Smart home audio/video intercom (pre-launch)

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Thanks for the post, Jonathon! I created Nucleus after trying to purchase an intercom for my own home. I was shocked that they cost $3,000+ and required heavy wiring - not to mention they used outdated technology. I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback about Nucleus. Thanks!
@jfrankel13 Hi, I just found out about Nucleus and was considering it as a video intercom for our new offices at work. Would that be feasible ? I thought we could rename rooms for "storage area" "reception desk" "meeting room" etc...
a few questions for our audience: 1) what inspired you to make this / what's the ultimate vision for it? 2) how does this compare to competitors? 3) can you give us some thoughts on the current state of The Internet of Things?
Thanks Erik. 1) as I briefly mentioned, the inspiration was my own frustration when trying to purchase an intercom system. I have three little boys that love nothing more than destroying our house, and my wife and I wanted an intercom system to keep tabs on them and serve as a baby monitor. When the contractor came back with a $3,500 quote for the same model my parents had, I was shocked. I went online to buy a wireless one, but I was even more shocked to find that none existed. So I decided to create one. 2) there are plenty of one-way Internet-connected video monitors (Dropcam, Piper, Canary, etc.) but there are no two-way communication devices / intercoms. The cool thing about Nucleus is that you can use it as a baby monitor / security camera - like the competition - but its main use case is for communication. With one touch, you can see your baby upstairs or talk to your elderly parent 100 miles away. 3) I think the IoT is still waiting for the "killer app". Turning your lights on/off or your heat up while away is cool, but just an added feature at great expense. I think we're still waiting for a use case (or device) where the IoT is an order-of-magnitude improvement over the current "dumb" appliance.
@jfrankel13 great answers, thanks :)
Would be interested to hear more about the choice to build the actual hardware, as opposed to just creating an iOS app? (i.e. mount an old iPad/etc on the wall)
@abramdawson Hi Abram, great question. There are a few answers to this: 1) iPads and Android tablets have hardware geared towards being hand-held. The mic, speakers, and particularly the camera are not well-suited to transmit audio and video of an entire room. By building a custom device, we can equip it with a wide-angle HD camera, better speakers and echo cancellation, etc. It elevates the entire experience from feeling ad-hoc to one of natural communication. 2) due to the WAF, or "wife acceptance factor". While many of us men (and women!) would be happy mounting iPads all over the house, many of our spouses would shoot us if we tried. By having custom-designed hardware made to look good mounted on a wall, we can appeal to a broader range of consumers than only early adopters.
@jfrankel13 Awesome, makes sense! This reminds me a bit of Perch (, which is what prompted my original question. Thanks!
@abramdawson Perch has done a great job, but we're appealing more to residential consumers. In addition, we plan on retailing for less than the cost of an iPad (and much less than a traditional intercom system).
The first thing that came to my mind with Nucleus is actually HBO's Silicon Valley series.
@lucascerdan Haha, I know, I wasn't too happy when they named their company Nucleus.