ShadeCraft’s CEO and founder Armen Gharabegian’s main focus continues to be on how to change the way consumers think about living in their outdoor spaces, from how they consume entertainment or handle home security, to providing them the ability to charge USB devices anywhere, at any time. Design and technologically forward, ShadeCraft first introduced SUNFLOWER at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2017.
Gharabegian explains, “We are to outdoor umbrellas what smart cars are to the horse and wagon. SUNFLOWER is an intelligent robot that connects consumers to the IoT and smart home ecosystem. Its shading component is as much for consumers as it is for the sensitive electronics and hardware in the robot itself, and its sun tracking feature helps to achieve optimum energy. As a result of these, SUNFLOWER exists in the shape of an outdoor parasol.”
Simply described as a smart outdoor shade, SUNFLOWER collects solar energy to power its battery, charges any Smartphone, streams over Wi-Fi or 4G networks, plays music on its built-in speakers and features an on-board camera for security. SUNFLOWER moves in accordance with the sun, keeping one shaded at all times and provides a connectivity portal that communicates with other IoT devices in the home.
Why SUNFLOWER? Gharabegian comments, “We felt that in order to introduce the consumer to the concept of robotic objects co-existing in their environment, we needed to establish an identifiable and iconic object. Although we had developed a whole series of robotic solutions for shade and other functions, we believed that an iconic object such as the outdoor parasol would have less of a barrier to entry.”
Winner of the Gold Prize at the 2017 IDA International Design Awards, SUNFLOWER features a modern and elegant design that aesthetically beautifies any outdoor space. Gharabegian’s team strives to create solar powered products that connect people to the Internet through AI integration, effortlessly bringing everything outdoors in an aesthetically appealing way with robotics. Nature remains at the core of design inspiration at ShadeCraft and this is reflected in SUNFLOWER’s movement, which mirrors that of a natural flower toward the sun.
“We believe that nature has a very evolutionary process to adapt to the environment and evolve accordingly,” adds Gharabegian.
With his decades of combined experience in design and engineering, Gharabegian’s vision with SUNFLOWER was to create a perfect combination of design and technological advancement, and Gharabegian, along with his ShadeCraft team, seems to have achieved this goal.
What’s next for ShadeCraft? “The business landscape around us changes constantly. Technology also grows at an exponential pace, allowing us to dream bigger and fulfill some of our dreams in ways we could not imagine years ago,” comments Gharabegian.
In the future, the company has plans to unveil smart new innovations that will continue to change the way consumers experience the outdoors, with products that ultimately enhance and beautify their surroundings and lives outdoors.