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Smart Home

Universal smart-home control packed into Nuimo's innocuous disc

Click it, turn it, or swipe Nuimo to manipulate all of your connected Bluetooth devices.

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Senic

Nuimo wants to move the focal point of your smart home away from your smartphone. The disc shaped controller from tech startup Senic will allow you to have fun with tech without being glued to a screen.

Theoretically compatible with any Bluetooth Low Energy device, and already boasting more than 30 integrations with other devices and apps, you can supposedly click Nuimo to turn your Philips Hue lights on, rotate its outer dial to change the volume of your Sonos speaker, or swipe across its surface to set your Nest thermostat.

A puck full of tricks

Nuimo is an all-in-one smart home controller with ready made functionality for a wide variety of smart home and entertainment devices, and it lets you control one or many simultaneously through its clever foursome of inputs. In addition to the click, turn, and swipe, you can gesture across the surface or up and down toward it. It'll use its infrared sensors to track your motion and respond accordingly.

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Senic

Each of these inputs can be mapped to the controls of any compatible app or device. You'll have to do some setup on your smartphone to get started, and any customization of gestures will happen via the app, but then, you should be able to put your phone aside and use Nuimo as a remote control for your smart home.

Availability

Currently being funded on Kickstarter, some pre-order discounts are still available for Nuimo. Senic is a German company, so the prices are listed in euros, with the US dollar approximation displayed underneath. At retail, the price will be around $200, which translates roughly to £129 and AU$252 in the UK and Australia.

Nuimo will only be shipped to certain countries, and the Kickstarter page doesn't list which ones, but the US pricing gives a clear indication it's intended for the States, and going to the UK shouldn't be a big stretch from Germany since Senic is planning to ship internationally anyway.

A full dance card

Currently, the possibilities of using this little puck as a central smart-home interface has me excited. It's listed Nest, Philips Hue, Lockitron, WeMo , SmartThings and others as compatible brands, with Soundcloud, Spotify, Youtube, and Netflix among compatible apps.

With each device, you can use the different input possibilities for detailed controls. One of the promo videos shows you can dim lights with the wheel, and change to different preset colors with a swipe. In theory, you can train each of the inputs to interact with a different device, so you can multitask seamlessly.

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The LEDs on top will let you know which device you have selected. Senic

You can also switch between your available devices by long pressing to open a quick access menu, and scrolling between your options with swipes. The top of Nuimo uses LEDs to display the symbol for your selection, so if it works as planned, you'll be able to autonomously manage a number of different options once setup is complete without ever having to pull out your phone.

Crowding concerns

Some of my excitement for Nuimo is tempered by the fact that it's currently undergoing its second crowdfunding campaign. Late last year, Senic used IndieGogo to garner funds for a product then called Flow. The campaign was a success. In fact, Senic raised more than five times its monetary goal.

Thankfully, Nuimo's current campaign acknowledges the previous one, and says that money helped improve the hardware. Yet the new device images don't look much different, and the reason given for both campaigns has been hardware cost and device certification.

Nuimo lists more integrations than Flow did, so Senic looks to have made some improvements, but a second campaign certainly lends doubt to the company's ability to estimate costs, at the very least. Not that Nuimo smells like a scam, crowdfunded products are often delayed, and manufacturing costs can change. In fact, Senic hasn't yet missed the first expected delivery date for the initial Indiegogo backers.

Those dates are staggered from June to August, so Senic is smartly allowing time for multiple batches of production. Ordering now on Kickstarter gets you an expected due date of October.

Outlook

Delays could be on the way, especially if Senic is still locking down material and assembly costs. Once Nuimo does arrive, it will need responsive controls and near instantaneous device reaction to convince people to step away from the phone. It's promising a lot, and thus has a lot to prove to meet expectations and be the smart home controller we're looking for.

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