WigWag takes home-automation mobile
By Dave LeClair
July 29, 2013
Life automation is a concept that is really growing lately. All kinds of products designed to connect our homes and businesses and make mundane tasks automatic are hitting the market, and many of them are seeing fast adoption from users. WigWag is another device with that goal, and it has some distinct features that its creators hope will help it stand tall above others on the market.
In many ways, WigWag functions like popular website IFTTT, in that it allows users to set up all kinds of rules for their homes, and it acts upon them when the "if" condition is met. For example, a user can tell the system to turn on the lights in a room when motion is detected, or turn the heat on when the temperature falls below a certain level.
The system works because each of the Sensor Blocks comes equipped with eight environmental sensors:
Another major difference between this and Twine is the included mobile application, which offers a wider range of options for customizing and creating rules. Twine requires users to jump on the the computer to customize everything; with a mobile app, WigWag lets users tinker from more or less anywhere.
Additionally, the system is designed to work with other third-party adapters, and as such, it features two expansion ports. This will allow devices like a plant moisture sensor to be hooked up to the system. Third-party devices are actually quite important to all of this. After all, a traditional outlet will not be connected, so even if WigWag senses motion, the lights are not going to acknowledge it unless they have some kind of connection. Thankfully, the system appears to support many popular devices, as you can see in the image above, so getting it tied in to the WigWag sensors should not prove difficult.
The Sensor Block also includes an IR blaster, which opens them up to things like turning on a TV and setting it to a certain channel or opening a garage door automatically.
Another unique part of the system comes from the optional Glowline and its sensor. This part of the system features its own dedicated sensor that sees motion and detects ambient light. It also comes with 2.5 m (8.2 ft) of strip lighting that can be used to illuminate stairs or other pathways.
The whole system is tied together through a relay. This connects to the internet and communicates with WigWag's cloud servers. It allows it to communicate with web services like Dropbox and Twitter, so when a certain trigger occurs, something can happen online. For example, it could be set to log a date and time into a spreadsheet in Dropbox each time someone enters and exits a room.
WigWag is seeking funding for its system on Kickstarter. It has far exceeding its US$50,000 goal with the support of almost 1,000 backers. The options for preordering a WigWag system range from $139 for just a Sensor Block and Relay, all the way to $579 for the Home Kit, which lets users pick a combination of 10 Sensor Blocks and Glowlines.
The Kickstarter pitch below has more information and provides a demonstration of the WigWag.