The trickle of devices looking to turn the family home into smart homes whereby residents can remotely control everything from household lighting to security systems has turned into a flood recently. The latest device promising to help usher in this suburban technological utopia is the Alyt, an Android-powered smart home system that can be controlled not only through an app on a mobile device, but also via voice commands.
Unlike previous smart home management systems, such as Revolv, which offers app-based control, and the Ninja Sphere, which also features gesture control, Alyt adds voice control to the mix. The system can also learn, so if users ask for the same things repeatedly, Alyt will start to execute the actions automatically. However, for those that prefer the "old-fashioned" method, the device can also be remotely controlled via an app available for iOS and Android devices.
Although Alyt's functions are limited only to what sensors and appliances are connected to it, its creators highlight its security capabilities, touting it as a professional security system. To this end, in addition to the Alyt hub the basic starter package includes a wireless passive infrared (PIR) motion detector and wireless door sensor. The former can be positioned around the property perimeter to trigger an alert when a breach occurs, while the latter will let the user know when the door has been opened or closed.
For the more security conscious, Alyt supports the connection of additional hardware, such as wireless IP video cameras to stream video from the home in real time, and home security systems than use facial or voice recognition to allow or block access to the home.
It also supports sensors that monitor environmental factors in and around the home to automate home heating and cooling to save power. The system also integrates with the NEST home thermostat and can be set to alter the household temperature based on time of day and weather conditions. Connecting smoke CO2 and water flood detectors also gives the system the ability to monitor for fire or flood – be it from a storm or leaky dishwasher or washing machine.
Perhaps the most promising feature of the Android-powered Alyt is it that it is open source, allowing third party developers to create their own apps for the device, which can be made available through a planned Alyt app store.
"We believe in an open, boundless world, and that’s why our product is the first Smart Home Manager powered by Android,” says Luca Gaetano Capula, founder and CEO of Link Your Things. “Since Android is open and runs inside the unit, thousands of developers will be able to help us improve consumers’ lives at home. We decided to make even our hardware design open so that developers and manufacturers can innovate using ALYT as a solid base.”
To ensure Alyt is able to be integrated with a range of existing smart home devices, it is compatible with Bluetooth Low Energy, 3.5G Cellular, infrared, NFC, DLNA, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave and ZigBee communication protocols. The system can also be used in local Wi-Fi mode and maintain connectivity via the cellular network if internet connectivity is lost, while an inbuilt backup battery will keep it operational if the power goes out – for how long will obviously depend on usage.
A US$100,000 Indiegogo campaign was launched on April 8, with shipping set to begin from July if all goes to plan. Pledge tiers range from $149 for a starter kit, up to $599 for a Video Security + Smart Home Kit.
The Alyt Indiegogo video pitch can be viewed below.