About this project
Plantation shutters are one of the most attractive and desired of all window coverings. They’re stylish, easy to clean, and very effective at conserving heat and keeping your house cool.
Of course, the only drawback is that you have to walk around the house every day to open and close them yourself. This daily routine can become even more tedious with hard-to-reach shutters. What you need is a way to do this remotely and even automatically. In other words, you need smart shutters.
We're excited to introduce you to ShutterEaze. We have developed a patented solution to bring your plantation shutters into the 21st century. Now, you can fully automate your shutters to open and close whenever you want, and the best part is – this is only the beginning!
Want some more good news? In order to automate your plantation shutters all you need is ShutterEaze. Our system works with nearly all existing shutters, including 2.5", 3.5", and 4.5" shutter louvers. There are no tools needed for setup, and no need to hire a technician. It's so easy to install and use, that anyone can do it!
The truth is that ShutterEaze is the easiest and most affordable way to motorize and bring remote control capabilities to your existing plantation shutters. Sure, you could spend thousands buying brand new shutters with motors built in, or even do it yourself. Of course, that means having to take the shutters out of their frames and sawing slots in them to accommodate the motor. With ShutterEaze, a simple 1-2-3 installation works like a charm, not to mention costing pennies on the dollar compared to other currently available alternatives!
How’s that for a modern solution? Beneficial, easy to use, and cost-effective.
Like every great idea, ShutterEaze began by addressing an annoying problem. ShutterEaze inventor, Jeff Vasquez, has a wife who loves her plantation shutters. What she did not love, however, was having to climb into their bathtub to open and close the shutters in their bathroom. So she took this problem to her husband for a solution.
Luckily for her, and for all of us, Jeff is an inventor and robotics fanatic who seized upon this opportunity to create something that could benefit everyone. Using some old remote controlled toys, and a ton of creativity, he was able to create a motorized solution for his wife that would go far beyond just a little motor to open their bathroom shutters.
Following the issuance of a utility patent for ShutterEaze, Jeff began his quest to bring his product to owners of plantation shutters all over the world.
When Jeff first came up with ShutterEaze, it was a simple, remote controlled motor that could be attached to any plantation shutter and easily controlled. However, the growth of the home automation industry, and introduction of Bluetooth Smart has inspired us to go further than just the standard remote controlled version.
Now, we've built ShutterEaze Smart to work with Bluetooth Low Energy to give you a truly effective and rewarding experience. Similar to the remote controlled version, you can use your smartphone (both iOS and Android) to group your shutters and control multiple units together at the same time. You will also be able to set predetermined times for your shutters to open and close throughout the day. Additionally, our app offers a default setting to open your shutters at sunrise to let in that beautiful natural morning light, and close at sunset to ensure the privacy of you and your loved ones.
However, we aren't done yet! We believe that we can make your shutters even "smarter"! Moving forward, we plan to develop a ShutterEaze solution that operates using the ZigBee wireless protocol. With ZigBee, your shutters will be able to seamlessly integrate with your existing home automation system. Imagine your shutters opening and closing automatically at exactly the right time.
Your shutters will be able to open and close according to your thermostat settings to save you money on your electricity bill. Or, how about your shutters opening up for you when you come home, and closing when you leave? With our new and growing technology, your plantation shutters will open up a whole new world of possibilities and a more fulfilling lifestyle.
Believe it or not, the biggest reason we chose to launch a Kickstarter campaign was because of people like you – fans and followers of ShutterEaze online who are excited about the product and want to see it launch as quickly as possible. We’ve done our homework and decided that this was the best way to help us finish the job and deliver ShutterEaze to you quickly. And isn’t it cool to be a part of it, to be an integral component on the ground floor to something so innovative and exciting?
We believe that through listening to feedback from Kickstarter backers like you, and making iterations to our product based on your comments, we will ensure that our final product is of the highest quality and performance. Creating hype and interest in a product is great, but none of that really matters if the final product doesn't perform up to expectations, right? That's why we fully guarantee your satisfaction with ShutterEaze, as we are confident that we have what it takes to deliver a product that meets your expectations.
Right now we're wrapping up product development and moving onto sourcing components and manufacturing partners. We’re refining the device to maximize its mechanical efficiency, minimize its form factor, and make it look as sleek and inconspicuous as possible. We’re also ensuring that we can launch with the best possible price – we want you to have not only an effective and useful product – we want you to have a shutter system that doesn't break the bank too.
We’re nearing completion of the development of the mobile app for iOS and Android to serve as a remote control, and automation controller, via Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Smart). Bluetooth Smart currently offers the most energy efficient RF chip in a very small package, making it perfect for our application.
As of now, we have only developed a stand-alone remote control version and a Bluetooth version of ShutterEaze. However, we are looking towards the future, and we want ShutterEaze to integrate with all of the home automation hub controllers that are out there, including SmartThings. This will allow your shutters to open and close with a larger variety of automation triggers that work within the large ecosystem of “connected devices.” To make this possible, we plan to begin the development of ShutterEaze units that communicate using the ZigBee protocol.
If you are interested in ShutterEaze using ZigBee, please back our project, and specify that you are only interested in a ZigBee solution. With enough support, we'll be able to get moving on the development of a ZigBee solution very soon.
We are hoping to have ShutterEaze with ZigBee ready for shipment by June, 2015. Please note that the delivery date for ZigBee units will be two months later than the Bluetooth and RC units.
Your participation will help finance the costs associated with bringing ShutterEaze through volume manufacturing. The proceeds will primarily be used to pay for tooling, and for other costs associated with the first production run.
Using a reputable and trustworthy contract manufacturer can make a world of difference when it comes to the quality of a product. By supporting our campaign, you will help us ensure that we find a suitable manufacturing partner for ShutterEaze. Contract manufacturers want to work with partners that can illustrate "proof of concept" and clearly demonstrate that demand exists for their product. We believe that there's no better way for us to prove that people want ShutterEaze than to have a successful Kickstarter campaign!
Risks and challenges
Every project faces obstacles that must be overcome. At ShutterEaze, we are doing our absolute best to ensure that all of the bumps that arise throughout this process are smoothed over.
While we currently have functional prototypes, the components we have used to build them aren't necessarily the ones that will be used in the production units. We need to be diligent in our search for component suppliers that will be able to provide the volume we need, while still fitting within our budget.
We will do whatever is needed to deliver a quality product that exceeds all of our backers' expectations.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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