Silk Labs May Have Just Built The Best Smart Home Hub Yet

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Silk Labs Sense Technology, which can identify who has just entered the room in your home may be about to revolutionise the smart home hub, arguably the most important component of any smart home. They enter the fray to compete with devices like the Hive Hub, Samsung SmartThings and arguably the likes of the Amazon Echo, which is ostensibly a bluetooth enabled smart speaker but is in reality so much more.

Smart Homes are currently a bit dumb

Silk Labs are entering a market place which is built up as the next big genre of consumer technology, yet the popular press have not been won over. For many, the smart home is quite simply not smart enough – yet.

Last July, the Register argued that smart homes are dumb. In truth, The Register were building their case with a backwards view, looking back to 2012 when the genre barely existed and were analysing the state of the nation midway through 2015, which proceeded the real explosion in this technology which began as recently as January this year (at CES). However they form some good views and their points made around the apps not having enough learning capability is not in-valid.

The Daily Telegraph attacked the subject much more recently – this January – and came to a startlingly similar conclusion. Their take is that the technology is running away from the consumer, who they argue are not yet ready for the technology nor have they identified a true user case for a kettle that hooks into the Internet of Things. In some cases we have to agree, and it can feel like we’re seeing a explosion in technology for technologies sake.

On balance, we can probably emphasise most with the sentiment expressed in this McAffe blog post. The company made famous for their anti-virus tech, have made valid points around the limitations found in devices like the Amazon Echo.

So what we’re seeing really is the need for a better smart home hub. Which is the market that Silk Labs have arrived to tackle.

Silk Labs Sense Technology can add some real brains to the Smart Home Hub

The sentiment in the articles referenced above, and countless others is that the smart home is lacking a ‘brain’ – a brain with the real firepower to learn, analyse and then connect all of these devices. As it stands today, we see a disparate group of so called connected devices, which do all connect to the web but which do not inter-connect spectacularly well with one-another.

Silk Labs have some serious brain power of their own behind them too, not least the former CTO of Firefox, Andreas Gal. Gal, according to CNET, left his chief technology officer job at Firefox to start Silk Labs, adding some serious pedigree to the company he would later found. Gal wants to “make your house as smart as your smartphone,”

What does the Silk Lab Sense Hub do?

Based out of San Mateo, California the company will be showing off their creation at Mobile World Congress which commences on Monday in Barcelona, Spain.

Their product has some cool sensing technology, which adds a degree of home automation to the hub which we have not yet seen in-market.

The ‘Sense’ hooks into your wifi and as the name alludes, senses when you enter the room. This then allows it to trigger various connected IoT devices based on what the ‘Sense’ has seen. It also throws in some facial recognition stuff, which pens up the possibility to do some really smart personalisation stuff.

You could imagine a scenario where the device could for example recognise that daddy has gotten home, and that he likes the home warmer, and that he also likes a coffee when he gets back at midday on a saturday. The device may know that it is a bit dark in the kitchen, so fires up the light for him, and that he may also want to cook lunch, so it starts the oven up to reach temperature. An extreme example, but nothing there couldn’t be done if all of the devices mentioned are connected up.

Learn more about the Silk Labs Sense

If you’re heading over to MWC, then be sure to check out what these clever folks are up to. Otherwise, the Silk Labs’ Sense, for sale through Kickstarter with a starting cost of $225, is already available to get involved with on Kickstarter. The base product, costing a little north of £100, comes with a camera to identify who’s in a room and with a Bluetooth network to help detect if you’ve left the house.