Berlin-based smart home start-up HUM Systems sets new standards with a subscription model for all-round protection

Press Release - February 2021

Cold and Covid-19 - it's uncomfortable outside. We are spending more time indoors than ever before. Whether we really feel comfortable indoors depends on many factors. Especially during the heating season, one aspect is often neglected: air quality. This is because it cannot be seen with the naked eye. That's why there are measuring devices for the home. They sound the alarm if limit values are exceeded or if something else is wrong. There is a great variety of products, and new detectors are constantly coming onto the market. But which one is best suited to the individual living situation? The Berlin-based start-up HUM Systems, which won the "SmartHome Deutschland Award 2018", is now offering its all-in-one Livy Protect model for testing and subscription to anyone who is unsure and does not want to buy an expensive device right away. 

In addition to distance, hygiene and everyday masks, regular ventilation (AHA + L) is currently strongly recommended to avoid infection with SARS-CoV-2. Attention should also be paid to healthy humidity levels to reduce the spread of aerosols and keep the mucous membranes immunocompromised. "In general - and quite independently of the virus - the triad applies: clean air, moderate temperatures and sufficient humidity are crucial for our well-being at home," says computer scientist Ali Reza Humanfar, founder and CEO of the smart home start-up HUM Systems. "After all, air is our most important food: per day, humans breathe in 10,000 to 20,000 litres of air, depending on their age and how active they are. This corresponds to a mass of 12 to 24 kg daily." On the other hand, those who are regularly and permanently exposed to bad air in the home risk serious health problems such as headaches, breathing difficulties and cardiovascular problems. Older people in particular often heat their homes too much and forget to ventilate.

According to the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) and the Leipzig Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), room temperatures between 17 and 20 degrees Celsius and a humidity of between 40 and 60 percent are ideal, but not higher, otherwise there is a risk of mould. "The decisive factor for air purity is the content of pollutants, known as VOCs for short," says Humanfar. The abbreviation VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) stands for volatile organic compounds. They are present everywhere in indoor air, but if the concentrations are relatively low, they are considered harmless. Humanfar: "VOCs are produced simply by breathing and sweating. In addition, there are VOCs from using deodorants and disinfectants, which people now use all the time. When tobacco smoke or the fumes from new furniture are added, the VOC level can reach a critical value very quickly without you noticing it. Now that we are all permanently at home, it's even more important to keep an eye on your VOC levels." According to the UBA, the average total VOC concentration indoors should be below 0.3 mg/m³.

But how can I tell if this limit has already been exceeded? There are special measuring instruments for this. Smart-home providers such as HUM Systems offer a wide range of devices, most of which combine several sensors and then send the recorded data to the mobile phone via an app to keep control at all times. The costs of smart home devices vary greatly in some cases and depend on brand, material, scope of services and design. To make it easier for interested parties to enter the world of the intelligently connected home, HUM Systems is now offering its customers a six-month trial and a subscription model for the all-purpose product Livy Protect. With this initiative, the IoT specialist is likely to set new standards.

What makes Livy Protect so special: "It combines a wealth of functions in a single device and can be easily mounted on the ceiling, so it takes up practically no space," Humanfar emphasises. Thanks to the built-in motion detector, smoke detection and WLAN module, Livy Protect offers comprehensive fire and burglary protection. In addition, Livy Protect continuously checks the room climate in all its facets via its modern air sensors. This is also convenient for relatives who are worried about their parents or grandparents living far away: they are immediately informed via the app on their smartphone if something should happen there. They can also get their air quality values on their mobile phones and take action if necessary - even if it's just a call asking them to open the windows for a few minutes.

Humanfar: "Livy Protect is a next-generation all-in-one safety solution for a safe and healthy home." All sensor readings and any abnormalities are conveniently reported to customers via app - no matter where they are. In an emergency, for example in the event of a burglary, gas emission or fire, the integrated community function can be used to automatically alert other residents or, for example, trusted persons in the neighbourhood. The subscription for Livy Protect including the Livy Plus app costs 11.50 euros per month for a term of 24 months. The first six months are considered a test phase during which the device can be returned without further costs. After the entire subscription period of two years, Livy Protect becomes the property of the user.

"In surveys among our core target groups - young families, couples living together and homeowners - we have learned that there is a need to be able to choose the option of a subscription as well as the one-off payment. Just like they are used to with their smartphones," Humanfar reports. "We were happy to accommodate this request."