The likes of Kickstarter
and Indiegogo have become the land where dreams are born (or are crushed), and yet another intrepid group of techies-come-entrepreneurs is looking to raise money via crowdfunding. Flowton Technologies is a group that makes a “natural interface” controller for the home that allows users to control things with voice and gesture, and they need $150,000 to get from prototype to production.
With the Flowton Controller, you’ll be able to walk into your house, say “I’m home”, and turn the lights on; control your TV with gestures in the air; adjust the thermostat without leaving the couch or using any other device; and more. It’s akin to the Leap Motion
controller but for home automation.
There are three parts to the system: the Flowton Controller, the Flowton IR blaster, and the Flowton Smart Plug.
The controller includes a 1.7GHz ARM
processor, 2GB of RAM, an RGB camera, two microphones, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a depth camera port (for something like a Kinect
). This device lets you control a device by waving your hand in a plane, but also moving it back and forth in 3D.
Flowton Controller prototype with Kinect
The wireless IR blaster is an “initiate” controller that will let you adjust things such as the thermostat that are out of reach. It contains an IR transmitter and receiver and purports to last two weeks on a battery. The Flowton Smart Plug lets you connect any on/off device that you want to control.
The whole thing is intriguing, and if the gang indeed has finished its motion and depth tracking software and has a working prototype, the end product could be compelling--particularly if it ends up being priced low enough.
Flowton is running a Kickstarter campaign that will last for another 17 days, so if you want a piece of the action, jump on in.