Glowing Orb Creates Connected Home You Can Talk To

Glowing Orb Creates Connected Home You Can Talk To

Homey is a new system that lets you control your devices with your voice.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 5 june 2014

Dutch start-up Athom recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for their product, Homey, a new home automation system that connects the owner’s devices and lets them control those devices with their voice.

Homey integrates entertainment systems, appliances, lighting, online data and social media accounts into home automation. While other similar systems focus on just appliances and controlling them via an app, Homey allows users to connect multimedia devices to online services like email and weather data. This means Homey can not only adjust the thermostat to a comfortable level or turn lights on and off, but also play certain music when it rains or read emails to them from the other room.

In a press release, the creators of Homey explained that while controlling one’s home via an app is ideal when the owner is on-the-go, it takes longer than just flipping a switch. That is why they decided to implement speech recognition to make using Homey quick and painless.

Homey features eight different wireless technologies. The creators built in support for the latest home automation protocols like Zigbee and Z-Wave. The voice-controlled automation system also has an array of microphones that are meant to improve sound recording and provide high quality speech recognition.


Homey is an open platform for other developers to create apps for the system. Athom co-founder Stefan Witkamp explains, “This way, we keep our product and platform future proof: support can be added for devicesthat currently don’t existyet.”

Athom was founded by Witkampand fellow entrepreneurEmileNijssen. The two met each other at the UniversityofTwente, and they developed Homey with support from the university and various start-up networks.

Watch the Kickstarter video of Homey below.



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