Smart Home

Monolyth may not be full of stars, but it can learn how you use air conditioning

The Premise. The smart home may not be as smart as inventors have led people to believe. Sure, it can detect various data and respond to it whether it’s temperature, motion, light, or network connectivity, but are these devices really learning, or are they just trained? The real smart home revolution is about to begin, and it’s starting with a clever bit of climate control.

The Product. The aptly-named Monolyth is a device that can control air conditioning units based on set times, temperature and humidity sensors, air quality, or manual control over Wi-Fi or infrared. What makes the Monolyth different is that it detects the presence of users and begins to build its own schedule around what it learns, turning on based on thermostat levels to keep the air cool, but setting the appropriate temperatures based on if anyone is around to enjoy it or how cold they want it.

The Pitch. The first look at Monolyth gives a strong first impression based on what it’s capable of. With its own sense of personal style and ability to learn, the excitement for this device carries through to its campaign as well. Monolyth wants to raise $50,000 for tooling, components, and packaging.

The Perks. The Monolyth system can be picked up for just $79 and will arrive in January 2015, which is great news for those in the Southern hemisphere and in the middle of summer. Higher tiers include multiple units to control additional air conditioners.

The Potential. We’ve already looked at a few smart air conditioning units in the past, like Sensibo and tado°, but Monolyth really challenges the idea of what a smart device should be. By learning usage patterns and building an automated schedule, Monolyth does more than just look for a phone or tablet within range before starting up, it adapts to its users and expends only the energy it needs to in order to create a climate control system tailored specifically to its users. Sure, it can be overridden as needed, but the idea of a device that anticipates a customer’s needs rather than react to them is something that could really push the entire smart home market forward and will no doubt be picked up by complements and competitors moving forward.