Add some nature to your tech with Mui, a wood panel that’s also a smart display

mui wood panel smart display in home

Are you so immersed in technology that you long for a touch of nature in your home? You could get some potted plants — or you could invest in Mui, a wood panel that is also an internet-connected smart display.

“Mui lets you adjust the lighting and temperature of your home, check news and weather, play music, send and receive voice and text, and is programmable by developers to do even more,” Mui Labs said in a press release. “When in sleep mode, mui regains its original natural look, in a nod to calm design principles.”

A Mui Kickstarter campaign is now live, with the goal of raising $100,000 to fund development of the device by December 7.

Available in either sycamore (light) or cherry (dark), Mui looks like a slim and stylish wood panel until you swipe its touch-sensitive surface, which then glows to display information such as time, date and temperature. Out of the box, you can use it as an alarm clock, timer, voice mail reader, and message display.

mui wood panel smart display with time date temperature

Mui is outfitted with an internal speaker and sensors for touch, proximity, and CO2. It uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to connect to the internet, as well as other devices like Android smartphones.

You can use Mui to control other smart home devices such as lights (Philips Hue and Ikea Tradfri), thermostats (Nature Remo, Honeywell Lyric, Nest), Google Calendar, and Sonos music players. Mui’s features can be customized using IFTTT.

Mui Labs hopes third parties will add more functionality using a software development kit that supports integration with Google Assistant.

Mui Lab co-founder Kaz Oki showed a Mui prototype earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and at the Milan Furnishings Fair. The name Mui is Japanese for silent, and Oki wanted to create something that would remind people of the natural world without sacrificing the convenience of modern technology.

“When designing mui, we thought that accessing information and important functionality through wood, a very warm material, would help ease the coldness and impersonal nature sometimes associated with technology,” according to the release.

If all goes as planned (on Kickstarter, sometimes it doesn’t), Mui Lab expects to begin limited sales of Mui for $499 to Kickstarter backers in December, with general availability for $999 to follow in April 2019.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Smart speakers are about to get an IQ bump thanks to new Qualcomm chips

Qualcomm announced a new chipset that is designed to make the next generation of smart speakers sound, listen, and connect better than ever before, and it could soon be in your living room.
Gaming

Is Google launching a game-streaming service? Watch our GDC livestream to see

Google is presenting its 2019 GDC keynote on March 19. Here is how you can tune in to watch the event, as well as what could be shown during the presentation. Google's Project Stream service could be on the agenda.
Computing

Here’s how you can watch today’s Nvidia GTC 2019 keynote live

Nvidia's rumored 7nm Ampere graphics could debut soon. The company will be kicking off its GPU Technology conference at 2 p.m. PT today, Monday, March 18, and you can watch the opening keynote here.
Smart Home

The five best teeth-whitening kits you can buy on Amazon

Teeth whitening can have a major impact on a person’s smile and overall appearance. You don't necessarily have to go to the dentist to get your teeth whitened though. Here are the best teeth-whitening kits you can buy.
Smart Home

Is your Keurig making gross coffee? Might be time for a cleaning

No one likes a dirty, scaled, or smelly Keurig, but how are you supposed to clean them? Before you throw yours out the window, here is a quick guide on cleaning your machine out thoroughly.
Product Review

Gate’s Smart Lock is locked and loaded but ultimately lacks important basics

In a world of video cameras and doorbells comes the Gate Smart Lock, a lock with a video camera embedded. It’s a great idea, but lacks some crucial functionality to make it a top-notch product.
Smart Home

Which is better, the original Echo or the Echo Dot? We compare them

Amazon Echo vs. Dot: Having Alexa answer your questions is nothing short of futuristic, but which device should you get? There are some big differences between the two, especially in size, sound, and cost.
Smart Home

Viral porch pirate videos freak people out, cause unrealistic concern

Viral porch pirate videos convince others crime is more prevalent than facts indicate. According to polls, even though FBI reports show property crime rates are at historic lows, more people worry about crime today than ever before.
Smart Home

Sony’s Aibo robot dog can now patrol your home for persons of interest

Sony released the all-new Aibo in the U.S. around nine months ago, and since then the robot dog has (hopefully) been melting owners' hearts with its cute looks and clever tricks. Now it has a new one up its sleeve.
Deals

Amazon slashes $77 off the iRobot Roomba 690 multisurface robot vacuum

This special offer comes just in time for you to get a head start on spring cleaning. The Roomba 690 robot vacuum sucks up dust, dirt and pet hair — all while you're away at the office.
Smart Home

Get sweaty with the best smart home fitness gadgets on the market

Are you looking for smart fitness devices that will really help your workouts, no matter where you like to exercise? These smart home gadgets are designed to help you analyze your workouts and keep track of how you are doing.
Smart Home

Our favorite coffee makers make flavorful cups of joe from the comforts of home

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Cars

Vivint’s Car Guard keeps tabs on your vehicle when you’re not in it

A simple plug-in that you can place in just about any vehicle, Vivint's new Car Guard will automatically detect if your car is bumped, towed, or stolen and will alert you about it.