Love all things smart home? Here are some of the latest and greatest Kickstarter sensations you might have missed while lazily tapping your lights on and off from the sofa...
If you’ve got a growing collection of smart gadgets from various brands, you might be at your wits’ end with all the app-hopping that’s required to keep on top of their behaviour and schedules.
Not to worry, though – NEEO is here to make things simple. A slick smart stick designed to control all of the smart gadgets in your house, NEEO has database of more than 30,000 household devices to its name, including the Nest Thermostat, Apple TV and Sonos music systems. It’s also compatible with all major AV productions produced in the last 10 years.
In order to connect with your devices, NEEO needs to be connected to its companion smart hub, called its Brain. When you’re set up, you can control your gadgets using NEEO and its handy 291 ppi display, or through the app on your phone.
Got multiple users? NEEO’s party trick is that it actually recognises your hand when you pick it up. This allow you to set up parental controls, which might come in handy if your teenage kids enjoy cranking the heating up to full the second they get just a tiny bit chilly.
NEEO will also pull up your individual profile when you pick it up, displaying your favourite playlists, films and favourites for quick access. Not bad for a gadget that looks like your average living room zapper, eh?
You can pre-order the NEEO remote and brain together for $229 (around £258). Estimated shipping according to NEEO’s makers is ‘soon’.
Rummaging in your bag for keys on the doorstep is a hassle we could all do without, and Noki (formerly ‘Nuki’) is one of the infinitely handy little door locks on the market that wants to save us the faff.
A Bluetooth and WiFi-enabled lock that you can install over your existing door lock in seconds, Noki lets you enter and leave your house without even needing to pull out a key.
Noki works by registering your phone’s GPS location. When you’re close, Noki will automatically unlock the door to let you in, and lock it again when you leave. How handy is that?
You can check the status of Noki at any time through the Noki app on your phone, lock and unlock it from anywhere in the world, and even share access to your house with family and friends by sending them an invitation by text or email from the app. Perfect if you’re on holiday and need to let the dog walker in.
Noki fits on all doorlocks with EU cylinders, and runs on standard AA batteries that give it around 300 days of power. You’ll get a notification well in advance when the batteries start to get low.
You can buy Noki now for €229 (around £197).
Most smart home controllers work hard to be compatible with the top smart home players like Philips Hue, Hive and Netatmo. But Hook understands that not every aspiring smart home owner has the budget for a house full of big brand gadgets.
Hook is a device that connects cheap remote controlled bulbs sockets and power socket adaptors like these to an app on your phone. Basically, any gadget that comes with a remote control, Hook has it covered.
All it takes is a quick pairing process, or as Hook likes to call it, ‘cloning’. Just demonstrate how your remote control device works to the app on your phone, and it will remember how to control it without needing the remote.
When you’re set up, you can toggle lamps, lightbulbs, coffee makers, window fans and more using just a touch of the old tappy-wipey on your smartphone. Genius. It even works with IFTTT for a spot of smart home recipe making.
You can buy Hook now for $49.95 (around £38).
Smart home security can be a noisy business – alarms here, sirens there, notifications on your phone every time the dog jumps onto the sofa. Who wants all of that chaos 24/7?
That’s why Point is here – to bring the noise from smart home security down a notch without compromising your safety.
Point is there to be the ears, eyes and nose of your home. It sits noiselessly on your wall to listen out for the burglar alarm, hear windows breaking, sense smoke, feel heat and even detect humidity.
The great part is that you can tell Point exactly how you want it to respond to certain triggers via the companion app. Want a gentle nudge if there’s cigarette smoke in the air? Tell Point to just glow yellow. Want to know when the noise in the house has crossed a comfortable threshold? Tell Point to glow green.
And if you do want Point to make noise, its built-in speaker will sound a siren for chosen triggers like the sound of a window breaking, or if someone tries to tamper with the device itself.
Of course, that companion app is handy for checking the status of your home wherever you are, which is great if you’re an AirBnb host or a parent wanting to keep a distant eye on kids home alone.
You can buy Point now for €119 (around £103).
If you’re struggling to find that one smart home gadget that does exactly what you want, Matrix is your answer. Why do we sound so confident? Because Matrix is a customisable, changeable gadget that is capable of 32,000 sensor combinations and hundreds of different functions.
Put simply, it’s the smart home gadget you want it to be.
You can use Matrix either as a user or a developer. As a user, just get Matrix, pair it with your phone, log in and start to add apps. You can make Matrix a security device that recognises your face, a security camera that detects smoke, a motion sensor that detects human emotion, or even a simple hub for your smart gadgets. It’s all down to what apps you download and how far you want to push Matrix.
And like all the best smart home gadgets out there, you can control Matrix using speech and gestures too. You can even get on board with IFTTT and create smart home recipes incorporating triggers from Matrix.
As a developer, Matrix is a playground for breaking boundaries. Anyone can have a go at creating custom apps for Matrix, and then upload them to the database for real smart home owners everywhere to use.
You can pre-order Matrix for $299.99 (around £228), with Shipping set for September this year.