Ario – See the world in a different light

Ario leverages Azure technologies to provide light that can automatically improve health, happiness, and productivity

San Francisco-based startup Ario is changing home lighting with their new smart-lamp. A healthy lamp that programs itself to adjust light color, direction, and intensity throughout the day, Ario is designed to work with and support the user’s internal body clock – improving sleep, energy, and productivity says CEO Brian Hoskins. “We live in a crazy world bombarded by artificial things. People are trying to make healthy changes, but no one is paying attention to lighting. We are helping people reestablish their proper circadian rhythm and restore hormone production to where it should be – leaving users more rested, energized, and focused.”

Automatically adjusting both light color and direction to support the body’s health, Ario provides prospective users with a wide range of benefits - positively influencing weight, metabolism, mood and natural hormone production, including cortisol and melatonin. With the use of smart technology, Ario safely and securely learns about the user’s sleep schedule - providing bright, energizing blue-rich light that wakes and carries the body throughout the day, gradually changing to amber light in the evening to help the body relax and produce melatonin to prepare for sleep. According to Hoskins, this light differentiation is key to improving overall health, “Some of the latest research indicates that improper blue light stimulation at night is detrimental to overall health. For one, it makes you hungry. Even if you eat the same number of calories but are subject to more excess blue light at night, you can store up to 50% more fat - we are trying to eliminate this problem. This could be the biggest, most disruptive thing in the lighting industry since artificial lighting was introduced.”

Establishing partnerships and gaining access to resources have been a key part of Ario’s growth. Microsoft’s BizSpark program has provided Ario with Azure as a reliable hosting platform and enabled them to bring their product to market. Also, gaining acceptance to Stanford University’s StartX and Lab360 accelerator programs for entrepreneurs has provided Ario with technical and business mentoring and support, as well as access to funding from a large cybersecurity company.

With its complex architecture, Ario relies entirely on Azure for hosting their product. According to Hoskins, “Azure is the perfect choice for our healthy connected home and workplace platform. Its simplicity, scalability, and security are second to none. We can scale our service as we go and it provides an effective ecosystem that makes it easy to integrate our platform seamlessly – incorporating user management, data collection, more powerful custom webpage, online sales, and machine learning that enhances the experience of our users by facilitating automatic and personalized scheduling. All while Azure handles the problems of providing strong security.”

Azure’s compatibility with open source technologies was another factor in Ario’s decision to leverage Microsoft technologies. According to Hoskins, “Azure’s integration and support for open source has been big for us. It runs smoothly and doesn’t change how we operate. We are still in the prototype phase, but are using or considering using Git for version control - due to its broad acceptance and use, Eclipse for comprehensiveness, MySQL for some particular proprietary data base activities that call for this language, and Open SSO to enhance user experience across devices. All of these run flawlessly with Azure.”

Azure has also helped Ario through its versatility with internet of things technologies. Its Wi-Fi connectivity allows for personalized healthy light through geolocation – understanding season, time of year, time of day, and the user’s day-to-day patterns. Additionally, Ario has integrated the Particle P1 module into their product. According to Hoskins, “this enables users, from their Ario accounts, to integrate other lighting in their home or workspace, to be controlled by their unique schedule and environmental cues garnered from the web. Ultimately we intend to integrate data from our user’s wearable devices and other appliances, HVAC, refrigerators for example, to better support the user’s wellness.”

Ario’s product, along with their cultivated business partnerships, is allowing them to navigate the difficulties of the startup industry with apparent ease. “The hardest part about working in the startup industry is resource constraints.” says Hoskins, “Where to start and where to focus our energy is key. I know we can depend on Microsoft and the BizSpark program – they are here for the long-haul.”

You can find out more about Ario by visiting

Microsoft is helping these startups succeed through its BizSpark program. To join or see other startup stories, visit us at our website here. To listen to our startups, check out these podcasts on devradio here

About BizSpark:  Microsoft BizSpark is a global program that helps startups succeed by giving free access to Microsoft Azure cloud services, software and support. BizSpark members receive up to $750 per month of free Microsoft Azure cloud services for 3 years: that’s $150 per month each for up to 5 developers. Azure works with Linux and open-source technologies such as Ruby, Python, Java and PHP. BizSpark is available to startups that are privately held, less than 5-years-old and earn less than $1M in annual revenue.

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