With home automation systems and IoT devices coming to the forefront through both proprietary, closed ecosystems as well as individual smart devices, one would think the industry’s got it all covered.
But what about your other electrically-powered devices that either don’t have automation or are simply standalone products, such as a light bulb?
To fill the gap in the automation market, British entrepreneur Mark van der Spuy has developed Vome, a device that allows easy “turn on-turn off” functionality for all electrical equipment powered through a plug. Van der Spuy has started a Kickstarter campaign for his product, which seeks $48,276 (his exact number) in funding.
Think of Vome as the modern day Clapper, but with added intelligence.
“Vome will bring your home to life. It can talk to any of your devices, and you can talk to Vome,” the Kickstarter video states. “Say what you want, when you want, and Vome takes care of it.”
As Van der Spuy is an iOS developer, Vome integrates with Apple’s HomeKit and Siri, letting users speak to LED strips, underfloor heating, lighting, coffee makers, and more. The solution serves as a power source to your home’s appliances. As long as it has a plug and is rated under 10 amps, it’ll work, according to the Kickstarter page.
Vome will include four universal plug modules “that power on various electrical items, all integrated together in an intelligent and easy-to-use device.”
While the technology that Vome is setting forth isn’t groundbreaking, it will allow you to turn your “dumb” electrical appliances into smart devices. Going direct to the device allows Vome to avoid an infrastructure-based control system to power it.
In an interview with his hometown paper, The Lincolnite, Van der Spuy said the “unique selling proposition of the product is that it does everything on its own. Setup is as easy as plugging it in and renaming the points. It works in a couple of minutes.”
Of course, one of the product’s limitations is that today’s home appliances are more complicated — simply turning something on or off won’t do the job, and further integrated control is necessary to actually make your devices work.
However, the solution makes for an added intelligence to products, and also offers a cost benefit, as Van der Spuy explained to The Lincolnite.
“It costs £89 (about $117) plus shipping and will work with all your current bulbs and plugs. This means you don’t need to go out and spend £25 or more on each smart bulb or £120 on hubs,” he said.