17
Jul
wigwag

For the desktop/web power user, the If This, Then That (IFFT) service is invaluable - it powers more than a few behind-the-scenes processes here at Android Police, for example. So it's easy to see why taking that idea into the physical world has got a lot of people excited. They've responded by funding the WigWag Kickstarter project, a combination device/service that talks to and controls some of the more common home automation gadgets through a central hardware hub. The project's $50,000 goal has been smashed in less than half its two-month run time - it's currently sitting at over $130,000.

The basis of WigWag is the sensor block, an unassuming little plastic box that holds a plethora of connected sensors. It picks up on light levels, sound, temperature, motion via infrared tripwires (like an automatic door), and displays alerts via a small speaker and a line of LEDs. The sensor block talks to a wireless hub, which is connected to your home network, and with it, all your connected devices. Right now WigWag supports Philips' Hue lightbulbs, Belkin's WeMo power outlets, and anything that uses the X10 device standard. There will be optional dongles for more device support, like Bluetooth.

90874163195ec719c31eada468c22bdc_large (1)

So, it can control your lights and power outlets - big deal, there are already apps that do that. But the interesting part about WigWag is the user-accessible web service, which allows you to combine all these hardware pieces with rules set up via a smartphone or browser app. Here's an example: you could put the sensor block in your kitchen, then tell it to activate the Hue lightbulbs with a warm glow if it's between the hours of 6AM and 9AM. Then the block can listen for a higher audio output (say, from a coffee grinder) and automatically raise the volume on your TV as you're watching the morning news with the IR blaster, then lower it again when you're finished. The possibilities are endless, at least for a geek who knows his or her way around some basic scripting. Naturally, the WigWag service will communicate with all kinds of web services.

6564dd9d3697778796b0a846b0bb1601_large

Backer packages are still available, though the early bird specials are nearly all gone. To get the full package of a sensor block, wireless relay, and a notification light, it'll cost you $169 - steep, but not that bad for someone who's already invested in automated home hardware. The current timeline has the pricey developer hardware going out in October with the rest shipping in November, but as with all Kickstarter projects, expect plenty of delays. Nothing personal, WigWag, but we've been hurt before.

Source: WigWag Kickstarter

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • ash71ish

    Very innovative and useful idea

  • Mohammad Danish

    I'd rather stick with conventional switches. To each their own I guess.

  • Disqus Sucks

    X10? Seriously? That's ancient technology. They should have started with Insteon, Z-Wave, or Zigbee.

  • BBOSGhostryder

    That's exactly what Armando Ferreira shows how to do in his vids. bit.ly/15HE4uw

  • Travis McCollum

    Z-wave, Zigbee, and Bluetooth are supported via an add-on dongle. X10 and Insteon are supported by USB/serial gateways.