About this project
Your Ninja Sphere learns about you, and your environment. It uses data from sensors and actuators to build a model that can inform you if something is out of place.
It can monitor temperature, lighting, energy usage, you and your pets' presence, and anything else you connect to your sphere.
By using data from your devices, environment, and location your sphere is able to advise you intelligently and give you control only when you need it.
We already support a huge array of devices, but because our approach is open source, almost anybody can write and share a driver to connect a device to your sphere. This essentially future proofs your Ninja Sphere, giving you peace of mind that as new devices come onto the market, your Ninja Sphere can support them.
- Be alerted if you have left home and left an appliance on, and easily turn it of, such as heaters/lamps/AV equipment (phone & smart socket)
- Check in on your dog/cat while you’re away from home (tag & phone)
- See who is at home/away (tag & phone, opt in)
- See exactly where your lost wallet/keys are located (using tag & phone)
- Be alerted if a valuable is being moved and you’re not at home (tag & phone)
- Have useful information pushed into your ambient environment via the LED matrix, such as the weather or energy usage of your appliances - page through this information using hand gestures. (smart socket, LED & gesture)
- Consolidated control of your lights, media, and environment devices via natural gestures on top of the spheramid (LED & gesture)
- Consolidated control of your devices via one native application.
- Create ‘if this then that’ style rules against presence, location, time, energy usage controlling your appliances or alerting you via your phone. Further, any third party device you add can also be controlled via our rules engine. Examples out of the box:
- ‘If i’m on my way home and it’s cold outside turn on the heater’ (phone/tag & smart socket)
- ‘Turn on the lights when I get home and it’s dark’ (phone/tag & smart socket)
- ‘Turn off my appliances automatically when I go to bed at night’ (phone/tag & smart socket)
The Spheramid is the gateway that enables the Ninja Sphere. Your sphere contains one or more Spheramid gateways, location waypoints, and all your devices.
WiFi - Any IP things like smart lightbulbs, IP cameras, smart TVs - anything that connects to your wireless or wired network.
Bluetooth Classic & Low Energy - you might have noticed lots of awesome low power stuff that uses a new kind of bluetooth to connect to your phone (watches, plant sensors, lights, pedometers, power sockets, smart tags). We've only seen the tip of the iceberg.
ZigBee - We put ZigBee in the Spheramid so if you want to try some home automation you can. It also has the potential to read your smart energy meters. The bundled energy monitoring socket is an example of a ZigBee device. We will support a whole range of sensors and actuators in the future - motion, temperature, alarms, etc.
USB - The Spheramid is a whole (tiny) computer. USB lets you plug in cameras, speakers, and even Arduino projects. It also lets you plug in other kinds of radios like Z-wave and RF433 so you can use even more stuff.
Ninja Sphere accomplishes this with Trilateration - a mechanism whereby the intersection of 3 or more overlapping signals can determine the location of an object. Your Spheramid gateway and Waypoints are the nodes that determine this information using BLE signals.
Currently we can precisely locate BLE tags (such as Stick 'n Find, Tile, Gecko) that can be placed on pets, in wallets, on keys, and on valuables. We can also locate phones, tablets, laptops, and soon fitness devices like Fitbit, etc.
However, because this in itself is not accurate enough, we calibrate using sophisticated machine learning algorithms to build a model of your home. This method takes into account walls, furniture, and other objects that may interfere with the signals. We are then able to query against this model to find the location of your devices. This allows us to know where in 3D space a device is.
We knew that there had to be a more natural way to interact with your environment beyond just another app. We’ve developed a mechanism for gesture control that, at a glance, allows you to measure and control your environment - energy use, weather, or even the state of your plants. You can easily page through this information or control your home with a swipe of your hand.
We believe the future of ubiquitous connected devices must be built on open protocols and security standards. It is the only way to know for sure that you can trust the system you're bringing into your home.
Until now, our client code and hardware have been open source. However, we want to take the next step and open everything. This requires a lot of work, and has to be done responsibly. We will begin opening certain elements of our platform immediately after we have been funded, and continue to release services, modules, and documentation as soon as we believe they are ready over the proceeding 6 to 12 months.
Risks and challenges
We've already shipped a product to Kickstarter backers, so we are keenly aware of the risks and challenges we will face before shipping. We've broken them up into a few key areas:
PRODUCTION DESIGN & CERTIFICATION
Creating a prototype is the first exciting step, but a lot of work is required to get it ready to be plugged in at home. It needs to be designed for mass production, and then certified that it is safe for consumers. Certification is time intensive and costly. However, we are working with partners who have years of experience to ensure we ship on time. With your support, we can ensure Ninja Sphere is safe and legal to use in your home country.
SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT
Reliable supply chain management is critical to the success of Ninja Sphere. There are a lot of components that need to be assembled from all over the world. We learned a lot of lessons over the last 2 years, and with your support we are confident we can build a world class network of suppliers to make Ninja Sphere a reality.
There are many challenges ahead in providing a product that is reliable and easy to use. That's why we've been building a crack team of the best Ninjas around. We've learned a lot from our initial prototypes and we are working hard to make Ninja Sphere a future proof device that you'll use every day.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The Ninja Sphere is the connection of devices in your home, including your Waypoints and Spheramids.
The Spheramid is one of your gateways to the Ninja Sphere. It allows for control of your devices and displays useful information on its LED matrix.
A Waypoint is a tiny device you put around your home which allows the Ninja Sphere to locate things around your home.
Yes we will be providing power adapters and sockets to fit USA, AUS, UK & EUR power points.
Free for all levels that include a Gateway.
*Unless that level has sold out.
-Apartments - AU$30 to ship outside Australia.
-Medium Homes - AU$45 to ship outside Australia.
-Large Homes - AU$60 to ship outside Australia.
Yes we will be able to ship orders all over the world.
Trilateration is similar to triangulation, however instead of using the angle a signal is received, trilateration uses the intersection of overlapping spheres to locate a position in space.
To increase the accuracy of the system, we calibrate by taking thousands of signals in various places throughout your home and build a model using machine learning algorithms.
The Spheramid gateway and waypoints then receive signals from your BLE devices and, using all the received signals, they are able to calculate the devices position by querying the model built during calibration.
There is 50m range line of sight for BLE, however walls and floors impact it quite heavily, thus the need for multiple gateways.
To ensure reliable service, we suggest 1 gateway per level for most residential homes, and for really long/wide homes 2 gateways per level. The reward levels we're offering cover most types of homes.
Ninja Sphere will work with your Ninja Block seamlessly, and will run a lot of the same code, however the Ninja Block lacks the radio's we need to do some of the great stuff we're doing with Ninja Sphere.
CURRENT SUPPORTED THIRD PARTY DEVICES
LIGHTS: LiFX, Philips Hue, LimitlessLED, MiLight, EasyBulb
POWER: Current Cost EnviR Power Meter, ZigBee Smart Sockets, Z-Wave Energy Monitors (via addon dongle), Plugaway (when they ship), Belkin WeMo, Fritz!Dect 200, Fritz!Powerline 546E devices.
CAMERAS: IP cameras, USB cameras, and Dropcam.
MEDIA: Squeezebox/Logitech Media Server, Sonos, XBMC.
MOTION: ZigBee motion sensors.
SMART WATCHES: Pebble.
TAGS: Any tag supporting the standard BLE proximity profile.
Note that our driver interface is open source, and many of the above connectors have been written by people in our community.
Yes, we intend on selling Gateways, Waypoints, Tags, Sockets & much much more after the campaign. Unfortunately, we do not have any pricing or shipping information at this stage.
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