Marseille: LED’s CHAT makes walls and light speak

Here is the article by Marguerite Degez, published in the La Provence weekly, in the Economics section on

“The young Marseille-based startup is marketing bold interactive illuminated tiles and is looking for its market.

It won the La Provence Trophées de l’économie in 2015 with a bright idea, but it was still only at the project stage. Since then, the young Marseille-based startup LED’s CHAT has turned on the power and brought an intriguing, innovative, talking and eye-catching finished product to market.

‘LED’s CHAT’, an allusion to the light-emitting diode bulbs forming the illuminated tiles that the four partners at the head of the startup have been marketing since October 2018.

‘It all started with the work of Peter Niebert, a research-lecturer at Aix-Marseille University, who invented the technology of interactive and smart illuminated tiles with directly embedded control (ledge computing), unlike most systems available on the market’, explains Guillaume Bonello, company chairman.

Unveiled during an exhibition for the ‘Marseille, European Capital of Culture’ year in 2013, the possible opportunities incited the scientist, his wife and two partners to negotiate the use of an exclusive license with SATT Sud Est, which protects university developments.

A working prototype

“En juin 2016, nous avions un prototype fonctionnel, mais la phase d’industrialisation a été longue, car nous avons tout conçu : la carte électronique, la plasturgie, et suite la logiciellecontinues the entrepreneur. The product in question consists of tiles covered with LED bulbs, which are easily combined and assembled, connected to a control unit. Once installed, the light tile can be remotely controlled with the mobile application, and features graphic art images, the company logo or even interactive games. The pack of 12 tiles starts at €2,990 excluding VAT and is aimed at professionals looking for the ‘wow’ factor, the outstanding identity that will impress visitors.

‘We are positioning ourselves as B2B manufacturers,’ adds Guillaume Bonello. ‘So, LED’s CHAT is aiming at distributors and opinion leaders in business interior design. We had three of them until this summer. Since then, five others have added us to their catalogue.’Which, he hopes, will accelerate roll-out of the product, which has been substantially supported by the regional ecosystem (Impulse, BPI, Paca émergence, Réseau Entreprendre and others), but should raise capital of €250,000 by early 2020 to accelerate the trend. And perhaps allow LED’s CHAT to take its place in the limelight.”


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