Am I The Next Home Automation System?


With the new year also comes one of my favorite events of the year: The Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Seeing what all the major companies have been cooking up in home automation gets me more excited than seeing my Christmas presents under the tree.

Even before the big show kicks off in January each year, some products start getting buzz. Most of the time it’s a big new product or a big upgrade from a well-known company. Sometimes, though, it’s a product that is new to the scene. These are my favorites. The big names sometimes can’t get the ball rolling on their most innovative ideas the way a smaller company can.

A company that used to be known as Smartiphy but now goes by Aerial started releasing information about its home automation product ahead of the show, and it got my attention. After some research though, I’m on the fence about how exciting this product will be. While the idea behind it (more on that below) seems innovative, the website for the company is lackluster. If you are a company on the verge of disrupting the home automation industry, live a little with your website. Even I could probably put together a better site. I’m weary about the company’s name change, and the information about the product on the website is scarce. If they can get their proposed product off the ground (and do something with their website), I just might give it a try.

Here’s what he Aerial product is all about:

  • Wi-Fi based
  • Activity recognition
  • Device-free system
  • No sensor installation
  • Links to personal devices
  • Signals create a “sensor mesh” that is disrupted by physical activity
  • Senses and locates objects
  • Tracks movements
  • Identifies activities
  • Generates personal signatures based on patterns

So, breaking down all the tech talk, this product is a small, plug-in cube that basically aims to create smart environment using your personal devices – instantly. They also claim, on their not-quite-ready-for-the-Internet website, that the practical uses for technology like this include:

  • Fall detection for elderly or handicapped
  • Infant monitoring
  • First responder communications

So, using a few personal devices, my physical self could help me create a personal, smart environment. You can see why this is an interesting concept. I’d still need a lot more information before I could be sold on this, including its selling price.

The website shows the small cube on its product page, with very limited information. They claim the cube is coming soon, and that its “crafty design” is plug and play, available in different colors, and multifunctional.

The jury is still out on this product, but I’ll be keeping my eye out for advancements.

Photo by: Intel Free Press

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Jeff is a tinkerer. He loves gadgets, but usually waits until the reviews are out before buying something. He loves the DIY projects, and loves help setting things up too. Some of his favorite products and services may not be the most well known, but he loves his custom solution.