Croatian Smart Benches Conquering World

Total Croatia News

020217 1 Bench1
Source: Ivan Mrvoš

Croatia could use more success stories such as this.

The 21-year-old Ivan Mrvoš from Solin, inventor of the first intelligent bench in Europe, has the same number of orders for his benches just in February as in the whole of 2016, reports on February 2, 2017.

“We are working on new software which will help customers to have access to information about how much their smart benches are being used. They will have an account that will be available to them with all the information. They will also be able to manage the bench itself”, said Mrvoš.

His bench can charge mobile phones and tablets and users can connect to the internet. They are powered by solar panels. For his customers, Mrvoš can limit internet traffic per user and determine which web pages cannot be accessed.

Although some are sceptical and say that people do not want “to fry on the benches” during the summer months, Mrvoš says that cannot happen since they have a cooling system. Benches have large built-in fans which can turn 350 cubic metres of air per hour so that the seat is not hot. He points out that built-in sensors constantly measure the temperature of the seat and adjust it so that the bench is comfortable to sit on. In addition, benches have additional sensors which measure humidity and air quality, as well as sensors that measure how many users have charged their cell phones and used the internet connection.

“The bench recognizes when it is raining or snowing and automatically shuts down. Customers themselves can choose whether they want to turn on a night light, and can choose a colour of the light”, said Mrvoš.

020217 1 Bench1

Some people complained that it takes too long for cell phones to be charged with the bench. Mrvoš says that his company is currently in negotiations with a company from Korea that produces a superfast charger, which can charge a phone in 5 minutes. “By the end of the year, we plan to include the charger in the bench and you will be able to fast charge new mobile phones which have a special chip, such as Samsung, iPhone and Google phones”, said Mrvoš.

Last year, Mrvoš had eight employees, but that number has now increased to 15. This year, the plans are for opening of six additional jobs. We will try to employ persons with high school education for assembly part of the production process, as well as for technical support.

In 2014, when he started his company, it had no revenues, in 2015 the revenues were 250,000 kuna, while in 2016 that increased to more than a million kuna. “In 2016, we sold 150 benches, and in February we have the same number of orders as for the whole of last year, when we exported benches to seven countries. Most orders have come from Slovakia, where the bench has become a big hit. They will order at least 100 benches this year. We have a lot of queries from Belgium, Denmark and Sweden, and we have also made a deal in Australia worth 40 million kuna. We are also testing benches for Doha. There is one test bench installed there, but due to extreme heat in Qatar we have to adapt it. This year we will focus on the ‘sunny’ countries such as Italy, France and Spain. We will invest more funds in marketing and sales in these countries”, said Mrvoš.

“We are often in contact with the Americans, but some of them think that there is still war in Croatia and therefore have a specific attitude towards products from Croatia, so we should open a subsidiary there in order to help sell the bench. The production would remain in Croatia, while the US company would deal with marketing and sales”, said Mrvoš.

“I am never completely satisfied, but everything is OK for now and the business is going in the right direction”, concluded Mrvoš.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment