may smartphones too expensive and complex, those who do carry a smartphone will find no need to spend additionally on Amulyte. 

PERS Disruption

Incumbent PERS providers sell product in a number of ways:

  • Nurse Call: The 'big brother' of PERS, where large, multi-user, enterprise systems (typically hospitals and nursing homes) where staff is responsible for monitoring alerts. Systems are designed and installed by low-voltage integrators.
  • Reseller Channel: These systems use intrusion alarm-like central station monitoring, where third party equipment uses phone service to dial responders who dispatch services. Monitoring configurations are flexible, and can use a formal central station or 'closed list' of individual numbers.
  • DIY Option: 'Box Systems" where the end user buys an appliance and service directly from a company, and installs the appliance themselves. These products typically are tied to only one monitoring facility and providers cannot change.

Amulyte most closely represents the 'DIY Option', although no relationship with a central station monitor has been announced. At the current time, only individual phone numbers are expected to be programmed into response lists. As a result, this leaves little opportunity for a reseller/integrator for RMR, although the company claims a volume discount structure is being developed for large sells.

However, Amulyte has a good chance to impact the PERS market, because of its increase range, web check-in portal, and simplified setup. While the product still in R&D, the founders of the company have engineering [link no longer available] and software development backgrounds, which improves their chances of execution compared to a catchy idea championed by a salesmen or marketer.

Comments (1) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Directory of 96 Video Surveillance Startups on May 20, 2020
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see...
Milestone Presents XProtect On AWS on May 04, 2020
Milestone presented its XProtect on AWS offering at the April 2020 IPVM New...
Verkada Speaks On Disrupting Security Sales Channel on Aug 28, 2020
Verkada's fast growth has taken the industry by storm and their enterprise...
The Problem With Fever Detecting Thermal Sunglasses on Apr 15, 2020
While the media has promoted using thermal sunglasses to detect fevers, this...
Mobotix Thermal Detection Camera Tested on Jun 09, 2020
For years Mobotix has struggled but now sales are surging driven by Mobotix's...
Camect Presents Residential Market Smart NVR with AI Analytics on Aug 19, 2020
Camect presented its AI video analytics enhanced NVR at the May 2020 IPVM...
The Booming Multi-Billion Coronavirus Fever Camera Market on Apr 21, 2020
The market for elevated body temperature detection cameras, aka 'coronavirus...
YOLOv5 Released Amidst Controversy on Jul 27, 2020
YOLO has gained significant attention within video surveillance for its...
Spectron IR Thermal Fever Screening System Examined on Apr 14, 2020
Most are quick to avoid "fever screening" and "medical" labels, but...
Favorite Access Control Credentials 2020 on Sep 15, 2020
Credential choice is more debated than ever, with hacking risk for 125kHz and...
Low Voltage Nation Wants to "Help You Carve Out A Fulfilling Career" Interviewed on Jul 06, 2020
It is difficult to make your way in this industry as there is little formal...
Sequr Presents HID based Cloud Access Control on Jun 04, 2020
Sequr presented HID based Cloud Access Control at the May 2020 IPVM Startups...
Mobile Access Control Usage Statistics 2020 on Sep 21, 2020
Most smartphones can be used as access control credentials, but how...
Vintra Presents FulcrumAI on Jul 02, 2020
Vintra presented its FulcrumAI object recognition and mask detection offering...
IPConfigure Presents Orchid Fusion VSaaS on Apr 30, 2020
IPConfigure presented Orchid Fusion VSaaS at the April 2020 IPVM New Products...

Recent Reports

IP Networking Course Fall 2020 - Last Chance - Register Now on Sep 23, 2020
Today is the last chance to register for the only IP networking course...
Norway Ethics Councils Finds Hikvision Human Rights Abuses "Ongoing" on Sep 23, 2020
Hikvision's involvement in "serious human rights abuse" in Xinjiang is...
IPVM Camera Calculator User Manual / Guide on Sep 23, 2020
Learn how to use the IPVM Camera Calculator (updated for Version 3.1). The...
Installation Course Fall 2020 - Save $50 - Last Chance on Sep 22, 2020
Today is your last chance to save $50 on registration for the Fall 2020 Video...
SimpliSafe Business Security Launched Examined on Sep 22, 2020
SimpliSafe has launched "SimpliSafe Business Security" that the company...
FLIR CEO: Many New Fever Entrants "Making Claims That The Science Just Won't Support" on Sep 22, 2020
FLIR's CEO joins a growing number calling out risks with fever / screening...
China Bems Temperature Measurement Terminal Tested on Sep 22, 2020
Guangzhou Bems (brand Benshi) is the manufacturer behind temperature...
Axis Exports To China Police Criticized By Amnesty International on Sep 21, 2020
Axis Communications and other EU surveillance providers are under fire from...
Milestone XProtect on AWS Tested on Sep 21, 2020
Milestone finally launched multiple cloud solutions in 2020, taking a...
Mobile Access Control Usage Statistics 2020 on Sep 21, 2020
Most smartphones can be used as access control credentials, but how...
Axis Compares Fever Camera Sellers to 9/11 on Sep 18, 2020
Axis Communications, the West's largest surveillance camera manufacturer, has...
Avigilon Elevated Temperature Detection Camera Tested on Sep 17, 2020
Avigilon has entered the temperature screening market with the release of...
Chilean Official Investigated for Motorola And Hikvision Contracts on Sep 17, 2020
A corruption investigation is underway in Chile after a crime prevention...
Huawei HiSilicon Production Shut Down on Sep 17, 2020
Huawei HiSilicon chips are no longer being manufactured or supplied to...
Virtual ISC West and GSX+ Exhibiting Contrasted on Sep 17, 2020
Both ISC West and ASIS GSX are going virtual this year, just weeks apart, but...