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An universal remote that transforms old appliances to Alexa enabled smart devices. Start enjoying smart home for less than $30.
An universal remote that transforms old appliances to Alexa enabled smart devices. Start enjoying smart home for less than $30.
451 backers pledged $25,770 to help bring this project to life.

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SmartMote - Alexa enabled smart home made affordable

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What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

0022603310a6e5b00c6cbccb94639440 original.jpeg?ixlib=rb 2.1

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

Prototype is ready! We've developed SmartMote, an affordable universal remote that transforms existing “not-so-smart” devices to Alexa enabled smart home devices. Together with the smartphone app, you can control these devices anywhere, anytime.

Key Features

  • Alexa voice control enabled universal remote (no smartphone is required)
  • Affordable: less than $30
  • Optionally, Smartphone app allows you to control your devices on your android or iOS devices.
  • Support task scheduling and sequencing 
  • Effective: One unit has 360 degree coverage for the entire room. Additional infrared (IR) blaster connector for devices in the cabinet.
  • Seamless: support multi-room setup out of the box
  • Up to date: future features can be added by OTA (over-the-air) firmware update
  • Secure: state of the art cryptographic technology protects your privacy and security 

Typical Applications

SmartMote works with any appliance controlled by infrared remote. It includes but not limits to:

 Example commands:

  • "Alexa, turn TV to channel 2."
  • "Alexa, lower TV volume by 5."
  • "Alexa, turn on DVR."
  • "Alexa, tell SmartMote to change LED color to red."
  • "Alexa, tell SmartMote to lower AC temperature."
  • "Alexa, tell SmartMote to open living room blinds."
  • "Alexa, tell SmartMote to mute speaker." 
More SmartMote demos are in Youtube Channel
More SmartMote demos are in Youtube Channel

 

Affordability

Most Smart TVs do not support Alexa, let alone regular TVs. Recently, Sony announced its top of the line 4K Android TVs will soon work with Amazon Echo devices. Enabling Alexa voice control means spending a couple of thousand dollars replacing older devices. SmartMote was born to enable Alexa voice control to all infrared controlled devices without having to replace them.

There are many universal remotes on the market. Most of them do not work with Alexa. Among the few that does work with Alexa, only Logitech Harmony Hub supports Alexa natively -- others require your phone to act as a bridge. The Harmony hub, however, carries a $90 price tag - almost twice as expensive as Amazon Echo Dot ($50), and three times as expensive as SmartMote. Beside price, Harmony Hub does not support multi-room set up out of the box (multi-room operation can be set up using third party app).

We believe price will be a huge factor for consumer adoption of smart home technologies. For example, when Amazon launched the $50 Echo Dot in last December, its echo family sale rose 9X. We want to make smart home truly affordable for everyone and worked hard to achieve the $30 price tag.

Technology

We built our first prototype on Raspberry PI. However, a RasberryPI board itself costs $40. Had we used Pi for SmartMote, we will likely end up with similar price tag as the Harmony Hub.

We decided earlier on to take on the challenge to build SmartMote on a low cost micro-controller. With neither operating system nor rich featured library to leverage, we had to implement the firmware from scratch and make optimizations wherever we can.  

This is our strength though. With combined 30+ years experience in software engineering, we were able to pack all the features we need into the micro-controller and have a bit room left for future updates.

 

 

Get Started

Production is waiting

We have established business relationship with one of the top consumer electronics manufacture. We also researched and confirmed components and manufacture cost. Supply chain and logistics are on standby. All that we're waiting is you.

Join us to make smart home truly affordable for everyone! Your support will enable us to:

  • Confirm product market fit (see team and risk section)
  • Achieve the minimal volume to manufacture at $30
  • Cover the cost for running cloud services on AWS.

Timeline

Stretch Goal

Our Team

 

                 

 

 

 

 

  Specification 

  • Power supply: 5V 500mA via micro USB
  • Power consumption: 0.5W max
  • Connection: 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Security: AES256, Curve25519, SHA256, ChaCha
  • Infrared: 940nm 38kHz
  • Built-in IR emitter: 5
  • IR blaster connector: 1
  • Dimension (prototype): 5.2cm x 5.2cm x 1.3cm

Media Exposure

Since our campaign launched, we have been features in couple of technology blogs:

 

 

 

Risks and challenges

1. Infrared code database: To make set up easy, SmartMote is pre-loaded with Infrared code of the most popular devices on the market. It is not a full coverage though and we need the community's help to improve the coverage by allowing end user to upload and share their configurations. An alternative way to solve the problem is purchasing IR database. The database can be pricey though, so we need to sell enough SmartMote to make the per unit cost affordable.

2. SmartMote already supports the most common household devices, such as your TV, DVR, A/C. There are, however, always more devices that we can support. We need your input and feedback to help us expand the list of devices SmartMote can work with. Please let us hear from you on Facebook page (@affordablesmarthome), twitter (@smartmote) or Instagram (@affordablesmarthome).

3. Our prototype used clear acrylic for its case. A more sleek design is needed for the final product. A close friend of ours is a lead mechanical and structural engineer for a major US auto manufacturer. He is ready to jump onboard and lead the industrial design for SmartMote if the campaign becomes successful. Since we designed our own circuit, it is also super easy for us to re-layout the circuit board to fit the final case.

4. The SmartMote app still has a few rough edges. Our app developers who are from top US Internet companies have committed to polish it. We plan to work on it in the next couple of months.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 2 or more About US$ 2.00

    THANK YOU

    It's our greatest pleasure to have you stay in touch. We'll add you to email list for progress, updates, promotions, etc.
    Perhaps, we could hear you back!

    Includes:
    • Our Sincere Love and Thanks ❤️
    • Be The First To Be Updated
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    3 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    50% OFF EARLY BIRD

    You'd be eligible to save 50% on official product release, PLUS always being part of our affordable smart home family for any update from now on.

    Includes:
    • Our Sincere Love and Thanks ❤️
    • 50% Off Coupon
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 29 or more About US$ 29

    THIS IS REAL

    Get an officially released SmartMote in Feb 2018! It has a more sleek look, with a more polished app. Enjoy lying on the couch and asking to Alexa to "turn TV on".

    Includes:
    • Our Sincere Love and Thanks ❤️
    • SmartMote - official release version
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    168 backers
    $

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    NOW AND FUTURE

    Get limited prototypes right away! PLUS we'll send you official product in Feb 2018!
    Start to watch TV right away with a lift of your tongue.

    Includes:
    • Our Sincere Love and Thanks ❤️
    • SmartMote - prototype version
    • SmartMote - official release version
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 149 backers
    $

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 55 or more About US$ 55

    DOUBLE ACTION

    Get two officially released SmartMote in Feb 2018! Enjoy lying on the couch and asking to Alexa to "turn TV on" in two different rooms.

    Includes:
    • Our Sincere Love and Thanks ❤️
    • SmartMote - official release version
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    62 backers
    $

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 80 or more About US$ 80

    TRIPLE THE FUN

    Get three officially released SmartMote in Feb 2018! Enjoy lying on the couch and asking to Alexa to "turn TV on" in three different rooms.

    Includes:
    • Our Sincere Love and Thanks ❤️
    • SmartMote - official release version
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    52 backers
    $

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    COFFEE WITH THE TEAM

    Meet us in person and chat about visions, plans, dreams as you wish! Enjoy a sunny afternoon in Silicon Valley with a group of innovators! We'd also love to know you more.

    Includes:
    • Our Sincere Love and Thanks ❤️
    • Blue Bottle coffee
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    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)