Today’s interview is with Einaras, the CEO and Founder of CUJO.
Thank you for participating our interview. Please tell us a little about yourself Einaras.
Hello, I am the founder and CEO of CUJO. I have worked at a variety of technology companies with significant revenue growth due to experience in all facets of the business. I was recently named one of Goldman Sachs’ “100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs.” At little bit about CUJO, a plug-and-play, smart home security device that protects the connected home from the latest and most-sophisticated virtual intrusions such as malware, viruses and hacking techniques. We will be launching a campaign via Indiegogo on September 15th, so stay tuned for more details!
Here is a video preview that tells a little bit more about it!
How did the idea for CUJO come about?
We saw that every minute 3-4 people tweet that they got hacked. And we kept reading stories about baby monitors getting hacked, electronic doors being opened remotely, and personal info stolen from PCs by hacking smart connected devices.
How will CUJO work?
CUJO acts as a gateway between your devices and their connection to the Internet. We analyze behavior and secure all devices connected to your network – from PCs, thermostats, baby monitors, and more. This is critical because the majority of smart devices don’t have pre-installed security. Unlike traditional solutions, CUJO adapts and reacts when your home network is attacked and does not rely solely on the libraries of known malware issues.
CUJO is a plug-n-play device. Once you connect it to your router with one cord, you will be able to see on a mobile app which devices are connected to your network and receive alerts when your network is attacked.
Until I can get a Cujo – how do you recommend that I keep my home network and smart devices safe?
Please visit our blog at www.getcujo.com/blog for a number of tips. Also, sign up for our email to get 7 tips for home Internet security. Most importantly, change your router password and make it at least 12 characters long (alphanumeric with a symbol).
What is the difference between Cujo and commercially available anti-virus software?
Traditional security software is built to only protect your PC. With so many connected devices in your home, your personal information is now accessible through various gadgets. Once connected to your router, CUJO protects your entire home network.
Anti-virus and anti-malware software that you have on your PC mostly fails to protect you against hacks. Virtual criminals penetrate your network using vulnerabilities found in your router and your connected devices. Once they are in the network, traditional security software is mostly incapable to keep your information secure. One rogue device exposes your entire network, including the PC that has traditional security software installed.
How will I know if my network is safe and secure?
You will get a super-easy-to-use CUJO app for your phone and tablet. It will notify you whenever we block a threat. You will also see a complete list of devices that are connected. You will be able to use that app remotely, when you are not at home.
With Cujo can I use my baby monitor safely without worrying that someone will hack into it?
Absolutely. This example is one of the reasons that got us to start CUJO. As a parent, this hack was critical for us to address.
Can you give some tips on best practices for staying safe on the internet?
Make sure to use ultra-strong passwords for your router, your computer, really anything. At least 12 characters with alphanumeric with a symbol(s). For many more tips, please visit our blog
If I use a hotspot that I provide (like my smartphone) is that safer than public wifi?
Absolutely. Public wifi’s are super dangerous since other people on the same network can rather easily access your connected device. Whatever happens, avoid connecting to your bank account when on a public network.
What happens if someone tries to get into my network that is unauthorized? Do I get an alert via my device or do I just get an email?
You will get an app alert. You can also opt to receive email alerts.
Thank you so much for talking with us today Einaras and sharing a bit about your company. We really appreciated the chance to get to know you and learn more about CUJO!
Having a #connectedhome is a term we might not have considered even five years ago, but it is rapidly becoming the norm. In my house alone, I have multiple smartphones, tablets, a Smart TV, Smart Surge Protectors, Smart Lights and more. I once was able to protect my home using simple desktop virus protection, but now, that protection only covers my desktop and selected tablets instead of every device in my home which it once did. Although security software has evolved, the hacking world has evolved faster. Take for example, the local schools that have internet. I can’t tell you how many times I have driven by our local school and seen a car parked in the lot using the unsecured internet, it’s hard to say if they are doing legal activities or not, but that internet could be hacked into since it’s open to the public.
A new company, CUJO, is planning to introduce a smart device which will plug into your router which will help to protect your home internet from viruses, hacks, phishing and more for all of the connected devices in your house including television, DVD player, appliances, baby monitors and more which rely on your home internet to send diagnostics’, operate and function in your #smarthome. CUJO is a “virtual shield” which adapts and learns your behaviors to keep you safe. One of my favorite things is that it is plug and play, one cord and it’s running with nothing more for me to do. It’s like your home alarm system to protect your devices, except smarter because it will learn what you use and how you use it to prevent attacks. It learns from all of the behaviors of usage and constantly updates with new adapts safety measures to safeguard against virtual intruders.
CUJO analyzes your internet behavior and secures devices on your network which can include: televisions, baby monitors, refrigerators, thermostats, alarm systems or anything that uses the internet wi-fi in order to operate. If it detects something out of the ordinary, you are sent an alert on your smartphone while the attack is prevented. I store many things on my devices and run a backup frequently, but with my digital life being so #connected I worry about hackers getting information that they should not. A funding campaign will be launched in September with more details to be provided soon. Until then, check out this great video of how CUJO can protect your #connectedhome and read an interview with the CEO of CUJO.
I don’t open my front door to strangers and I’m glad that a device will exist so I can prevent my virtual front door from being opened. CUJO is the world’s first smart device that protects your home Internet and connected devices from hacks, viruses, malware, phishing, and other virtual attacks. With so many connected devices in your home, your personal information is now accessible through various gadgets. CUJO acts as a shield for your entire home network, adapting continuously to keep you safe. There will be a funding campaign on Indiegogo announced for this product on September 15, so be sure to stay tuned! They also have a Facebook event page too!
Today’s interview is with Paolo Debellini of Herokins. Please visit their Indiegogo to learn more and be part of the fundraising campaign.
Thank you for participating our interview. Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Paolo. I’m originally from Italy. I moved to San Francisco 2 years ago and started Herokins. I have an amazing relationship with my nephews Stefano (8), Anna (6) and Filippo (4). Unfortunately, besides Skype, I can only see them 2-3 times a year. For me, every minute spent with them is golden. That’s why, when I see them picking up ipads or iphones and becoming nervous and robotic I feel very bad. I feel bad because we have such limited time together and technology is disconnecting us. This has to change!! The first objective for me was clear: instead of using another game or toy that replaces the parent or at least disconnects the parent from the child, I wanted to create something that could be enjoyed together as a team. I figured this is the best way to use technology to facilitate family bonding.
Tell me a bit more about how you decided to create the app and wearable technology?
My source of inspiration for Herokins comes from a very interesting event that happened to me a couple of years ago when I was hiking with my nephews. My nephew, Stefano, was very grumpy because my sister didn’t have time to provide him with the necessary attention. To calm him down, I created a simple story/pretend play: there were villains trying to kidnap us and we needed an alternative route to reach the top of the mountain. With that, his mood flipped 180. He loved it so much, that to this day, we still play the same story, just with different variations. That day opened my eyes, and I asked myself: “is there a way to bring stories into everyday situations? Is there a way for children can really have fun while also learning about the world around them?”. That’s when I created McRed, Dr. Rose, and the world of Herokins. I wanted to create unique superheroes, who despite their superpowers, were imperfect, such that they could be easily relatable. I wanted to create a companion with the “we need to figure this out together”. Bringing the toy to the same level of the child is the foundation of creating an amazing experience and what better way than to create a superhero who is relatable?
My goal since day one has been very clear: Stories come first; stories are fun, they teach us through inspiration.
How will it work? Tell me more about how parents and kids will work together using the app?
The idea is very simple. We want to strengthen the bond between parents and children. That’s way children are in charge of the Herokin, while parents are in charge of the storytelling and therefore have control over the smartphone. Herokins takes the latest findings in child developmental research and puts them in entertaining 5 to 10 minute StoryQuests. This experience through the Herokins app and the wearable toy encourages children to learn important life lessons while strengthening the bond between parents and children. Our StoryQuests take parents and children into the World of Herokins, a fun place where our two superheroes McRed and Dr. Rose live. Herokins is a toy that strongly promotes active play. A balanced use of technology decreases screen time and increases quality time for parents and children. The adapting story concept opens up a new, engaging way of teaching and inspiring kids. Stories relate to chores, healthy habits, safety, emotions and much more.
Q: What platforms will it be available on?
It will be available on the iOS, Android and Kindle Fire devices.
Q: What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in the development process?
On paper, the game play is very complex: the stories were happening on the smartphone, while the toy was interacting with the app, while the parent was telling the child to hide behind an imaginary tree. It seemed too confusing for children and parents to operate the program together. But childrens’ imaginations make them unbelievably adept at connecting the dots and creating seamless stories that occur simultaneously on the phone, through the toy, and through human interaction. The feedback so far has been amazing. The concept, however, is still new, and is a bit abstract, making it perplexing to explain thoroughly.
Q: Can you tell us about the Indiegogo campaign and where we might find this product in the fall?
We chose Indiegogo because we want to create a community of families that can inspire us through their own adventures. That’s why we preferred to get in touch with the end users since day 1 and then build upon it. We will of course try our best to get into bigger retail stores, but we strive for Herokins to be community-driven. We want the community’s voice to be a key part of our identity as we move forward. Rather than product first, then community, we want to have the bottom up approach, similar to our stories. We create the adventure, and then we examine potential methods of incorporating technology to further the enjoyment of our stories.
Thank you Paolo for talking with us today and sharing a bit about your company. We really appreciated the chance to get to know you and wish you all the best in your fundraising efforts. I love the sneak peek I’ve gotten of Herokins as does my seven year old and we can’t wait for it to launch in the market!
Today’s interview is with Michael who invented the Quirky Spacebar. Read our review, you can also buy one from Quirky for $99 USD.
Thank you Michael for participating our interview. Please tell us a little about yourself.
My wife and I have been married for 32 years. We care for our two Moms (85 and 86 years old) that live a minute away in an assisted living facility. I was an Industrial Arts/Technology Education Teacher from 1978-2011 and am now retired and my wife is a teacher’s aide for elementary special needs students. I was an Industrial Arts/Technology Education Teacher from 1978-2011. We have two Scottish Terriers that are kind enough to still let us sleep with them in our bed.
How did you come up with the idea for the product?
School desks were always too small for computers and keyboards. Students’ backpacks can destroy keyboards. I stumbled upon Quirky. I submitted my idea designs once, twice and with helpful suggestions from other community members, the third time, it was chosen.
How has your product evolved over time with feedback from end users?
The latest versions have been upgraded to the faster USB-3.
What has been the hardest obstacle in bringing your idea to life?
Time. Initial product development takes time to go through design, testing and retesting before reaching the store shelf. Space Bar took just over a year.
What are your plans for the future? Do you have more ideas in the pipeline?
I’m very happily married and retired. I will continue being active with Quirky and if another idea pops up, I’ll throw it onto Quirky’s wall to see if it sticks, otherwise I’m just as happy helping and watching others reach product idea success.
Do you have any other news you want to share with The iMums?
Everyone has ideas. Most ideas are not unique, but with Quirky it doesn’t cost anything to try.
Thank you so much for talking with us today and sharing a bit about your invention. We really appreciated the chance to get to know you!
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