What is mui?
mui is calm design device built with natural wood that serves as a smart home control hub. Using the digital display that appears with a swipe of your hand, you can talk, send/receive messages, check the news and weather and control smart devices (lighting, thermostats, etc.) and more. When you are done, the display disappears, and the panel looks just like a piece of wood again.mui doesn't constantly demand your attention as smartphones do. mui is a “calm” device designed to create a relaxing, distraction-free digital environment, so you can enjoy quality time with your family.
Smart Speaker? Smart Display?
You can use mui as Smart Display (Speaker) with built in Google Assistant, no worries for barking. mui will stay calm, without barking to mui, you can activate via SWIPE and TOUCH for tasks. Is this cool?
You can also TALK to mui, when you'd like to stay bed in a while!
New User Experience of smart display/Speaker begins.
Why mui ?
1. Enables distraction-free digital communication. Allows us to be more mindful readers, more creative artists and better families.
2. Easy way to talk with your family, check news, weather, calendar information and more. No need to reach for your phone.
3. Hustle-free way to control connected devices, including smart speakers and smart appliances.
4. Serves as a smart speaker for Google Home and Alexa.
5. Less time looking at your phone and more time to spend with your family.
Please take a look at the short film here
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Enjoy distraction-free family time.
Unlike smartphones, mui doesn't get you hooked on it.
We aim to solve one of the biggest issues in today's society: Everyone is looking at their phones at the dinner table.
mui enables you to enjoy a mindful life and spend quality time with your family. It helps you keep a healthy distance from social media, so you won't be endlessly on the phone -- an important digital life management skill for children to learn.
We believe "technology" could become synonymous with "calm" and "quiet." It can be a tool to create a serene living space while keeping us connected.
Calm Design Device
mui is an interactive wood panel that is activated by swiping your finger across its surface. Using the digital display that appears on the wood surface, you can talk, send and receive messages, and check the news and weather. You can also control connected devices in your home, office or public spaces, like lighting, thermostats, and so on. When you are done, the panel goes back to sleep mode and looks just like a piece of beautifully sanded wood again.
In accordance with calm design principles, mui aims to minimize the “noise” of technology and create a calm and peaceful environment for you to live in while providing just the right kind of convenience catered to your needs.
How it works
At mui Lab, many of our team members are in our late 30s and early 40s and have busy family lives. We all struggle to balance our precious family time with the demands of technology. Instead of playing and talking with our children, we found ourselves glued to our phones and computers, desperately trying to “connect” with others. This saddened our children and disconnects us from our spouses.
mui in Hirobe’s home | Nobuyasu Hirobe (Co-Founder, Creative Director)
Whenever leaving the office late at night, I send a good night message to mui for my 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter. That always makes them happy.
My daughter is mesmerized by the light slide dimmer switch that appears on mui. She slides it back and forth over and over, trying to figure out how the lighting in the room is connected to mui, turning the lights up and down every time she moves her little fingers. Her brother wants his turn, too. They fight for the switch and never seem to get tired of playing with it.
My wife’s approach to mui is more practical. She wanted to be able to turn off the last light from inside her bed at night. So, I used mui’s settings to make it happen for her.
She likes having mui within arms’ reach, so she can easily check the weather forecast in the morning when deciding what to wear.
We use a beta version of mui in our house. When I was removing mui to update it the other day, our kids had worried looks on their faces and asked: “Are we losing mui?” Apparently, mui became a necessity for my son.
mui Lab’s Creative Director Nobu Hirobe was thinking about mui being in a public gathering place when developing the concept for the device. He believed people, not the device, need to be the focus of the space.
mui at Oki’s home | Kaz Oki (Co-Founder, CEO)
My wife often comes home late from work. Exhausted and ready to “unplug,” she turns to “mui-san” (the nickname for mui in our household) to get done only what she wants and nothing more. For example, the weather forecast would quickly appear on mui and then disappear, letting us gently slip into dreamland. She loves having just the right level of access to technology with mui-san, instead of the glowing phones we used to look at before going to bed.
Because mui lets us to control the lighting and appliance from another part of the house, the layout of the home no longer dictates our behavior. But we still wanted more from mui, including an option to shut off all lights with a touch of a button. This prompted us to develop the “Do Not Disturb” feature, which keeps the device on airplane mode until the alarm goes off in the morning.
mui Lab’s CEO Kazunori Oki is a newlywed. His and his wife both lead busy professional lives and typically have just three hours together each day. Oki did not want to waste any part of those three hours looking at his phone. mui was a perfect solution to this problem, and helped the couple stay connected.
mui is designed to create a modern living and work space where humans can thrive without being conditioned by technology. The intention is to stop technology from continuously demanding our attention, pulling us away from our loved ones while we try to enjoy our personal time. We can be more mindful readers, more creative artists, better families, thanks to the boundaries mui sets around our personal space and time.
Our homes will undoubtedly grow “smarter” as technologies further advance. There will always be some level of gaps between how technology works and how humans are meant to live. Still, mui empowers people to live their lives in the way they want by minimizing technological barriers. We envision mui as a tool which will help you create your desirable lifestyle, just like your favorite furniture which you choose to design your living space.
Team: Assembly of Experienced Technology & Design talents
10+ years experience of User Interface Technology Industry out of Japan for Automotive UI, Mobile Phones and other Hardware
From Sony, Mitsubishi, SII, Epson, NISSHA, Fujitsu etc
10+ years experience of Color Material Finish, Industrial Design and UIUX design for global smart devices
From UNION, NISSHA
-Color, Material and Finish(CMF)
mui was trying to hide all product surface into space.
We have tested multiple times integrating mui function into architectural wall. But this trial was too early to be used. We have changed our mind to make object first to investigate future possibility of mui.
We have been integrating mui electronics into wood, which is current mui product. And it's been 2years+ investigations because of difficulty of wood material.
When it comes to design materials for architectural spaces, at first, we have selected fabric, glass, stone, and wood, not artificial materials at all. In the end, we have reached wood as the best material for mui based on its material history with people. That's wood.
In regards to wood concept, we had a discovery of wood effect by team trip to HIDA forest region in central Japan where is center of wood and craft technology since 7th century.
We found many stories of wood and different human lifestyle follows nature in the forest region, not follows lots of digital information/devices.
Which we found stories are essential concept of mui.
mui finally became fusion of wood and digital since then.
As you may aware, one of biggest feature of mui is using real wood material.
Since electronic smart devices have been making our homes feel cold and sterile. Designed to create a peaceful and relaxing space instead, mui uses natural wood as material. The beautiful look of the sanded sycamore, Cherry, Maple or Ash grains blends in with the room’s décor and furniture, allowing you to forget the device’s existence when not using it.
As natural color variations, we chose the wood grain pattern with the warmth of the hardwood and aimed for harmony with furniture and interior. We focused on a unique stripe pattern called "Fu", but it is not good if this is too much and too strong or too little and too weak. We select materials with this pattern in just good range and strength.
As dark color variation is still being verified. We hope to be able to update the information later. we think we could use materials commonly used for furniture like cherry and walnut.
It is a good point of natural materials of wood that it differs one by one. We would like you to have your only mui in hand.
USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN
Set up & Connectivity
This will be instructed by instruction in the box. We are considering easy set up on the wall mount method. Our hardware team and architects are working on smooth set up manual and protocols.
-Software / Wifi Settings
Via mobile app, IFTTT will be integrated with mui. We are creating mobile console images for app settings. Smart Home Gadgets and IoT devices will be connected via this app.
mui has been officially ready for IFTTT since Summer 2018. Via IFTTT, mui can connect with Google Home, Amazon Echo, Facebook, Twitter, Slack, Uber, Ring, Domino’s Pizza, Sonos, Philips Hue, New York Times News and other Smart Home Gadgets and Services. Please feel free to customize mui with your preferred applications. Triggers and Actions will be extended in the future.
Beyond IFTTT, mui can be connected with Google Home and Amazon Echo ecosystems via the cloud and API.
Product Dimension: W570xH73xD26（mm）
Item Weight: TBD
Input: Touch Panel
Microphone: 1 installed
Speakers: 1 installed
Power Source Type: AC100-240V（50Hz/60Hz）
For Earliest Developers
We will provide HAT for Raspberry Pi and SDK for Android for all early adopter developers of the mui playform. With your Raspberry Pi and Android ecosystem skills, you can create new and original UI/UX/Services with mui and other connected devices and gadgets. Please join our early adopter developer community for new IoT UI/UX.
We are excited for you to join us!
SDK and mui zero L Beta (only 50 units) Including
・mui zero L Beta itself
・mui SDK for Android
(Full package of control sample for mui display & touch panel )
・Support Community by English /Japanese language only
・mui Special HAT for Raspberry Pi
Not including Raspberry Pi3 Model B. Please purchase your own Raspberry Pi3 Model B via certified vendor. https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/raspberry-pi-3-model-b/
mui zero L Beta（＊）
＊ONLY Available for Developers KIT Product
Product Dimension: W676xH87xD29（mm）
Item Weight: TBD
Input: Touch Panel
Microphone: 1 installed
Speaker: 1 installed
Power Source Type: AC100-240V（50Hz/60Hz）
mui zero Beta : Large is about 100 mm larger than mui 1st edition.
Color is only available is natural wood.
100 sets of bate (mui zero) have been developed recently and we'll provide 50 sets of mui zero for developers with earliest delivery for creating new IoT device for smart home together on our platform. Completion level of mui zero is beta level. We'd like to work closely with our early adopter developers, and we would like to discuss with each developers how we can work together.
Risks and challenges
mui is a brand new type of product and has not been used or reviewed by general consumers. mui Lab is inviting mui users to provide feedback and ideas to help further develop and expand the product’s features and use.
mui uses natural wood as the surface material. Although the wood has a protective coating over it, the texture of the wood may change over time. Natural materials, such as wood, are also prone to shipping damage. mui Lab may also reconsider using certain kinds of wood as material. This means there is a small chance that some backers may be asked to select an alternative wood material in place of their original choices of wood.
mui comes with an AC power adapter 100-240V. In some areas, users may need to use their own electrical currency converter plug with the adapter.
mui Lab will work to further improve the design and functionality of mui over the next several months
its early adapters (Kickstarter backers) before delivering the rewards. The product will have updated features, which may be different from those of the prototype. mui Lab will keep its backers posted on the progress and changes it makes through Kickstarter.
- (50 days)