Transforming your home into a smart home shouldn’t come with a big price tag. It also shouldn’t require households to overhaul their entire home and have to replace things that they’ve already invested in and love.
This is the exact predicament that Trung Pham, CEO and founder of RYSE, the brand behind the original smart shade product that transforms your existing window shades, faced in his personal life. He didn’t want to replace his window shades, but did want them to be automated so he could control remotely. He decided to come up with a solution for himself.
We sat down with Trung to learn more about RYSE and his journey of bringing his idea to life.
Can you tell me more about RYSE and how it all began?
TP: It all began when I was upgrading things around my home and wanted to get automated shades for my apartment. I loved the way my shades looked and didn’t feel the need to replace them with something new. That’s when I went searching for a simple add-on that I could use on my existing shades to motorize them – like a motorized pulley system. What I thought would be a quick Google search led me to a dead end – no such thing existed. That’s when a lightbulb went off in my head, and I knew I had to take this matter into my own hands. And as they say, the rest is history.
How has the journey been for you? It seems like quite the ride from the launch on KickStarter and now being available at the biggest electronics retailer in Canada.
TP: It’s been quite the journey, but in the best way possible. As soon as I had the idea for a SmartShade device, I began building an amazing team of engineers, and we started creating a prototype that would become the RYSE SmartShade — the original smart shade product that transforms the window shades you already own and love.
In late 2020, we launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to introduce the new RYSE SmartShade device and test the market. Since then, we’ve officially launched RYSE and expanded our offerings to include accessories that work cohesively with our hero product.
Most recently, we’ve expanded our retail offerings by partnering with Best Buy Canada. Our products are now available for purchase at all of its locations and also online at bestbuy.ca. This is a huge milestone for us and the culmination of the hard work that our team has done for the past few years.
What sets you apart from the other smart window shade products available in the market?
TP: We’re proud to be the original innovator behind the smart shade product that retrofits existing shades within minutes, making them automated and controllable from your phone or voice speaker. With our team of incredibly talented engineers, we have created a line of products that is both beautiful and functional, ultimately helping you make life even more comfortable.
Our products are also patented – we have five patents filed in the US, Canada, the EU, and China, with three more pending. These patents cover the technology, design, mechanics, and software aspects of the RYSE SmartShade.
Why should Canadians choose RYSE Smartshade to retrofit their window shades?
TP: RYSE SmartShade is the perfect solution for Canadians looking to upgrade their window shades with a DIY, easy-to-install, one-size-fits-all solution that won’t break the bank and doesn’t require replacing existing shades.
It only takes 10 minutes to set up, and once in place, you gain full control of your window shades. This control includes adjusting the positions of connected shades, grouping multiple shades together, scheduling shades to fit your lifestyle, or controlling them remotely using the accompanying RYSE app.
We also have an incredible support team that can help you troubleshoot, and if you need extra help with the set up, we also have an interactive installation guide readily available on our website.
It won’t be an overstatement to say that smart home technology is the future. What are some trends you’re seeing in the industry and how do you think Canada is doing in advancing the tech in this industry?
TP: The smart home industry has been and continues to see exponential growth, and it truly is exciting to see more and more Canadians embrace and introduce smart home technology into their daily lives. According to a recent market research, the penetration rate of smart home tech is anticipated to increase from 36% in 2023 to 68% in 2028, signaling the significant adoption by Canadians.
Specific to blinds & shades, I think the timing now is perfect. Most homeowners have the typical smart home products already like voice speakers, smart thermostats, doorbells, doorlocks and lighting. The next type of product to complete the smart home is definitely smart blinds and shades – and thats where RYSE comes in.
And as babyboomers retire, we see this audience as a strong market, as they tend to be mortgage free, without dependants and thus have a high level of disposable income. At the same time, this group may look for products to help them around the house, with mobility and convenience – for example, using RYSE to lift heavy window shades.
What does RYSE have planned for the future? Are there any new products or features in the pipeline?
TP: We’re constantly innovating at RYSE and we have some new products launching in 2024 that we’re excited about. The one that’s coming up really quickly is the launch of RYSE SmartCurtain. It’s a highly requested and anticipated product that will now allow Canadians to transform their existing curtains into automated, smart curtains – those that run on a track, rail, or curtain rod. We encourage anyone interested in learning more about the new product or our existing lineup to visit helloryse.com or check us out on @helloryse on all platforms.