Crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter have become an incubator for some of the most exciting smart home technology around.
So many big smart home companies started life as a Kickstarter project. For example, the Canary smart home security system and the SkyBell video doorbell became world-famous after securing funding via crowdfunding sites.
It’s a great place to spot the next big thing, so we’ve taken a look and here’s the most exciting and inventive ideas on Kickstarter we could find right now.
The alarm that only wakes one person
It looks just like a normal bedside lamp, but the Wakē v2 light is actually loaded with technology to wake one person, while their partner can stay in the land of nod.
The light contains a ‘parametric speaker’, which focuses a beam of sound on one sleeper, and targets them via a motor. The speaker wakes you up with a beam of sound and light, which enables people to wake up in is a “slow and natural way”, according the creators. The device is currently seeking funding with an end date of December 12.
The ‘magic’ desk
Sometimes technology really can look like magic and this standing desk which rises up in response to a hand ‘pulling it up’ certainly qualifies. The Magic Desk works using infrared sensors, and you simply place a hand over the sensor to ‘pull’ it up or down from between 25 and 51 inches.
It’s no one-trick pony, though. The built-in LED Smart Lamp watches users and offers advice on whether their posture is right, and switches off the lamp after ten minutes not in use. The desk has just reached its funding goals, and will ship to backers in February 2019.
The smart home-brew kit
With craft beer back in fashion in a big way, it was really only a matter of time before someone invented a ‘smart’ home-brew machine. BEERMKR is a Wi-Fi connected machine that walks novice brewers through the process step by step using smartphone notifications.
You simply add water to a pouch filled with ingredients and you get notifications every time you need to do something like pitch yeast, add dry hops (or, the best bit, serve the beer). The process takes a week, with it’s CO2 monitoring system tracking how the yeast is working, and adjusting the temperature automatically. The device (and brew kits) will begin shipping to backers shortly after hitting its goals in October.
The Alexa-enabled vacuum sealer
The amount of food thrown away by modern families is a big global problem. This smart vacuum sealer could help you throw away less.
Silo vacuum seals containers so that food can last up to two to five times longer, according to its creators. Rather than using disposable plastic bags, like most vacuum-sealing systems, Silo will seal food in reusable hard plastic containers. It is also planned to have Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, built in so you can keep track of your inventory simply using your voice. It’s looking for backers now and the estimated delivery date is July 2019.
The miniature stick-on alarms
Olarm is a radical reinvention of home security systems. With a set of tiny stick-on sensors which can be placed anywhere in the home, the peel-and-stick sensors can detect fire, leaking water and motion and can alert you to windows or doors opening.
The sensors connect wirelessly to a central Olarm hub and alerts the owner when anything unusual is detected. It also contains powerful microphones which cover areas beyond the sensors and listen for unexpected noises such as glass shattering. The devices will ship in December 2018.
The smart energy tracker
Most of us want to reduce our energy use, but don’t truly understand how do it within the home. This is where the Glow orb smart energy tracker comes in.
The Glow orb plugs into a home electricity meter and tracks usage in real time, offering a simple-to-understand green-amber-red display. If usage starts to spike the Glow will turn red. Users can then reach for the app and work out when they started using more kilowatt hours (and which thing in their home is to blame).
Its makers say that simply getting direct feedback on energy use can reduce energy bills by up to 20%. The makers of Glow say they hope to deliver them soon.