The IoT will come into our daily lives more and more, as time passes. BeSuccess met Hellogeeks, a company that is building products that help general consumers to use the IoT technolicy.
‘BitCube’ made by Hellogeeks is a tech kit that helps a programming layman can easily build a robot out of sensors, motors, LEDs, etc. and set control rules for the robot.
- What is BitCube?
BitCube is “The world’s easiest sensor, motor, LED controlling kit”. Users can use BitCube make moving robots and toys easily by reacting to sensors. Anyone can become a media artist with BitCube.
- How big is the target market? Tell us about the trend.
Our product can be used as a tool of convergence education in K-12, and adult Makers can create their own work, such as media art. Lego Mind Storm has penetrated the educational robot market. There are a few robot-building kits domestically, and they have difficult programming processes. In usability terms, they are way off-grid compared to Lego Mind Storm. An American start-up ‘LittleBit’ is the next company in line after Lego Mind Storm. They have sold over 300,000 sets of their magnetic electronic kit for the past five years and is still growing.
- What direction do you think this market is headed?
The festival for Makers called Maker Fairs is popular and vitalized in the US. The US government is fully supporting the fair; it was even opened in the White House this year. We anticipate the maker movement will grow in Seoul as well. In fact, we have entered two maker fairs in Korea - SK Planet’s ‘Creater Planet’ and Hanbit Media’s ‘Maker Fair Seoul’.
The Maker culture is the foundation of America’s hardware start-up ecosystem. Efforts to build creative products start from elementary schools. This educational and cultural background was the toil of the birth of crowdfunding platforms like KickStarter and IndiGoGo, and now many start-ups are successfully funding their initial manufacturing costs.
Recently, the Korean government is focusing on IoT as a priority project and is executing software education through policy reforms. We think that the Maker culture will settle in Korea, and more creative products will appear in the market.
- Who are your competitors abroad, and what is BitCube’s comparative advantage?
As we have mentioned already, there is an American start-up called LittleBits. They are about five years old, and have attracted 15.6 million USD (17 billion won) and has sold 300 thousand kits. The way that users can assemble sensors, motors, and LED by modules is similar to LittleBit. On the contrast, BitCube has the concept of programming in it. LittleBit launched CloudBit lately - which can control and move smartphones by conditional commands via electronic circuits. BitCube, on the other hand, can set rules just by pressing and turning the dials on our modules. We have realized the programming concepts of conditional commanding physically on our product.
- What is Hellogeeks’ future plan?
We have developed 11 sensors and output modules so far. In short term, we are planning to develop 30 more modules by next year, and enhance the programming elements operated by hand. In the long haul, we are going to make BitCube the best tech kit that can replace Lego Mind Storm, LittleBits, and other Korean robot kits.