Posted By Simon Montford on Jan 13, 2015
If you're anything like me, there are occasions when after leaving the house, you suddenly realise that you've forgotten to switch off an electrical item. The feeling of anxiousness is further amplified if the device in question is a heater, iron or any other domestic appliance that's capable of causing fire damage. Well the Internet of Things could solve this problem once and for all as a growing number of home automation systems become commercially available.
One such home automation product is Linkio. Its creators recently raised €60,175 (£47,000) on Kickstarter, exceeding their campaign target.
If you're a fan of Franglais you'll love the Linkio! If not, well you're out of luck, because all the system’s components have names such as “Le Hub”, which is the Linkio's control unit, the “Le Remote,” which is, yes you guessed it, a remote infra-red controller, and a “Le Plug”, which is a connected plug that allows any domestic appliance to be switched on and off via the accompanying free mobile app (Android, iOS and Windows). Oh and there's also a “Le Switch”, which is a component that can be used to switch lights and ceiling fans on and off via the app. The RRP of the complete system will be around €99 (£77.50), however you can pre-order your very own "Le Discover Pack", which starts from €75 (£60), while stocks last. The Linkio's estimated delivery date is October 2015, international shipping will be offered when the product becomes commercially available.
There are already several major players offering similar "open" home automation solutions such as Samsung's SmartThings that runs on ZWave, and Zigbee, as well as a growing number of similar systems from companies like Belkin (WeMo), Google (Nest) and Apple (HomeKit). Choice is of course good for the consumer, but not so good for smaller players like Linkio and Webee, that have an increasing number of formidable competitors, not just Google and Apple to contend with! Their only chance may be to focus on geographic territories where Google and Apple et al are less dominant.
Anyway, we wish this charming and elegantly designed little French creation the best of luck, or should we say "bonne chance mes amis", as it's always good to have niche options available - vive la différence!
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