For far too long, automated shades have been a luxury that only a rare few have enjoyed. Even with DIY home automation tech becoming more and more common, installing blinds that will open or close at the press of a button still requires a fair bit of time, effort, and money. But soon that might not be the case — Tilt My Blinds, a new product currently up on Kickstarter, aims to solve this problem and finally bring cheap, easy-to-install automated blinds to the masses.
Unlike other automatic blinds setups, which are generally quite bulky and often require professional installation, TMB’s shade tilting module is super compact, and designed to fit inside your existing blind rails. Once installed (which the creators claim only takes 15 minutes), the network-connected motor allows you to open or close your blinds remotely via your mobile device — no more reaching over the couch or shimmying between houseplants to get your hands on the pull cord.
Additionally, the accompanying Tilt My Blinds app will allow you to activate multiple sets of blinds simultaneously by building preset “scenes” — much like you can do with connected light bulbs and smart plugs. These scenes can be set to activate on a timer, and can even be configured to react to environmental changes. The motor box it outfitted with a light sensor that can tell the difference between sunlight and artificial light, so your blinds can be set to open or close automatically when it gets dark outside.
However, despite all these nifty features, TMB does have its own set of flaws and shortcomings. Unfortunately it’s only designed to work with slat blinds, so if you happen to be rocking any other style of shades on your windows, this gizmo probably won’t work. TMB also doesn’t appear to support any protocol other than Bluetooth, meaning you likely won’t be able to control your blinds from outside your house. That being said, it’s also worth noting that the project is still evolving, so new features could likely be added in the future.
To raise funds for production, Tilt My Blinds’ creators have turned to the crowdfunding community on Kickstarter, and they’ve already blasted past their initial $50K goal. Barring any unforeseen roadblocks in the manufacturing process, the creators hope to ship the first units to backers as early as February 2015. Find out more here.