Solar-powered system automatically opens and closes window blinds
Opening and closing your blinds is such a trivial process that you may never have thought about automating it, but it can make your home more energy efficient and secure. A new device called the FlipFlic allows users to automate existing blinds and control them via an accompanying mobile app.
The FlipFlic lets people maximize the amount of natural light in their home, regulate its temperature, give the impression of someone always being at home, and save lighting, air conditioning and heating energy. The app, for Android or iOS, connects to the device via Bluetooth 4.0 and allows users to open or close their blinds at the push of a button or based on sunlight, temperature or schedule.
The device itself is said to be quick to install, with users needing only to detach the existing wand that is rotated to open or close blinds and attach the FlipFlic in its place. It will work with blinds up to 60 in (152 cm) wide and comes with adapters to help ensure it fits the base of the wand. A version for blinds that are controlled by cords or strings is said to be in the works.
The FlipFlic is provided with a solar panel via which it can be entirely powered. The panel is attached to the inside of the window and charges a 500+ mAh battery using a standard MicroUSB cable. There's no need for the device to be connected to the mains or charged via any other means than the panel, but it can be and would purportedly require charging only once every 30 days if used without the solar panel.
There are different FlipFlic models for horizontal (Venetian) and vertical blinds. In addition, the device features light and temperature sensors and can be integrated with other smart home systems.
A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for the FlipFlic is under way. At the time of writing, individuals who pledge from US$60 can receive one of the devices, assuming all goes to plan with the campaign and roll-out. Shipping is expected from January next year.
The video below is the Kickstarter pitch for the FlipFlic.