While voice-activated smart home products like the Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit & Google Home are gaining in popularity, a new wave of gesture-controlled systems are getting attention.
Consumers like the idea that a simple voice command can make their home a place of simplicity and leisure; where essentially having a conversation with a human-like digital assistant accomplishes small tasks like turning on the lights, changing the temperature, reciting local movie times or checking the weather.
Even the most privacy oblivious, have become wary to having a corporation “listen” to every word 24/7. Well a new kind of smart control system has been slowing making its way onto the connected home radar – Gesture Control.
This years newest innovation “hands-free gesture control systems” presents a different option for homeowners. Chicago’s own FIBARO offers the FIBARO SWIPE, a wireless gesture control pad that preforms tasks & controls smart home devices with just the wave of a hand. The device recognizes 6 gestures; up, down, left, right, circle left, & circle right, or can be programmed with more complex sequences. Each gesture can be programmed to control specific smart home devices around the house.
Another innovation, from France-based technology startup Bluemint Labs, called “Bixi” connects to phones, tablets and connected smart home devices through Bluetooth and recognizes gestures for contact-less use with a detection range of up to 12 inches.
Now this is cool – The control pad is designed to be integrated with the home, and so can either be installed behind the walls (still activates through wall paper or artwork) or disguised as a picture frame. The frame is completely wireless and powered by 4 – AA batteries or a micro USB, and is currently compatible with SmartThings, Homeseer, Vera and VeraLite, and FIBARO’s own Home Center 2.
Fibaro’s SWIPE retails for $149, while Bluemint Lab’s BIXI retails for $129 (40% discount at the writing of this article).