Ninja Sphere Environment Controller

Posted: November 29, 2013
$225 - $575
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The next generation of Ninja Blocks, a hackable tech warrior system enabling users to monitor and control their households from afar, has removed all right angles, increased its functionality, and gone balls to the wall Picard with a shiny, bulbous, beatifically bald design. The Ninja Sphere system grants users total environmental authority by tracking and reporting on the goings on in their homes. It can help locate objects...or pets...or children, inform you if something is out of place, monitor temperature, and turn your lights on and off from anywhere within, or miles away from, the house.

Ninja Sphere uses internal sensors and actuators to learn about its users and their environments. With the data it collects, it is able to build a model for household operation that will contact you if something is awry (e.g., a heater left on, a liquor bottle removed from the cabinet), as well as enable regular checkups of the status, usage, and/or consumption of many household systems.

Because Ninja Sphere is open source, almost anybody can write and share a driver to connect a device to a Sphere, and further increase its capabilities. Collaborative efforts have already been developed with many complementary devices, such as Zigbee Light Link & HA, Philips Hue, Spotify, and Pebble.

The Spheramid is the gateway that enables the Ninja Sphere; each Sphere contains one or more Spheramid gateways and location waypoints, plus all connected devices. Gateways include (brief rundowns):

  • WiFi: Monitor and control smart lightbulbs, IP cameras, smart TVs.
  • Bluetooth Classic and Low Energy: Watches, plant sensors, pedometers, power sockets.
  • ZigBee: Home automation, including the potential to read smart energy meters.
  • USB: Itself a tiny computer, the Spheramid USB can plug in cameras, speakers, and Arduino projects, as well as other kinds of radios, such as Z-wave and RF433.

Read much more about, and pledge for your Ninja Sphere on Kickstarter through January 11, 2013. Small, medium, and large household packages and backing levels are available.

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