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.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
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.
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
SmartMote works with any appliance controlled by infrared remote. It includes but not limits to:
"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."
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.
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.
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.
Power supply: 5V 500mA via micro USB
Power consumption: 0.5W max
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
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.