Smart lighting and HVAC controls manufacturers Danlers commissioned Calvium to create ControlZAPP, a remote controls lighting app that can allow a user to set up and control lighting within a space via their smartphone, and, subsequently, to help create innovative energy saving solutions that take advantage of mobile technology.
Before ControlZAPP, earlier iterations of lighting fixtures were programmed by manually flipping switches on a circuit board. Often this meant that controls were set up once and never changed again because changing settings involved climbing ladders, removing product casings and flicking small switches, all of which are subject to human error. This resulted in incorrect settings that wasted huge amounts of energy.
Another challenge the lighting industry faced was the cost associated with installing these equivalent systems. Danlers Ltd. identified a gap in the market between expensive, complex lighting control systems (the complexity of which takes the installing of some systems out the realms of the small contractor) and low cost, simple to install, stand-alone controls with rapid return on investment. Danlers identified that mobile phones would be the key in making the installation of such systems an accessible and affordable option.
The ControlZAPP challenge to Calvium was to design a modern, clear, fast, accessible and simple to use interface that would not appear too technically daunting (and therefore frighten off some potential customers) but also to be cool, technically efficient, reassuring and desirable.
How Calvium Helped
A co-creational approach is central to Calvium’s ethos. It is our belief that in order for a mobile application to have impact, it is essential that it be driven by genuine insight about its target audience. Our research background at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories means that we are familiar with the process of creative problem solving, rapid prototyping and user testing. We believe that this hands-on way of involving clients in the process is the right approach to understanding the problems and inspiring creative solutions. This is the approach we took with Danlers and the creation of the ControlZapp. The result of this was two companies with complementary skills and a shared vision.
ControlZAPP was revealed at the 2014 Light + Building Fair in Frankfurt. Light + Building is the world’s leading trade fair for architecture and innovative technology that presents energy consumption cutting solutions. Exhibited in front of almost 200,000 visitors, ControlZAPP captured the interest of thousands of light and architecture professionals from around the globe.
If measured by the quality and quantity of extremely positive reactions by potential customers at the Light+Building Show, ControlZapp has been an unqualified success with Calvium playing a hugely important role in making ControlZAPP commercially viable.
Described as an ‘app to bridge the gap’ ControlZAPP was featured in Energyzine mag, and also went on to make the shortlist in the ‘Innovation’ category at the Appsters Awards alongside high-profile apps such as British Gas’s ‘Hive’ app.