As described earlier a bit my idea is to have a small module you connect to your existing blinds. The module connects to your wifi and can take for example parse your alarm clock on your mobile.

 

I met up with an old friend who’s studying in Linköping to get some feedback on my idea. He has released several apps on the Play Store that have given him a fair income in parallell with his studies. I haven’t had any contact with him for pretty long but when I heard about his interest in apps I thought this would be a great opportunity to hang out. The most useful feedback from him was that I should sketch the logic and start coding right away, according to his experience the code gets much better if you code in intervals and let the code lie on the shelf for a while to ripe (and your brain to come up with better solutions). This seems reasonabe, have had similar experiences in other tasks ( engine problems, electrical system faults etc.) so I will bear this in mind.

 

I have loosely thought about this idea for maybe a year, and brought it up sometimes. My girlfriend told me she had spoken about it to her girlfriends and they said that they would gladly buy it if it was available. So I met with two of her friends, two students at Karolinska Institutet. Their feedback consisted mostly of expected features and ease of use. They pressed the issue with people that don’t like complicated installations and configurations. The idea is that the screw holes and dimensions should be the same, you should be able to install the module by using the existing screws and holes and then just plugging in the 12V-adapter. I have since my meeting with them thought a bit more about configuration, how to make it as easy as possible? I have looked a lot at how Google have made the configuration for their popular Chromecast, where you have an app that guides you through every step.

 

I also got feedback from a friend working at Ericssons R&D department. The most valuable feedback I got from him was something I have earlier thought of but avoided! All the regulations  when developing and selling an electrical product. You have to meet ROHS and CE requirements, affiliate with different envinronment and recycling organizations ( EE-registry, EL-kretsen, REPA).  That is a lot of research needed if someone plan on doing a venture all by himself! Quite overwhelming..

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2 Thoughts on “Feedback for ”IoT Blinds”  

  1. Avatar AxelHeumannBauerWerin on October 27, 2014 at 10:38 pm said:

    Sorry for the late feedback (I blame the exam period). I was just wondering about the price. For something to connect to your wifi wouldn’t it have to cost quite a bit? And if you have several blinds in your apartment?

    Are you sure that internet is the best medium? Is it the cheapest? I was thinking about these I saw at Kjell&Co the other day:
    http://www.kjell.com/sortiment/el/el-produkter/starkstrom/fjarrstrombrytare/manuell/fjarrstrombrytare-p50219#ProductDetailedInformation
    The product might use a similar technique to simplify the module?

    • Avatar David Sandman on October 27, 2014 at 11:05 pm said:

      I suspect the module would cost 500-1500 SEK.

      The alternatives that do not use WIFI, use Z-wave or other networks and then you first need their proprietary router for about 2-5 KSEK and then a blind-motor-module (500 SEK) and blind motor (500-1000 SEK) plus the cost of an electrician to connect it. If you plan on connecting electrical outlets, temp sensors in a whole house etc then the big investment might be interesting, but not if you only plan on making some blinds in your apartment “smarter” 🙂

      About the link you gave, that “network” still need a bridge (about 1000 SEK) to be able to work with mobile devices or internet (to have “smart” blinds) and to that you would have to add a blinds module (none commercially available yet) to the cost (which would be similar to my product).

      Mostly why I choose WLAN is because many homes have them, you only need to buy one thing and you are ready to go. No need for electricians, special routers or servers, extensive configuration etc.

      Thank you for your input!

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