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Cubo Ai: Ensuring infant safety with a stable, well-connected cloud AI infrastructure

About Cubo Ai

Founded in 2017, Cubo Ai is a Taiwanese startup with a mission to spread peace of mind through innovation to parents worldwide using artificial intelligence (AI). Its flagship product, Cubo Ai, is a smart baby monitor that provides parents the peace of mind of being in the know via real-time proactive alerts through its app when it detects the baby’s mouth and nose are covered or if the baby’s stuck when rolling over. It currently has 40,000+ daily active users across 114 countries around the world and won the CES 2020 Innovation Awards that honors outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products.

Industries: Technology
Location: Taiwan

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About CloudMile

CloudMile, a leading AI and cloud technology company in Asia, focuses on digital transformation and driving growth for its corporate clients. Leveraging machine learning and big data analysis, CloudMile assists over 400 corporate clients with business forecasts and industrial upgrades. CloudMile has earned 120+ accreditations, with 60+ Google Cloud professional certifications. Being a Premier Partner of Google Cloud, CloudMile is qualified for Machine Learning Specialization, Data Analytics Specialization, Cloud Migration Specialization, and Infrastructure Specialization in North Asia. The company has become a Google Cloud Managed Service Provider (MSP) covering Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore as well as the Public Sector Partner of the Year for APAC Region 2020.

To accommodate a growing number of users for its flagship product, the Cubo Ai Plus Smart Baby Monitor, Cubo Ai leverages the high scalability and well-connected global network of Google Cloud to provide reliable baby monitoring services around the world.

Google Cloud results

  • Monitors device status in real time for quick troubleshooting with IoT Core
  • Supports more than 10X user growth with the same IT workforce through highly scalable Cloud Functions
  • Reduces response time to send alerts to parents through global data centers and Cloud Load Balancing
  • Saves 20% of operational costs by optimizing cloud architectural design

Zero downtime in two years of deployment

Every parent wants the best for their baby, especially when it comes to safety. Since babies spend most of their time sleeping, a key concern then becomes, how do parents ensure their babies are safe when asleep?

In addition to maintaining safe practices like laying the baby flat on their back without other items in the crib, Cubo Ai is on a mission to help parents keep their infants safe using artificial intelligence (AI) technology. In 2018, the Taiwanese startup released a smart baby monitor that can detect a covered face, if babies are sleeping on their stomach or on the side, as well as other dangers in babies’ sleep and living environments with an accuracy rate of up to 92%. If a risk factor is detected by the AI camera, parents receive an alert on an app, so they can attend to the baby immediately. As of July 2021, the device has around 70,000 daily active users across 114 countries around the world.

“As an existing Google Cloud customer, we appreciate how intuitive and flexible the platform is and knew that it would be a right fit for us as we continue to grow as a company. Furthermore, the support that came with it was unrivalled.”

Steven Shen, CTO, Cubo Ai

The startup first deployed its baby monitoring system in a multicloud environment which included Google Cloud, as it felt that having a combination of cloud technologies would give them the upper hand. However, as the number of users started to grow exponentially in 2019, the team found that using different cloud platforms resulted in higher expenditure due to the rising costs.

As a result, Cubo Ai decided to move all its businesses to a single cloud platform. The company chose Google Cloud for its flexibility and intuitive cloud tools, as well as the extensive technical support provided by the Google Cloud team and its partner CloudMile.

“As an existing Google Cloud customer, we appreciate how intuitive and flexible the platform is and knew that it would be a right fit for us as we continue to grow as a company. Furthermore, the support that came with it was unrivalled,” says Steven Shen, CTO at Cubo Ai.

Baby in crib with a Cubo Ai monitor mounted to the wall above it

Building a powerful cloud computing infrastructure

Because Cubo Ai’s smart baby monitoring system requires a large amount of AI compute power, selecting the most ideal GPU (graphics processing unit) was a priority. Cloud GPUs stood out because of its wide range of compute options and pay-per-use billing mechanism. Now, the team can choose the most suitable GPU option, while reducing operational costs by 5%.

To maximize the Google Cloud tools and services available to them, Cubo Ai works with CloudMile for any help or troubleshooting required. The startup once had an error in the codes of its system that risked interrupting the connection of all its baby cameras. After contacting CloudMile and the Google Cloud team, Cubo Ai immediately received technical support to identify the cause of the problem and managed to clear the issue in only a few hours.

“Whenever we raise a question, we always get answers from CloudMile and the Google Cloud team almost straight away,” notes Shen. When Cubo Ai wanted to cut down its operational costs in early 2021, CloudMile was also able to advise the team on how they could optimize the design of the existing cloud architecture to minimize spending. With the appropriate advice and approach, Cubo Ai was able to reduce the unit cost of the containers it deploys by 20%.

Keeping babies safe with a fully managed Kubernetes service

Another important element of Cubo Ai’s cloud computing infrastructure is the container management system that runs its baby monitoring system and application. When Cubo Ai decided to adopt a single cloud structure, it used Kubernetes to deploy and manage its containerized applications. As a fully managed Kubernetes service, Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) became an obvious choice and allowed the team to automatically upgrade to the latest version without any manual intervention.

“As an original Google Cloud product, Google Kubernetes Engine provides the simplest solution to managing Kubernetes clusters through automatic upgrades and clear documentation,” explains Shen. “Even when we were still not very familiar with Kubernetes, GKE helped us avoid errors and be able to master the system in a short time.”

“With the high scalability of Cloud Functions, we don’t have to make any changes to scale our services. Along with other Google Cloud tools that facilitate our technical support and development work, it enables us to manage more than 10X user growth with the same IT workforce, which is a crucial achievement for a small team.”

Steven Shen, CTO, Cubo Ai

Accelerating product development with real-time data

In 2020, Cubo Ai released its second-generation smart baby monitor, Cubo Ai Plus, which uses IoT Core to send device status data in real time. The information is then analyzed on Cloud Logging for Cubo Ai’s engineers to clear log errors remotely. This helps the team monitor its camera devices dispersed around the world, so they could swiftly identify and resolve issues when errors occur.

“Our first-generation product is not embedded with IoT Core. At that time, it was challenging to troubleshoot remotely because we could not get the complete information of device status,” notes Shen. “With the real-time device data transferred through IoT Core, our engineers can quickly understand and fix problems related to the product, which has greatly improved our customer support and work efficiency.”

The device data collected by IoT Core also enables Cubo Ai to speed up its development process. Keeping a user-first mindset in its product development process, the company goes through several rounds of user testing when developing a new feature. During these tests, the data sent back from devices are analyzed on BigQuery to generate detailed reports illustrating the performance of the new feature. Cubo Ai’s research and development team can then quickly adjust the new feature based on the reports, shortening the development time from several weeks to less than one week.

Another Google Cloud tool that helps enhance Cubo Ai’s work efficiency is Cloud Functions, which it leverages to develop the internal APIs of its system. Thanks to the autoscaling feature of Cloud Functions, the team is able to run the same codes despite the spike in user growth.

“With the high scalability of Cloud Functions, we don’t have to make any changes to scale our services. Along with other Google Cloud tools that facilitate our technical support and development work, it enables us to manage more than 10X user growth with the same IT workforce, which is a crucial achievement for a small team,” says Shen.

Smiling man holds baby while woman kisses baby's feet

Minimizing connectivity issues with a secure network

As a baby monitoring service provider, reliability is key. Since the move to Google Cloud in 2019, the platform has not faced a single cloud-related downtime, assuring parents of the platform’s stability and reliability.

To further optimize its user experience worldwide, Cubo Ai works with three Google Cloud data centers across different continents. It uses Cloud Load Balancing to connect users to the nearest data center when an alert is sent from the AI camera to the application through Firebase. This helps reduce the response time by at least one second, allowing parents to monitor their babies without any delay. Storing data in the nearest data center also ensures that the brand meets local compliance requirements.

With so much data at hand, Cubo Ai maintains strict data privacy for its customers by storing all images on Cloud Storage and user data on Cloud SQL. The solid data protection mechanism of Google Cloud means that the company can confidently guarantee its users a high level of data protection.

“Google Cloud has helped us strengthen the reliability of our smart baby monitor worldwide and achieve exponential growth with limited resources as a small team. This gives us the confidence that Google Cloud can effectively support our product expansion in the future with its highly scalable tools and advanced AI technology.”

Steven Shen, CTO, Cubo Ai

Expanding the product line with smart home systems integration

Cubo Ai already has plans for deeper integration with Google Cloud to provide a unified user experience in a home setting. To further simplify its development process and deploy new AI models more efficiently, the company is looking to explore the advanced AI tools of Google Cloud like Vertex AI. It also plans to integrate its baby monitor with existing smart home systems like Google Home to offer a more streamlined smart home solution.

“Google Cloud has helped us strengthen the reliability of our smart baby monitor worldwide and achieve exponential growth with limited resources as a small team,” says Shen. “This gives us the confidence that Google Cloud can effectively support our product expansion in the future with its highly scalable tools and advanced AI technology.”

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About Cubo Ai

Founded in 2017, Cubo Ai is a Taiwanese startup with a mission to spread peace of mind through innovation to parents worldwide using artificial intelligence (AI). Its flagship product, Cubo Ai, is a smart baby monitor that provides parents the peace of mind of being in the know via real-time proactive alerts through its app when it detects the baby’s mouth and nose are covered or if the baby’s stuck when rolling over. It currently has 40,000+ daily active users across 114 countries around the world and won the CES 2020 Innovation Awards that honors outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products.

Industries: Technology
Location: Taiwan

About CloudMile

CloudMile, a leading AI and cloud technology company in Asia, focuses on digital transformation and driving growth for its corporate clients. Leveraging machine learning and big data analysis, CloudMile assists over 400 corporate clients with business forecasts and industrial upgrades. CloudMile has earned 120+ accreditations, with 60+ Google Cloud professional certifications. Being a Premier Partner of Google Cloud, CloudMile is qualified for Machine Learning Specialization, Data Analytics Specialization, Cloud Migration Specialization, and Infrastructure Specialization in North Asia. The company has become a Google Cloud Managed Service Provider (MSP) covering Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore as well as the Public Sector Partner of the Year for APAC Region 2020.