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Notion IoT Sensors Let Homeowners Design Their Own Home Intelligence

Travelers Insurance is the latest insurance company to offer home monitoring from the technology startup, at a discounted rate so users can select what they want to monitor when they're away from home.
By Claire Swedberg
Aug 31, 2018

Traveler's Insurance is offering its clients a discount on Internet of Things (IoT) technology that enables them to track conditions within their home, automatically and remotely, at a cost of $50. The home-monitoring system is provided by technology company Notion. Travelers is one of a handful of insurance companies to provide the Notion system, which offers cloud-based wireless sensor data to automate homes.

The Notion Home Monitoring System leverages IoT technology consisting of multiple sensors that transmit data to a single hub that, in turn, uses a home's existing Wi-Fi network to forward the data to a cloud-based server. Users can then access or receive alerts regarding data from the sensors using a Notion app on their Android- or iOS-based devices.

While Travelers will offer the Notion kits, consisting of a Wi-Fi-connected hub and five sensors, for $50, the kit will cost $199 online for the general public. Access to the cloud-based data on an app is provided to users at no charge.

Notion was conceived approximately four years ago when one of the company's co-founders (Ryan Margoles, now Notion's CTO) experienced a problem with a smoke alarm in his home. Unbeknownst to him, the alarm had been triggered while he was out, and the sound, which continued until he returned home, was distressing his new retriever puppy, Apollo. The incident predated Google's NEST thermostat, smoke alarm and security system, and there were few technology solutions available.

Margoles met with Brett Jurgens, who co-founded Notion with him. Margoles has a background in sensor technology and data analysis for the golf industry, while Jurgens has a finance background with experience in launching consumer technology startups. When the two men launched the new company, they began speaking with potential users and found the demand was for a more extensive home-awareness system with the flexibility to allow homeowners to set up and manage sensor data that was uniquely of interest—such as water leaks, thermostat changes, the opening and closing of doors or windows, and the triggering of a smoke detector.

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