Today we got information about a very interesting startup from Toronto, Ontario in Canada. Earlier, innovation expert Dorothy Steel, from Invest in Ontario, has shared a post about Knitt Labs on Twitter, introducing their new innovative modular IoT power management solution called KnittBar, making their way through the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.
The device is made of building blocks, so you can set the solution up to match any power particular need. Why would you be interested in something like that and not just use a traditional power outlet?
The Knitt Labs team started their ideation and design back in December 2014 and have worked hard to build the prototypes and demo devices. They are now trying their luck on the popular crowdfunding platform Kickstarter and offer everybody to support their project and pre-order the KnittBar.
The WiFi enabled KnittBar can be managed via app and not only report insight on your historic power consumption but it also brings you smart features like scheduling power sources to turn off and the very useful “I-forgot-to-turn-the-iron-off remote switch” that you can trigger when you already left your home.
The KnittBar is seemingly easily set up as per information on their project page on Kickstarter. After ordering your KnittBar components you just download and install the management app, connect and name the modules, start working with your smart power management solution.
The modularity of the KnittBar always allows for one more hot-swappable outlet or extension to be added. Whether you are using this at home or on-the-go, whether professionally or private, this should certainly account for a lot of flexibility.
Having insight in consumption data of devices also can greatly benefit energy-saving projects. You can easily find out which device behaves bad and act on that. Based on your normal power bill, you will never get the insight you need for this kind of project. So that’s a thumbs-up for the KnittBar.
Talking about modularity, let’s have a look what you can build. Next to the main hub, which is the WiFi enabled core of the solution with two smart outlets they also provide you with additional smart outlets to add, USB Type-A QuickCharge 3.0 outlet, environment sensor to check temperature and noise and a surge protector.
If their crowdfunding project is very successful they will also provide additional modules as stretch goals. If that goes well they will be offering WiFi repeater modules, USB Type-C QuickCharge 3.0 modules, Wall outlet adapter and extension cables.
What about the app? This kind of IoT smart devices only get to reach their full potential with proper software to control and manage all connected endpoints. The app is planned to let you control the registered devices remotely – and controlling the power means controlling electronics indirectly. There will be also means to measure consumption and run reports on same to help you identify and reduce energy waste and not only help your wallet but also the environment.
They plan to include scheduling, automation and smart rules as well. Notifications and safety reminders could also be really interesting if implemented well. Finally there will be options as well to integrate with other platforms or software via API or other interfaces. Might be interesting especially for people who like to hack their home with IFTTT and other services.
The Knitt Labs team consists of the founders Shuze Zhao, Imran Rana and Sean Feng. Shuze Zhao, who is primarily involved in the hardware development was so kind to talk with us about the KnittBar today. Upon asking him what his favorite function was he replied the following.
“The most useful feature for me is to check the energy usage of different appliances, and the KnittBar’s flexibility. For example, if I have some guests coming over, I will take all the USB chargers from the KnittBar in other rooms and connect all of them to my living room KnittBar, so all the guests have a USB charging port.” – Shuze Zhao, Co-Founder of Knitt Labs
You can truly feel the spirit of innovation and helpfulness when speaking with the folks from Knitt Labs. If you are interested in IoT, smart devices, saving money, helping the environment, hacking your home or all of the above, you should check out the KnittBar on Kickstarter and support them.
Kickstarter: KnittBar – The Internet of Things (IoT) Power Solution
Photo credit: Knitt Labs
Source: Dorothy Steel (Invest in Ontario) / Shuze Zhao (Knitt Labs)