Imaging
The Mercu smart home orb falls short of groundbreaking

On any given day, another product promising to be the center of the connected home experience makes its way to the crowdfunding world. Most of the time, they suffer from lack of connectivity and features, forcing users to combine them with accessories to truly get the most out of them.

With the Mercu, Taiwan-based GalaThings promises an all-in-one product combining surveillance capabilities, sound and motion detection for intruders (and a siren to scare them off), and environmental detection keeping tabs on humidity, temperature, luminance, and smoke. In addition to these features, three other aspects of the Mercu make it particularly useful: Wi-Fi, ZigBee and BLE support, the option to save pertinent video locally with its SD card slot or on cloud storage with Dropbox integration, and an IFTTT interface on its companion smartphone to create custom events. And with its magnetic base, it can be attached and angled anywhere and in any direction for the type of versatility smart home connoisseurs demand. $109 gets backers a single Mercu, while shelling out $149 adds in a door/window sensor and a smart plug to monitor and manage devices. The Mercu Indiegogo campaign is looking for $100,000 by January 2017.

The Mercu is extremely similar to the SENS8 in both the features they contain and how much they lack in comparison to other, more robust systems like the MATRIX that offer far more connectivity and potential for expansion.

Nicholas Echevarria currently calls Shanghai home but is a Brooklyn native at heart. He writes about lifestyle, tech, and design and, whenever he gets the chance, indulges his addiction to biking and Hearthstone. Check out some more of his work at https://clippings.me/nicholasechevarria.