We have a plethora of smart devices all over the house, all of which can do a million things. You can use smartphones and tablets to call people, check social networks, read the news, watch your movies and much more, but sometimes all this clutter can keep you away from what really matters. This is why New York-based startup Insensi created the Ily, a communication device that makes sure you can stay connected with your family; and it does so very well.
This is not really a smartphone, tablet or even a wireless device. It’s meant to stay at your home, always powered and available whenever you need it. I like to call it a smart home phone, because it pretty much replaces your traditional phone with a system that is worthy of this technologically advanced age.
Ily can work as your regular landline service, or you can connect it to your smartphone via Bluetooth so it may act as a headset of sorts. You can communicate via the integrated speakers and microphone, or you can simply pick up the wireless handset and talk your way around the house. But the real fun begins when you start using the internet-based features.
The camera can be used for online voice, text and video calls with other family members (or friends) using Ily. This gadget has an 8-inch 1024x768p touchscreen that will display icons with images of your family members and friends (these need to be approved by parents). Any user can then easily tap on these faces and tell Ily what method of communication is best at the moment.
People are often on the go, though, which is why Ily does offer a completely free Android (and iOS) app so users can reach family members when they are not within reach of an Ily phone.
Now, just because this is mostly a communication device, it doesn’t mean Insensi didn’t add some cool secondary features. You can draw for each other, share images and even access apps like Spotify so that you may set the mood with some good tunes.
This is all free, unless you want to rent a local phone number, purchase minutes and set up a voicemail. The company mentions you don’t need to pay for these, but those who need it can get it for a “small fee”. Otherwise, the only cash you will need to fork out is to buy the actual equipment.
You can buy the Ily for $199 if you pre-order it right now, but that price will raise to $299 once the device launches, this Fall. It’s also possible to get multiple device bundles for a discount. Insensi sells 2 for $189 each, or 3 for $185 each.
This is an interesting concept, to say the least. I can see how it could be beneficial to some families, especially because it gets rid of all the confusion involved with using an actual smart device. Also, not everyone wants to give their kids expensive tablets or smartphones, which also happen to be unsafe (the internet is a wild place).
How many of you would spend this much money on an Ily (or multiple)? Will something like this help your family better stay in touch? There’s definitely a demand for it, as the company claims to have raised $2.4 million so far. That sure is no easy feat.