Smart Home
VOME gives Siri a bunch of outlets around your home

It’s 2016 and the smart home “revolution” is well underway. Unfortunately, that revolution fizzled out as soon as it started. The problem isn’t a lack of devices — look anywhere online for connected home devices and discover a glut of dual-syllabled hubs and plugs for anything you may need — but rather a lack of standard tying them all together. This was the problem at the very beginning, and it continues to be a problem now.

Mark Van Der Spuy’s VOME home automation system tackles this problem by piggybacking off of iOS. Specifically, Siri and Apple’s foray into home automation with HomeKit. The VOME system itself is comprised of a 4-Way Control Unit that any dumb object can be plugged into, allowing anything from lamps to curtains to coffee machines to be controlled simply by issuing voice commands to Siri.

Simple plug-and-play set-up ensures no one is overwhelmed with the possibilities home automation presents, while Apple’s own HomeKit application serves as the central hub where your home’s status and every connected device can be checked on. And since it’s self-contained, requiring now communication with any outside servers, VOME protects a user’s privacy. A single 4-Way Control Unit is going for $118 and is expected to ship in November 2016. The Kickstarter campaign is looking for about $48,000 by August 20th, 2016.

Inventor Mark Van Der Spuy is clever. By combining Apple’s own ambition to become a standard for home automation with a simple design that accommodates any device, electronic, or appliance, the VOME system is a fool-proof to connect the home with the headaches of competing standards — given Siri actually works well enough to do so. Its utility since it debuted has proven it less than capable of carrying out even simple commands.

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.