The development of intelligent household appliances like lights is changing our lives in subtle ways, Australian startup Moore’s Cloud is a good example of how cheap computing, accessible internet and open applications are coming together.
One of the frontiers of technology right now is the internet of things, where machines connect directly to each other, cutting out the requirement for people to monitor them.
Good examples of these devices is the internet connected fridge – which was the poster child for pointless connectivity during tech wreck in the early 2000s but is now standard equipment in hotels, restaurants and hospitals where monitoring stock levels has become wholly automated.
Cheap hardware has driven this trend, as processor prices have tumbled it’s become cost effective to incorporate intelligent systems into almost every household device. Everything from the kettle to the washing machine now has some sort of CPU in it.
Moore’s Cloud is a good example of how the internet of machines is coming together. A simple cube shaped device has the electronic smarts to connect with other lights and be controlled by software apps.
Being able to create is important as the software interfaces – the APIs – are open which people to write programs that take advantage of the light’s features. A video from the Moore’s Cloud builders showcases twelve of the apps which have been developed so far which include weather forecasting, night lights and changing moods.
Having an ‘ecosystem’ of apps is now driving innovation in consumer electronics. The iPhone started the app revolution and now everything from stereo systems to lights are being controlled by them. Devices that don’t have open APIs are at risk of being left behind.
With systems being open to interested designers, anybody can create their own way of controlling device which opens the way for some innovative, left of field ideas.
In many respects, Moore’s Cloud is one of the early wave of smart features we’re going to see in the next generation of household appliances that will change how we use these tools.
The team behind Moore’s Cloud is still raising money for the project through Kickstarter, their campaign finishes this Friday. Hopefully they’ll meet their targets and take the project further.