Last March, Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino registered a new limited company in London, and booked a booth at CES, the consumer electronics trade show, taking place 10 months later. She had no team, and only a dated prototype product that she had designed back in 2005.
“I thought what’s the biggest kick in the ass that I can possibly give myself? And that’s paying £8,000 for a booth in Las Vegas.”
The product, which now bears little resemblance to that original design, is called Good Night Lamp. It’s a light in the shape of a house, that connects to your home wi-fi network, and through that to its family of smaller, connected lamps which you can give to friends and family around the world. When you turn your big lamp on, so do the little ones, wherever they are. It’s a simple way of communicating to loved ones living remotely.
A BALANCE BETWEEN SIMPLICITY AND HACKABILITY
Alexandra is well-known in the UK and abroad as a figure in the internet of things (IoT) community. Her twitter name, @iotwatch, rather gives it away, and she’s taken on a role as an IoT catalyst and enabler, organising the London Internet of Things meetup, amongst other community-focused activities. And the Good Night Lamp sounds like a classic IoT product. But Alexandra prefers not to talk about it that way: