Flowton Technologies Looks To Revolutionize Home Automation With Motion Gestures, Needs Cash

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News Posted: Fri, Sep 6 2013 1:28 AM
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.

Flowton Controller
Flowton Controller

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
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.


Flowton GUI

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.
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I work for a company which installs smart home technology and most have no idea how affordable home automation is right now.

Depending on your home and what you have done, an installation can sometimes even pay for itself by the energy savings through only one winter. The amount of wasted energy is unbelievable. Not forgetting the peace of mind of possibly being able to check on your children with your childminder while you are at work or checking that you locked the front door while stuck in traffic on your way to work

Though using gestures is an interesting idea... the ease of interface of some home automated applications on our smart phones and tablets which are usually within easy reach and we have already have...makes this seem a bit impractical.

The ability for gestures to be misread or unintentionally made is probably quite high. At the end of the day we don't even have voice recognition really down yet.

Imagine you are watching a football game and one of your friends excitedly makes a gesture to urge their team toward the goal and you accidentally turn the whole set off, missing the the most important moment in the game

more ideas for smart homes usage http://mediacoms.co.uk/smart-home-installation/

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