The idea of controlling parts of your home with a smartphone has been around for many years now. There have been many successful products and DIY jobs, for instance you can run a bath from your phone, and this man got his garage to open anywhere in the country with his Android phone.
The Kickstarter project Elphi is taking this smartphone-controlled-home idea a step further. They are saying rather than creating complex products with their own apps, why not create a simple piece of hardware which can be used with any appliance.
The project funding is for a WiFi-cloud-based wall-socket adapter that goes into the wall which your appliance then plugs into. When using the app on your smartphone you can toggle the power to all of your devices.
That’s what I was thinking at first since it doesn’t seem like the most useful of products, but after thinking and watching the promotional video I can see it does have potential uses.
In the morning you can start the coffee maker before you even get out of bed. If your home has a separate water heater, you can turn that on when you wake up so the water is piping hot when you go for your shower.
The unit is also useful when it comes to home safety. If you are using appliances that can cause a fire such as hair straighteners you can check to make sure they are off once you’ve left the house. You can even keep tabs on things when you are on the metro or in a cab, since your mobile data network can reach the Elphi cloud.
You can also share your devices with other people on the Elphi app, besides the novelty though, I don’t really see the point in this. Currently Elphi is at ~$21,000 with a goal of $90,000 to reach in two weeks. So if you think that it’s a product that would be of use to you, get over there and start pledging.
Here is the video from Elphi’s Kickstarter page; it’s only a few minutes long.