Don’t get us wrong — connected light bulbs that you can control remotely are definitely cool, but for all their nifty functionality, almost all of them still have a fundamental flaw: the fact that you’ve got to use your smartphone to flip them on or off. The process is just so cumbersome. In the time it takes to open your phone, navigate to the lighting app, fire it up, and execute the desired function, you probably could’ve stood up and flipped a switch half a dozen times over. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a truly simpler way to operate your lights?
Well good news. Thanks to an upcoming gizmo called Vocca Light, you’ll soon be able to control all of the bulbs in your home using nothing more than the sound of your voice.
The device, which just landed on Kickstarter this week, is essentially a smart socket adapter that can listen and understand the things you say. Armed with a small microphone and some on-board voice-recognition software, Vocca can recognize natural speech, and also be programmed to react to virtually any command you like.
This isn’t particularly groundbreaking, since voice recognition is already built into all kinds of devices, but what’s different about Vocca is the fact that all of this voice recognition and natural language processing takes place inside the device itself. Unlike systems that tap into the cloud to crunch and process incoming voice data (like Siri or Google Now), Vocca does everything independently. This means that, in contrast to nearly every other smart lighting system on the market, Vocca doesn’t require a network connection of any sort to function. By extension, that also means no complicated setup and pairing process — you can just screw it into you socket, pop in the bulb, and start using it.
Out of the box, the standard bulb is only programmed to flip on or off when it hears the keyphrase “Go Vocca Light,” but if you spring for the Pro version, you’ll be able to program the socket to understand and respond to any other word or phrase you choose.
If you back the project now, before all the early bird rewards are gone, you can lock down a standard Vocca for just $29, or snag the Pro model for $42. After the early birds run out, those prices jump to $39 and $49, respectively. Even when you consider the fact that this thing is basically just a modern-day Clapper, those are still pretty reasonable prices. Check out the Vocca Light Kickstarter page for further details.