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Mui's wooden smart display is an elegant way to control your home

A natural way to keep tabs on connected devices.
Nathan Ingraham
January 6, 2019
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Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

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One of the challenges with building smart home gadgets is making things that comfortably fit into peoples' homes. Japanese company Mui has come up with a seemingly elegant solution: a touch-sensitive, LED light display built into a piece of wood. Mui first launched its product on Kickstarter in October and met its goal, and today they're showing it off at CES.

Based on the limited demo they were able to show here, it seems like a pretty clever product -- it can give you an overview of various devices in your home including thermostats, lights and a Sonos One speaker. You can adjust temperature, play and pause music, or turn various lights on and off straight from the Mui's touch interface; swiping across it shows cycles through different devices it can control.

Because it's also a "smart display" (not entirely unlike the Google Home Hub), it's capable of displaying other information without needing to be hooked up to specific smart home devices. Mui says it can pull in weather information, messages, world time and so forth. When not in use, it's literally just a blank slab of wood, but tapping it lights up the "screen" to show what you're looking for. And it also has Google Assistant built-in -- and if you don't want it to respond out loud, it can display text responses instead.

Mui says that its display will be shipping to its Kickstarter backers by September of this year -- but as its campaign has already closed, there's currently no other way to place an order. Hopefully that'll change soon, as this seems like one of the more elegant ways to integrate this kind of technology into your home.

Follow all the latest news from CES 2019 here!

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