What is databrick?

Whether you own or rent, databrick helps you learn from the former occupants and green your home even after you exchange keys.

It combines different levels of data, a secured cloud service and a local data storage in your home (a smart meter or a broadband router). 

How a homeowner captures data relating to their home life, and how that data is then used by third parties is today an opaque process which only benefits, at best, advertisers and insurance companies.
We believe that a more transparent, controlled and anonymised digital experience which captures the most relevant aspects of home life can open opportunities to help improve both a home and how people use energy at home. 
What’s the context?

Since the term was coined in 2001, the internet of things has primarily turned into a market of consumer-facing connectivity solutions for homeowners. A focus on smart appliances, heating and lighting control as well as security solutions lead the way in a market that is still modest in size.

Away from consumer-led purchases, the domestic realm is also changing with of the digitisation of services. Data marketplaces like Zoopla, Datafiniti and many others offer a digital database for UK properties. Around 93% of UK households now have internet at home and  29% of the 51.8 million domestic meters are now smart

Alongside this digital reality, international pressure around the climate change issue is affecting how the government views homes. The UK government’s Net Zero ambitions include installing 2.5 million energy efficiency measures in 2 million homes – saving carbon and delivering net household bills savings of £800 million each year. But the real estate churn, especially in London, (5 years in London and 17 outside) doesn’t contribute to sustainable actions when it comes to improving properties. Yet another dynamic is the financial sector’s inability to develop sustainable products to offer home owners to improve properties as their ability to access dynamic, in-home data is limited. 

To effectively address these complex issues, we propose to harness the entire ecosystem of unconnected home experiences and data-heavy services to provide a longitudinal view of a home and build a secure and anonymised ‘home passport’ over time.

What kind of data are we talking about?

We think there are three types of data produced by homeowners and handled by databrick in different ways: 

Locked data is added once when the service is set up and doesn’t change unless the landlord also agrees through a digital permission request. This data can be exposed differently whether the occupant is renting or not but it is captured by default to start using the service. This could include:

  • Land registry documents
  • Plans of the home including room sizes
  • Services where the wires & pipes are 
  • Building insurance
  • Leasehold/Freehold contracts
  • Electricity, gas & water meter numbers 
  • Yearly energy consumption over the last 5 years (anonymised) 
  • Council tax amounts
  • Rent value
  • Boiler type 

Unlocked data is added dynamically with permission from the occupant:

  • Maintenance log (names, contact details of contractors, description of work)
  • White goods troubleshooting links
  • Boiler maintenance schedule
  • Utilities amounts paid 
  • TV license payments paid

Personal data which will move from the hardware of the occupant to their next home or stays encrypted and stored on the local hardware until a move. If a router, then the home owner simply takes it to the next destination, if a meter, a secure exchange is made between meters.  

  • Occupant names 
  • Details of visitors (care providers, Airbnb related service providers)
  • Other household bills (mobile phone)
  • Contents insurance policy details & details of high value goods
  • Access rights of each occupant
  • Mortgage details
  • Other contracts

These data models are designed with assumptions of their value in mind. We’d like to explore this further and test these assumptions. 

What stage are you at?

This is at the concept stage only but we would like to develop it further and deploy it across a number of homes in the UK. We are looking for a hardware (smart meter or router) partners to apply to the upcoming Innovate UK Smart Grants program. We’re equally open to any other conversation about partnerships or funding.