№ 070/2015 from Mar 17, 2015
volatiles, a spin-off of Freie Universität Berlin, was a winner in the IKT Innovative competition of the German Federal Ministry or Economic Affairs and Energy for founding companies. The team consisting of Fabian Metzeler, René Schulz, and Janos Kutscherauer received 6000 euros at the CeBIT computer fair for an intelligent lighting system they developed. Using LED technology, it is possible to replace light bulbs with luminous surfaces that can be controlled via the Internet, but this potential is rarely utilized. For example, the level of brightness in the vicinity of a mirror can be increased as someone approaches it. The system is controlled via a smartphone application.
At first glance the innovation looks like a glass mosaic: The ultra-thin lighting modules can be assembled to form lighting areas of almost any size and shape. Each piece of the puzzle is touch-sensitive, and due to sensors and interfaces, the surfaces can react to changes in the environment. With a smartphone app, the areas of illumination can be customized according to personal preferences. The app provides lighting scenes that can be individualized and adapted on demand, for example, to accommodate individual biorhythms and sleep patterns.
The team managed to put the complex technology into a compact form: All the electronics are integrated, and the communication between the modules is wireless. Current flows via a support grid that simultaneously facilitates the assembly. Potential customers are private homes and hotels, and later wellness and health centers and suppliers of office equipment.
In 2013 the start-up volatiles took part in the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Accelerator program and then turned to profund, the start-up support service at Freie Universität Berlin, for assistance in its search for technical development partners. Profund mediated the contact between the start-up team and Professor Jochen Schiller at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and successfully supported the team in applying for an EXIST Business Start-Up Grant.