Former CEDIA CEO and chairman Utz Baldwin’s new project, called Ube, has launched a beta test program for the residential integration channel in an effort to garner feedback on the mobile platform for the connected home company’s new smart Wi-Fi dimmer.
The dimmer works with any major control system, including Crestron, AMX, Savant, Control4, and others. With a full IP stack and published API, the dimmer functions without the need for additional, and costly, hardware. Integrators can offer lighting control at a lower price with no minimum order.
The dimmer replaces a homeowner’s current light switch or “dumb” dimmer to control lighting from either the Ube switch or smartphone app. The smart dimmers cost from $49 to $69 for value or premium models—with an early-bird rate available for the first 500 buyers of the premium models—and the corresponding app is free. They connect with each other to control lighting in a single room or an entire home. Other features include lighting scenes, sub-metering to report and monitor energy consumption, control of any 120-volt dimmable bulb (incandescent, fluorescent, and LED), and an away mode the company said automatically turns lights on and off to imitate their home presence for security purposes.
The dimmers are slated for delivery to start in June 2013. Developers will be able to create their own control apps with an open API Ube intends to publish.
Dealers interested in the beta program are required to pre-order at least one dimmer on Ube’s Indiegogo (crowd-sourced funding) campaign while agreeing to provide feedback for integrating the dimmer with other control systems. Participation in the beta program allows dealers to receive wholesale pricing on subsequent orders with no minimum order requirement.
Ube’s Indiegogo campaign can be found here.
Ube’s control platform incorporates a mobile application for iOS or Android devices and communicates via Wi-Fi while at home or through the company’s software as a service (SaaS) while away from home or away from any of these devices. The system is intended for homes in the $300,000-plus price range, rather than custom estate homes of $750,000 or more that custom integrators typically target.
The company launched in Fall 2012, garnering attention at DEMO Fall, an event that serves as a launchpad for emerging technologies. Ube received the People’s Choice Award and the $1 million IDG media prize at DEMO Fall.
For more of Residential Systems’ initial coverage of Ube, here’s editor Jeremy Glowacki’s take in an October blog.