Two Dutch entrepreneurs started a project on KickStarter to raise money for a device called Homey which allows to control any device in your living room using speech or a mobile application. To achieve this, the Homey has several radio and infrared (IR) modules onboard.
The Homey should be able to control TVs, lights, music players and preferably any remotely controlled device possible for which the device supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, ZigBee, Z-Wave, 433.92 MHz
nrf24l01+, Infrared. It’s also possible to send commands to multiple devices at once.
This makes it possible to tell the Homey you want to watch a movie using a voice command. The device will then switch on the TV, switch on the speakers and dim the lights. Or when you get home your lights fade on, your thermostat is already set to a comfortable level and your favorite music is streamed to your receiver. To know how to send the right commands to devices the Homey connects to an online database which is also updated every time it learns to talk to a new device.
Besides controlling devices, the Homey is also connected to online sources of information which makes it possible to use its text to speech feature to read out loud emails and weather and traffic updates.
The Homey is powered by the credit card sized low cost Raspberry Pi computer and comes in a 11 cm / 4.3″ sphere form factor. It It has a LED light inside which can light-up in different colors.
The Homey should cost €399, but the first buyers can currently obtain the device for €199 ($270) with prices going up depending on availability. Kickstart buyers should receive the device in the second quarter of 2015.
The developers have already spent three years of their life on Homey first as a hobby project and later also as part of an University project.