Ube Aims To Make Home Automation Cheaper With IP-Enabled Smart Devices, Mobile App

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Home automation in its current state can be costly and, more importantly, unintuitive. But platforms like iOS and Android have made the idea of automating one’s home easier, more accessible and significantly cheaper.

Today at DEMO, Austin-based Ube (“yoo-bee”) is showing off its “Internet of things” wares, including an app that can virtually control any IP-based smart device in your home. So far, the company has raised a $300,000 seed round to complete its first round of prototype hardware and first rev of the aforementioned mobile app (iOS, Android).

Routed through your home network or through Ube’s Cloud when remote, users will be able to control their Smart TV and set-top boxes using the Ube app right off the bat when it launches early next month. The company says its app will work with over 200 IP-based devices like AV receivers, thermostats (watch out, Nest!), garage doors, etc.

Aside from the app, Ube is also working on three distinct IP-enabled devices: smart dimmer, smart wall outlet and smart plug. Plug in any lighting or appliance and you’ll be able to control it remotely through your smartphone. The smart dimmer runs a 32-bit ARM processor running Android to handle all of its dimming needs. The smart plug will measure how much energy is being used by whichever device is plugged into it, in addition to dimming duties. The smart wall outlet can also measure energy consumption and is 110/120V compatible and can withstand loads up to 1000W.

The company is looking to ship all three devices by the first quarter of 2013 and will also be kicking off a Kickstarter campaign (we’ll update with a link once it’s live) to raise $250,000 in order to get the devices to market. The smart dimmer will retail for $60, while the smart plug and outlet will cost $55 each.