Smartphones are steadily becoming the one-stop destination that most users seek whenever they have a query. Be it questions, bookings, chats or calls, the smartphone culture has really picked up. Now, the user-friendly nature of the smartphone is likely to go to the next level: serving as a “universal remote” for our homes.
Benki, which launched its Kickstarter campaign on Sunday, wants to push mobile gadgets further. Kickstarter is basically a crowdfunding platform for creative endeavours, which was founded in April 2009. Using this platform, the makers of Benki want to raise money to come up with devices that will unite home devices via one user interface.
This will be done using three things – a mobile gadget, a battery-powered camera and a sensor for doors and windows that will help you open and close them. All three devices seem to work independent of the other, though. Thus, it may be possible for users to pick up the solution of their choosing, depending on the makers.
Benki lets you control your home appliances using a smartphone (image credit: Benki)
The minds behind Benki basically want you to use your smartphones to turn appliances on and off. This is a step further from just gathering data and monitoring the usage of your devices. Benki essentially functions as a connector for your devices; it is controlled via an app that can be installed on either an iOS or Android device and can tell you what your connected devices are up to, no matter where you might be at the time.
According to the makers, the “smart outlet” can control your plugged-in appliances via a smartphone remotely. Add-on features that Benki will come with include a temperature sensor as well as a light sensor and microphone. With these variations, the uses seem varied, including being able to switch your lights off and on with a voice command. The makers have also said that Benki can serve as an efficient baby monitor. The app will also allow you to track the amount of power your appliances are using over time.
The second Benki solution uses an integrated battery-powered camera to give you a bird’s eye view on what is happening in the area of your home where it is set up, through the day. Security-wise, the open-and-close sensor is the third Benki solution that will allow you to know if and when your door, cupboard or windows are opened.
As a Kickstarter project, Benki has been able to raise $20,000 so far. This is still a fraction of the $220,000 that Benki is aiming at. However, backers have until July 4 to show their support. According to the site, backers who come in early can walk away with all three Benki devices for just $180 (Rs 10300 approx).