The focus on security and identification is important given all the IoT kerfuffles this year
SmartBeings, Inc. has surpassed its funding goal for the cloud-based WooHoo SmartHub for home and office automation, raising over $35,000 in less than a day and opening the campaign to further funding goals before the Kickstarter closes out in February.
The WooHoo Smart Hub is now available for pre-order starting at $49, with international shipping available, and will also be on display at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, where the company will be given an Innovation Award for Smart Home tech.
The first devices are to start shipping in May 2017, with the bulk of the orders going out in June.
Stretch goals include third-party app download functionality and camera add-ons for covering multiple rooms off of the same tower.
The design combines what users have come to expect from a full services home automation system: Wireless charging, a wide range of Wi-Fi connectivity, door controls, multiple ports, a live video assistant, appliance controls, booking services, music playing, and alerts. This is all powered by an AI that can process simple natural language inputs from users without complaint.
Users will be able to add multiple personal devices to the hub if they want to, and the company says the tower can be set up very quickly, with techs available via live video to assist if needed. After that, the company says, “WooHoo’s retail price will increase to $89, plus a monthly subscription fee of $9,” in contrast to Alexa or Echo.
Some voice-activated systems have trouble picking up who exactly is speaking, and allowing full access to certain services, like shopping, when that shouldn’t be the case absent explicit permissions. SmartBeings has taken that into account, and is emphasizing the security aspects of the device, in particular voice and facial (360 degree 1080p HD) recognition built into the 7-inch, touchscreen display with 4GB memory and Bluetooth/LTE support as well.
Customers can also order larger packages, combined multiple devices in a shipment, though these will only be available in limited numbers for now as part of the Kickstarter.