May 8, 2018
Manufacturing insights

WPI student company wants to help you party

Courtesy photo
Panagiotis Argyrakis, founder of Luminoid.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute student Panagiotis Argyrakis' background as DJ, and his passion for music drove him to an innovative solution: an automated party lighting system. His startup company got off the ground thanks in part to The Tech-Entrepreneurs, a undergraduate organization at WPI dedicated to entrepreneurship. Argyrakis' company, Luminoid, took home second place at the organization's pitch event last month. While traveling Europe, Argyrakis was able to talk about his experience running a startup.

What does Luminoid make?

Luminoid makes smart home lighting systems particularly optimized for parties and special events. Specifically, we design LED lighting fixtures that wirelessly connect to our smartphone app.

How does the technology work?

Customers can purchase our lighting fixtures and easily connect them to our smartphone app through Bluetooth or WiFi. Once the setup is complete, the fixtures can be used either as colorful mood lighting or as dynamic party lighting. The latter offers a unique feature set of artificial intelligence-powered modes reacting to the music playing. The user can customize the experience by changing the complexity and intensity of the automatic modes or even take manual control. The system is capable of creating complex lighting effects comparable to those in clubs at a fraction of the cost and effort of professional solutions.

How long did it take to develop that technology?

The core hardware and software took about a year to develop. We expect the development of the wireless networking technology required for the final product to take an additional three months.

How did that idea come about?

I, the founder of Luminoid, am passionate about music and used to work as an a DJ. Before performances, I was often frustrated with how manual and time consuming professional lights were to program. That's how I decided to create a powerful, highly automated party lighting system that requires no programming.

What have sales been like so far?

Thus far we have sold a few prototype units to test market demand.

We're told Luminoid has done little marketing. How has the young company found success so far?

Thus far, we have conducted various interviews with customers to determine our core feature set and target market. We are focusing our marketing efforts to a small market of early adopters and expect to grow to a bigger segment by acting on their feedback in the upcoming months.

How close is the company full-scale commercial availability?

We are currently working towards completing a very small production round in late October for our early adopters. We expect to enter full scale production by the end of 2019.

What would these devices go for?

The lighting fixtures would start at $70 each, and the companion app will be free.

What is the target audience?

Our initial target audience is amateur musicians, mobile DJs and fraternity members 18 to 25 years old. In the future we plan on serving a wider range of businesses and consumers who often host events and are interested in smart effect lighting.

This interview was conducted and edited for length and clarity by WBJ Staff Writer Zachary Comeau.

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