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Control your connected home with a wave of your hand

Hayo's gesture-controlled remote works like an Amazon Echo for hand motions.
David Lumb
David Lumb|@OutOnALumb|February 7, 2017 11:00 AM

The IoT-powered smart home has caught the tech world's fancy for years, promising domestic command at your fingertips. But beyond set-and-forget environmental preferences, connected devices are usually configured via smartphone app or voice-controlled through a hub. But if you want to flick on your IoT machines with a wave or table tap, Hayo has launched an Indiegogo campaign to bring spatial remotes to your living room.

Each Hayo device is a camera-equipped cylinder you park in a corner of a room. Turn it on, connect it to WiFi, and it will scan the area, creating a spatial map. You can use its dedicated smartphone app to assign specific triggers corresponding to particular places in the room: Tap the end of the table to flick off the lights, wiggle your hand in front of the TV to turn it on, and so on.

Of course, it'll still take a minute to link your web of devices and corresponding activation areas, and perhaps tapping your bookshelf might be more of a hassle than walking over to fiddle with the thermostat yourself. It's also unclear just how fine the gesture control is: Will I accidentally turn off the lights if I dance into its assigned signal window? Is the system sensitive enough to tell that I'm making the wrong hand shape?

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Regardless of its sensitivity, there's no denying the potential to create a masterful setup, like waving to turn on the coffeepot while you're still in bed or rearranging controls around your workspace so you don't have to get up to change the room temperature. Finally, this could be a very cool IoT-controlling alternative to voice-control hardware like Echo or Dot for the deaf or vocally-impaired. Or those of us who feel bad yelling at our devices. (They're trying so hard, you guys.)

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Control your connected home with a wave of your hand