Silmu – Design inspired by nature

Jani Salo, founder of Silmux Oy, has studied electronics production technology in Aalto University and worked at the sales of a major Japanese electronics manufacturer in Helsinki for 13 years, travelling extensively in Asia.

Having visited China a numerous time and working there for long periods, he felt that a place where you can relax and isolate from the busy and polluted environment of a Chinese city was needed. This was his mental spark and the foundation of developing the idea, which leaded to the creation of the holistic wellbeing solution.  A place, which offers you an experiential private space to focus and recharge, but also experience the Finnish nature through innovative technology.

The company was founded in December 2016 and developed a market plan to join the Chinese market, having received a Tempo funding from Business Finland. In 2017 joined Aalto Startup Center and pivoted the idea of transferring the Finnish nature in an environment where audiovisual means could be integrated. That’s when he came up with the idea of the Silmu chair, experiential private space.

Silmu is a Finnish word and means a bud. Like a bud, Silmu helps you to recreate yourself. Silmu is approachable, inviting and its look & feel is in line with its superb acoustic characteristics, both inside and outside.

In 2018 they participated in Slush together with Aalto Startup Center with their first Silmu chair prototype. It was designed by Pekka Kumpula, Red Dot Design Award 2017 winner, with the intention to create a private space in public premises.

They received very positive feedback and are already in process of producing a final product for piloting with the help of IoT Forge Foundation and other funding sources. This will feature:

Superior sound environment including active noise cancellation and tactile audio units, power outlet, UI control panel, IOT/AI/Cloud, VR 360 videos, RGB lighting.

The materials of the chair will be more suitable for public premises and will enable the company to start a mass production. The intention is to integrate technologies such as health sensors (measuring heart rates, stress levels, weight, blood pressure, etc.) and promote it as a unique platform service device with a made in Finland, Finnish design (materials, nature, look and feel) identity.  Health corporations can then use the chair as a virtual doctor.

The product has stirred a lot of interest and Jani is in discussions with various players for piloting the product. Some of them are: a Japanese wellbeing company to pilot the chair in their premises, located in Japan at around March 2020, City of Espoo in its public spaces, domestic airport operator and a major hotel chain among others. Current Silmu prototype will be showcased at Metropolia Urban Farm Lab event in mid October.

The experience with Aalto Startup Center– have benefited from having access to affordable office premises, being able to display the Silmu chair, collaborate on the investors’ biddings, attending various events which offer the possibility to network and hear from other startups.