Home Smart Home

Qhome runs your home, doesn’t need to get paid

The Premise. Smart home systems are cropping up everywhere, but tend to specialize in one particular concept or feature, whether it’s energy-saving, security, or climate control. These devices give the illusion of a smart home while leaving several components woefully unconnected.

The Product. Qhome is a smart home hub that offers a greater degree of functionality than the partial smart home devices that have shown up to swell the market. Operating through a series of distinct modes as well as individual customization, Qhome can open curtains, close windows, keep a running grocery list as things are removed from the fridge, and send cleaning robots out as needed to keep things tidy, all from a smartphone or through its own programming.

The Pitch. Developer Quatanium introduces viewers to Qhome by showing a young professional who can only focus so well on his job because his home monitors and operates itself. From getting him up in the morning all the way to notifying him that there’s no more jam in the fridge, Qhome steers the video’s hero through all the aspects of his home life right up to his date that night. Unfortunately, as viewers ask how all of this might be possible, the campaign page itself has no follow-through, focusing more on general discussion of the history of smart home technology and how it functions rather than explaining how the product itself works. Backers might be interested in helping Quatanium reach its huge $500,000, but will have to do so with several questions still in their minds.

The Perks. Getting started with a Qhome system costs as little as $99, to get the app and control components for two devices. A more complete system with a hub, 5 components, and a wireless music player costs $249. Those who are more concerned with security can add an extra 5 control components and a wireless security camera to their system at the $599, while anyone who wants their system designed to maximize effectiveness in their home can get a personalized system built for $1,999. All tiers except the personalized system will ship by March 2015, with the latter shipping in July 2015.

The Potential. When it comes to potential, the idea behind Qhome has an awful lot of it. However, without more details and more explanation, it’s easy to get the impression that nothing may ever come of all that potential. Qhome makes a lot of bold claims and is fairly cost-effective. Now, all that remains to be seen is if it can back up all of its talk.

Home Lighting

LightFreq uses Wi-Fi, lets your house get its freak on

The Premise. “Smart lighting” has become one of the latest trends to hit homes and offices. In the past, choices were limited to light bulb style and wattage – usually dictated by a lamp’s requirements. Luckily for us, light bulbs have fast-tracked it to evolutionary nirvana.

The Product. LightFreq is a multi-color, energy efficient LED light bulb with built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and HD Audio controlled by a smartphone app. LightFreq gives consumers and business owners the ability to turn lights on, control dimmers, colors, and other unique abilities. For consumers there is a built-in “follow me” feature which will turn lights on and off as you enter and leave the rooms in your house (as long as your smartphone is with you). The same can be set for audio if you choose to listen to music. Different lighting motifs can be turned on so that LightFreq chooses the colors, which colors to change to, and how fast to change them to the beats of your tunes. Similarly you can set your LightFreq to flash in different colors when you receive a social media notification, text message or phone call. LightFreq also allows you to play God in a neat way with an intercom feature allowing you to speak into a specific LightFreq in another room OR into all LightFreqs in your house at once. LightFreq even works as a morning alarm turning on light, music, or both gradually until you are bopping around in a fresh new day.

The Pitch. LightFreq’s video showcases the many utilities of having the product in your home or business. Devon, Founder of LightFreq, presents his concept of putting sound and light together into one product. The video also features Colin and Rob, chief designers, who explain the importance of putting the best technology into the smallest space to create a powerful speaker. One screen even boasts better sound quality than Beats Pill, but there is no reference data source. Later down the page, Devon hosts a few demos of the product and there’s even a LightFreq soundtrack you can sample. The campaign is looking to raise $50,000 over 30 days on Kickstarter.

The Perks. For just $55 Early Birds can secure their own LightFreq, but a pledge of $70 will take care of late-comers. If you’re interested in the KickStarter special edition, there is a $30 premium for black matte and KickStarter green logo. For $10,000 the founders will come to your business and set up 60 LightFreqs at your office (travel costs not included).

The Potential. Smart lighting has become a very popular concept in the last few years and LightFreq should be able to capture a lot of interest. Backerjack featured a similar product, Whome, with a slightly different design but almost the same functionality as LightFreq. One major difference between the products is that Whome does not use Bluetooth, which could be one of the reasons that the project was ultimately not funded, besides an unnecessarily technical campaign page.