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SolarGaps turns window decor into solar panels at CES

SolarGaps smart blinds bring power into your home, and the company plans to integrate with Google Home.

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Andrew Gebhart
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Andrew Gebhart

Senior Producer

Andrew loves writing about cool, futuristic technology. He's reviewed everything from vacuum cleaners to beer brewing robots in pursuit of the perfect smart home. He wants the smart home to make him feel powerful, and it's getting there.

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2 min read

Opening the blinds has never been so helpful. On display here at CES in Las Vegas, SolarGaps turns the actual slats of your window coverings into solar panels. SolarGaps blinds will be smart enough to shift their angle slightly throughout the day in order to maximize their power intake. The company also plans to integrate with the Google Home.

I'd love to control solar-powered blinds with my voice using Google's always-listening assistant, but note that Google's smart home language -- Weave -- doesn't actually work with blinds yet. SolarGaps could be extra exciting if it's an indication of a whole new smart home product category for Google Home. Or SolarGaps could be a small tech startup trying to make noise at CES by name-dropping Google. I'm hoping for the former.

Google Home aside, SolarGaps will have iOS and Android apps. The company also wants to integrate with Nest and SmartThings. If your Nest senses it's too cold, it could send a signal to your blinds to let in more light and heat your place naturally.

Check out all the smart home products at CES 2017 (so far)

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SolarGaps has a control box that responds to gestures, and the app has the functionality you'd expect -- basic controls and scheduling. SolarGaps blinds should cost between $480 to $890 per square meter of window, and they don't look the part of high-priced designer blinds. They look like big, black solar panels.

Still, if you prioritize energy and convenience over style, SolarGaps blinds will be worth keeping an eye on, especially if the company can pull off that Google Home integration. SolarGaps will start a crowdfunding campaign in February for a planned release in the middle of the year. (UK and Australian details weren't available, but those prices convert to roughly £390 and £725 or AU$660 and AU£1,220.)

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