As our homes becoming increasingly wired (or unwired) it’s important for our teakettles to talk to our fridges and, potentially, for both to gang up on our vacuums. But how? They can now use something called the Silvair Control from Seed Labs.
We last met up with Seed Labs last November when they showed me a working system to control electronics in the home using an open and very usable chip interface. That interface is now commercially ready and we can expect to see the product inside of appliances before too long. The Control, however, is something else entirely. Shaped like the Nest thermostat, the Control is actually a removable button/dial that you can carry from room to room to control lighting and appliances.
“Silvair Control is the world’s first fully configurable, gesture-driven, wireless controller that lets customers manage their everyday appliances whether that be lamps, shades, and garage doors or other household and commercial products,” said co-founder Rafal Han. His cofounder, Szymon Slupik, is an expert in “connected technology.”
The Bluetooth-powered device can stick to your wall or you can put it on any surface. You can tap it, slide it, and spin it to activate various parts of your home automation system and you can dock it when not in use. They’ve raised $3.3 million to build out the product and they are already placing their specialized chips in OEM products around the world including Freemont, CA-based Soraa who is using the technology in their connected LED lamps.
“We’ve built the unique architecture where devices form a native, flexible system and are capable of talking directly to each other,” said Han. “The devices can be easily configured with just a smartphone app. The separation of the control plane from the power plane makes a foundation for fully configurable ecosystem.”
When I saw the product a few months ago I was impressed by the fire-and-forget nature of the connection software. Each object connects to the controller app automatically with no pairing, a feature that will impress folks who have tried to connect to Bluetooth light bulbs in the past. The “smartphone-centric” approach lets the company add tools like the Control to the mix as well. The team will be showing off their tech next month at TechCrunch Disrupt and may be coming to a light bulb or teakettle near you.