Connected Objects
Ninja Sphere keeps digital tabs on things roaming around your home

The Premise. Everyone loves the promise of a smart home that can alert us to — and ideally control — things around your home. But many of these products are expensive or complicated. Other systems require apps for different manufacturers.

The Product. Ninja Sphere is a second generation home sensor and automation platform from the Australian team who raised over $100,000 bringing you Ninja Blocks. And, boy, have they upped their industrial design game. The curved, underlit Spheramid is the heart of the system that also includes roaming waypoints and smart plugs. Ninja Sphere integrates Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Zigbee radios and takes advantage of gestures and triangulation to pinpoint where things are in your home in addition to the usual sensors.

The Pitch. The campaign, while someone jargon-heavy is beautifully done. It showcases many of the features of the Ninja Sphere. Most users will be too captivated by what’s happening on screen to listen to the narrators discuss technical details. Examples of the functionality include a pop-up on the television screen that alerts the user to an incoming call and tells her what room the phone is in. While a proof of concept, you can also turn the lights on and off with the push of a button on the “smart watch.”

The Perks. This product is obviously pushing the limits of technological advances, and the ability to control your home are growing exponentially. A system of devices, Ninja Sphere started at the sold-out $199 AUD level. However, the company also offers a $549 AUD level to address a two-level home. Other configurations are aimed at apartments, but it doesn’t seem feasible that many people living in apartments would have the need for something like Ninja Sphere. Products are expected to be delivered in June 2014.

The Potential. With some similarities to the multi-radio Revolv home automation system, Ninja Sphere is definitely a bleeding-edge product designed to keep track of multiple things going on in your home. The success of these products will depend on how many things worth controlling enter the market and how many consumers adopt them.

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