Smart Home

AngelBlocks reduces cost and complexity of the smart home

editors-choiceThe Premise. Home automation, until this point, has focused primarily on controlling basic devices such as switches and outlets. There’s plenty of other devices that, if connected to the Internet of things, would improve day to day life. Connected smart homes makes life more efficient, so it’s time that to raise the IQ of more appliances in the home.

The Product. AngelBlocks is looking to make the smart home go beyond typical light and appliance control. There’s a range of 13 different sensors that notify, monitor and control different aspects of the house to make life more comfortable. These range from temperature and humidity sensors, to motion sensors, to moisture sensors for plants, and even automated locks. These are the building blocks that learn from your everyday lifestyle and adapt to make your life easier. They have an incredible range of 1,000 feet indoors and two miles outdoors, which a staggering battery life of five years. AngelBlocks are now compatible with the Zigbee and Z-Wave low-power wireless protocols, which should open the door to even more functionality. It’s also compatible with the Ninja Sphere by the makers of AngelBlocks’ crowdfunded predecessor, Ninja Blocks.

The Pitch. More intelligence is beginning to make their way into more homes as smart devices proliferate. Still, the limit of the intelligence of a house is limited by what the user is aware of. In AngelBlocks’ video, creator Steve Montgomery narrates different sketches and examples of AngelBlocks in real-life situations to really begin to expand horizons of human imagination in regard to Smart Homes. If you still have questions about the way a Smart Home can benefit your everyday life, the AngelBlocks does a very good job of explaining just that.

The Perks. The starter kit is really everything you need to get started, all for just $149. In that early bird package, which is expected to be delivered in August 2014, includes an AngelGate, AngelTag, one OutletBlock, and two RCOutlets. These devices have many different applications around the house, and there are some interesting ideas listed out on AngelBlocks’ Kickstarter page that are worth checking out. There are different sensors that can be added on, and those prices are listed as well, but if you want one of each, the price tag is $699.

The Potential. AngelBlocks takes a naming and some broader functionality cues from Kickstarter alum Ninja Blocks (which has also returned to the crowdfunding site again with the intriguing Arduino-based MicroView). However, AngelBlocks’ approach is far more refined. While not necessarily enough to help  home automation break through to the masses, it represents a well-executed approach that succeeds in its goal of raising the overall IQ of a household that support many inviting applications.

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