Benki: Connected Smart Devices Done Right

Benki: Connected Smart Devices Done Right

Posted June 17, 2013 at 4:52pm
by Yoav Levytam
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We use our smartphones for everything, and we should be able to control all our appliances and devices from mobile apps as well. No matter where we are. We should be able to tell our appliances what to do once and have things run smoothly from then on without us thinking about it. Our appliances and devices should be assisting us and then staying out of the way.

We like spending our time working on interesting problems and hanging out with friends and family. We shouldn't be stressing about whether we turned something on or off or constantly running around keeping an eye on stuff. There are so many things around us that could not only be accessible over Wifi and controlled remotely, but be more intelligent and helpful to us.

Benki exists because no one seems to be getting connected devices (aka "the internet of things") right.

● We should be able to control our devices no matter where we are.
● We should be able to rock Rdio/Spotify/whatever up to 11 on our headphones and be notified when the baby is awake, rather than hovering over a monitor.
● Our devices should look good.
● This should all work through the smartphone we already have with us and actually be intuitive to use.
● We shouldn't need to know what "GPIO" or "port-forwarding" means in order to turn off the iron from Disneyland or make sure the garage is closed from Park City.
● We all have Wifi, so NO EXTRA BASE STATIONS!
● No expensive installation.
● No subscription fees.

Benki will start out initially with these 3 products:




Socket
Benki's [super] smart outlet.
● Plugs right into your existing outlet
● Light sensor, temperature sensor, and microphone
● Turn the power on/off to each outlet individually and have it controlled automatically based on settings you decide.
It will keep track of power usage through the device so you can see how much you've consumed over time. And it covers your existing outlet completely for a clean, integrated look.




View
Small, battery powered device you can stash anywhere in your home to check in visually and get info about the area.
● Camera, light sensor, an temperature sensor
● LED to help with pics taken in the dark
● Lasts for over a year on 2 AA batteries
On vacation and the temperature drops below freezing? Check in to make sure the basement isn't flooding.
At the store? See what's left in the fruit basket or pantry. Put one in the baby's room and check in whenever you want.
Check in on your pets to see how much food and water they have.




Break
A simple open/close sensor to put on doors, cabinets, windows, etc. This one is pretty simple. Benki has integrated a temperature sensor so you can know if energy is being wasted heating or cooling the outside. Put one side on the door and the other on the frame. We can sense when the two halves are together or separated. Lasts for well over a year on two AA batteries.



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