Finnish IoT startup Ruuvi Innovations develops and manufactures various measuring sensors and provides a complete system that has made it easy for both private and business customers to measure temperature, air humidity, air pressure and movement. Ruuvi’s passion is to develop a pioneering open-source product for the IoT market and become as one of the most well-known brands in its field.
Ruuvi’s roots go back to 1999 when childhood neighbors Lauri Jämsä and Henri Hakunti published their first joint computer projects on the internet. Later in 2010, Lauri founded an embedded electronics community site “Ruuvipenkki” for Finnish electronics enthusiasts. Lauri’s and Henri’s friendship continued for years until the time was right in 2016 to start the growth story of Ruuvi Innovations Oy together with Lauri’s sister Sini-Maaria Niku and Otso Jousimaa.
“Ruuvi’s business operation really kicked off in the fall of 2016 when our first product, RuuviTag, was successfully crowdfunded on Kickstarter and pre-sold for USD 170,000 worldwide. That marks the beginning of Ruuvi’s expansion,” says Henri, Ruuvi’s chief operating officer. Lauri is the current CEO.
Ruuvi sensors can measure anything
Ruuvi’s vision is to redesign the traditional ways of how to measure the environment – only the imagination sets the limit for what to measure. Ruuvi’s sensors can be placed anywhere, and the results can be monitored from a smartphone within the Bluetooth range. The company has developed RuuviTag by constantly adding new features to the software and building new services around the device. In addition to the mobile application, the measured values can also be monitored from the browser interface on computers and tablets.
“Last year, we expanded Ruuvi’s product range with two new products. RuuviTag Pro is designed for challenging conditions, it’s waterproof and resistant to pressure and heat. Ruuvi Gateway is a router developed for remote monitoring and it allows you to connect to sensors from anywhere in the world. It is a remote monitoring system compatible with all Ruuvi sensors,” Henri describes.
“Ruuvi’s products are designed to serve both private and business customers. In principle, the devices have been made so easy that anyone can use them without any technical knowledge. For many consumers, the Ruuvi sensors may be the first technical device related to a smart home,” says Henri.
Ruuvi Community is a significant power resource
Ruuvi’s ideology is that all of its software and electronics are based on open source. Thanks to the openness, the company has a constantly growing community of users who can develop and build software themselves. Currently the Ruuvi Community consists of several thousands of registered members on various platforms.
”The community is a great power resource as everyone can benefit from software projects built around products and from the community’s support. Ruuvi’s product idea is that for consumers, measuring devices work as they are, while companies can build and customize their own end applications as needed. We want to be an enabler for companies to build different services around our physical products and at the same time create an opportunity for companies to do new business,” says Henri.
Companies in particular benefit from open source. Ruuvi has already over 5,000 business customers located in more than 100 countries. Many large companies have purchased Ruuvi’s products and use them to develop their own innovations. Examples of these are famous technology companies such as Google, Siemens, Bosch and Nokia. “Today, open-source products are important for companies. Traditionally, they have wanted to protect and patent all the ideas they have developed, but when buying software or products themselves, companies prefer to choose open source,” Henri underlines.
IoT Paja provides concrete support for product development
Developing a new product is a long, multi-step process. Prototyping is relatively easy, according to Henri, but bringing a reliable and long-lasting commercial product to market, including production, coordination and testing, is often underestimated. Fortunately, Ruuvi has also had its own expertise at all stages of the development process, and the company has received valuable support from IoT Paja’s experts. Cooperation with IoT Paja started already in 2017.
“IoT Paja has supported Ruuvi since the development of our first product and especially with the latest new products. The whole process took surprisingly long. Software development, testing, and product finalization required the most of the time. When testing the prototypes, we sparred with various experts and listened to their opinions, which is important in the design phase to find the best solution. IoT Paja provides great support, and it’s really good that such a service exists for Finnish startups and other companies as well,” says Henri.
Adding value to customers through data analyzing
According to Henri, key for Ruuvi’s success is that everything is based on open source – electronics, firmware, backend system, and mobile applications. Other success factors are product reliability, quality and a long product life-time, as well as ease of use that is especially important for private customers. For business customers it is very important that they can easily use Ruuvi’s products to prototype, test an idea and pilot a solution.
“An important development area for Ruuvi in the future is the analysis and interpretation of measurement results. To be able to understand what the measurement values mean and whether everything is in order as it should be will really add value for our customers. We will also be designing new measuring sensors as well as further develop the software of our existing products. At Ruuvi, we want to offer a comprehensive service for both business and private customers,” Henri concludes.
Henri’s recommendations to other startups
- Consider carefully whether there is a demand for your product and find out if similar products are already on the market.
- Prototyping is reasonably inexpensive and fast, but product development with completely external resources is time consuming and expensive.
- Be prepared to solve various challenges and change the plan if necessary.
Ruuvi Innovations Oy is an IoT startup, https://ruuvi.com/
Founders and owners: Lauri Jämsä, CEO; Henri Hakunti, COO; Otso Jousimaa, CIO; Sini-Maaria Niku, CCO.
Staff: Ruuvi has 18 employees located around the world.
Products: Open-source based sensors and remote monitoring system to measure and monitor temperature, air humidity, air pressure and movement.