Meet (yet) another gizmo aiming to convert dumb old school technology into smarter connected tech that can be controlled via a smartphone. Jalousier, currently bidding for crowdfunding on Indiegogo, is a connected device that clips on to the venetian blinds in your home and automatically adjusts the position of the slats, depending on the temperature, light conditions/weather and time of day.
What’s the point of that? The idea is to save you a spot of time/hassle in having to manually wrangle with bits of string of course. But also to potentially accrue heating/cooling energy-savings based on Jalousier’s ability to automatically react to temperature and weather changes — so it can know to let sunlight and heat in when it’s cold, or move to block rays when the weather outside is hot.
To power those functions the device includes light and temperature sensors. It also includes Wi-Fi and ZigBee for wireless connectivity, allowing it to be integrated (in theory) into home automation systems, and to be controlled via the inevitable app.
As well as the companion app acting as a remote control for all the blinds you’ve connected up — including allowing you to create groups of blinds to manage together, or use particular gestures to open/close the slats — the app will include other features such as weather notifications, letting you know when it’s worth peeking outside to check out the full moon, for instance.
On the home automation front, Jalousier’s makers say they are considering integration with Almond+, SmartThings, WigWag and NinJa Sphere. Support for IFTTT is guaranteed — assuming, that is, Jalousier hits its funding target and actually makes it to market. As with all such crowdfunding campaigns, it’s still a prototype at this point.
Other recent examples of inventors ploughing an ‘upgrade your old tech by adding an Internet of Things gizmos’ type furrow include the likes of Cozy (a smart radiator cover), and bRight Switch (a touchscreen tablet light switch).
Expect plenty more such upgrades to follow. Perhaps a gizmo for automatically lowering the loo seat after it’s been left in the vertical position to automatically oil the wheels of domestic harmony? Or bedroom doors that swing suggestively open when they sense more than two footsteps approaching.
If the Internet of Things pushes its wireless tentacles into our homes to such a pervasive extent, then our increasingly auto-animated surroundings may end up resembling scenes from Fantasia – just hopefully without any such chaotic consequences.
Jalousier’s Bulgaria makers have just under a month to raise $140,000 to get their slice of the connect home puzzle to market. If successful, they are aiming to ship the product to backers by October. The device is currently up for grabs to early Indiegogo backers starting at $89 for one unit.