menu

Making Home Automation Smooth Like Silk

Making Home Automation Smooth Like Silk
culture

A digital brain for the home might reveal just how unintelligent our smart home devices really are

Rob Kleiman
  • 16 february 2016

Let’s say you come home from work or from a night out and you want to turn on a smart light. When you arrive, you face your first problem. Instead of simply turning on a light switch, you need to get your phone out, find the necessary app on your home screen, configure it, find the right setting—and let’s not forget none of this is even possible if your battery is dead.

Fumbling around with one piece of technology to control another piece of technology can create obstacles that were not there before—negating the need for the technology in the first place. Accessing menus, screens and codes can be difficult when applied to true-to-life scenarios. But, some believe the experience of contending with the smart home could be and should be as smooth as silk.

“The kind of world we imagine is that I come home and things just magically happen. I want the house to recognize me, recognize my face, turn on my lights, turn on my favorite music,” says Andreas Gal, former CTO of Mozilla, who founded Silk Labs in June of 2015 with Chris Jones and Michael Vines to focus on creating thoughtful experiences with connected devices by enabling them to understand, respond to, and adapt to our daily human needs.

Silk Labs is an Internet of Things startup with hopes to launch the intelligent object of the future. With a broad background in technology and software, this very well may be the team to do it. It’s launching a product called Sense, a smart object that serves as the HQ for your home automation needs. Think of it as a digital brain in your home, a device that learns as it begins to recognize patterns and adapts to your needs through simple interactions.

Gal says:

“It is our belief that there is no device at the moment that lives up to the promise of IoT as we see it. We think in a couple years these devices will be intelligent, but they’re not quite there yet. Here we’re trying to let early adopters live in that world today.”

Silk Labs describes the device as ‘Nest Dropcam meets Amazon Echo.’ High-quality materials come together to create a sleek and decorative home automation device. Despite its sloping modern design, it feels sturdy. The team wanted a device that didn’t look like a spaceship so they opted for something that would look nice and appealing on a mantle.

Silk Labs also intends to make smart home notifications more meaningful. Simple motion, changes in light or even pets don’t trigger the device, it’s triggered by people, events and relevant context.

“Once you add the right software and technology and combine them with all the computational powers of the devices around us, we can make much more intelligent devices.”

One notable feature of the device is the secure setup and end-to-end hardware encryption. It uses Bluetooth Low-Energy (LE) to carry out a secure setup that also keeps your home video private. This gives the device some privacy advantages. Compared to other cloud-based solutions this device stores all the data that is collected in your house locally. You just touch a phone to the Sense, and and encryption key and Wi-Fi credentials get passed between the two devices. Only trusted mobile handsets can pair with the device and can see the available video feed.

sily1.png

The team has also invested plenty of time into developing the software of the object as it runs on its own operating system; Sense will work and control a wide range of other connected devices: lighting such as HUE and LIFX, sound systems including SONOS, home systems Nest, and more.

In that sense, the Silk lab Sense could provide makers and technologists a way to create home automation programs that we didn’t know we yet needed. For sorting through junk mail perhaps, for cooking meals dependent on the weather, for getting the kids ready for lunch, or for prepping the house for next year’s Valentine’s Day or Super Bowl party.

Silk Labs

culture
Trending

Japanese Face Wash Creates A Perfect Rose Every Time

Arts & Culture
Mobile august 26, 2016

Get A Better Idea Of How You Are Wasting Your Time

The TouchTime app is trying to revolutionize personal task management by providing detailed insight on how to be more efficient

Culture august 26, 2016

London Telephone Box Repurposed As A Tiny Mobile Repair Shop

Tools and supplies to replace broken screens or damage are neatly stowed away in these micro-workrooms

Trending

Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Work

See All
Design august 26, 2016

Conceptual Sportswear Created Out Of Futuristic Condom Material

A Dutch fashion designer is experimenting with new methods and fabrics to make high performance clothing

Fashion august 26, 2016

Fashionable Tassel Will Ensure You Never Lose Your Valuables Again

The device is fashion meets connected tech, that will help you keep track of your belongings at all times

PURPLELIST EXPERTS

Matt Farnell

Mobile Marketing & Location

Syndicated august 26, 2016

Would You Wear Wool Shoes To Save The Environment?

As demand for wool shoes grows, a number of US footwear brands are heading directly to the source: the sheep pastures of New Zealand

Sustainability august 26, 2016

Self-Healing Material Is Fashioned Out Of Squid Teeth

Penn State researchers have devised a new textile that uses organic proteins

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Search Engine Turns Your Own Drawings Into Photos

This image-matching software accepts hand-made sketches instead of keywords

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed august 25, 2016

Retail Expert: What Sustainability Means To The Millennial Generation

Jo Godden, Founder of RubyMoon, discusses how brands can limit their environmental impact worldwide

PSFK Labs august 25, 2016

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Our Future of Work vision is a service that allows companies to assemble and deliver welcome packets that are uniquely focused on the concept of growth

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Illustrator Interprets The Experiences Of Blind Travelers

Artist Alby Letoy creates drawings of poignant travel memories for the visually impaired

Advertising august 26, 2016

Clickbait Titles Used For The Good Of Charity

An agency devised an unlikely campaign that uses clickbait as a positive force to drive awareness to nonprofit initiatives

Advertising august 26, 2016

The Best In Eye-Catching Olympics Campaigns

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the best advertising moments off the field

Work august 26, 2016

Editorial Roundtable: The Arrival Of The People-First Workplace

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary and thinkPARALLAX enumerate the reasons why companies need an employee-embracing workforce in order to exist

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Transforming Light Waves Into A New Art Form

An artist uses glass treated with layers of metallic coatings to create a unique installation called lightpaintings

INSIGHTS COVERAGE

Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games
READ NOW

Design august 26, 2016

This Windbreaker Lets You Explore The Outdoors While Charging Your Phone

The apparel includes solar panels that allow the wearer to stay connected through the power of renewable energy

Asia august 26, 2016

The Goal Of This Game Is To Not Get Laid Off From Your Job

A hit mobile app has you working really, really hard to not get fired as you climb the corporate ladder

Advertising august 26, 2016

Movie Critic Bot Guides Viewers Through Festival Offerings

The Toronto International Film Festival has created a Facebook Messenger chatbot to help attendants curate their schedule

No search results found.