Hook wants to help you connect your existing home appliances to the Internet without breaking the bank.
The new startup, which recently finished as runner-up at last month’s University of Washington Environmental Innovation Challenge, just launched a Kickstarter for its small device that makes outlet adapters and bulb sockets “smart.”
These inexpensive adapters and bulb sockets typically come with a remote control that allow users to turn their lamps, coffee makers, window fans, and other electrical appliances on and off with a press of a button.
Hook, meanwhile, turns your smartphone into a remote, which is useful when you can’t seem to find the remote itself or when you aren’t in range of a connected appliance.
Hook’s small Internet-connected “hub” device plugs into a power source inside your home and communicates with the remote-controlled devices, allowing users to control power wherever they are in the world with the Hook app.
The company’s tagline is “home automation on a budget.”
“We found that the two key reasons the general population hasn’t adopted smart home technology are cost and complexity,” explained co-founder Robert Mohele. “We have broken down these barriers by operating with inexpensive, commercially available RF-devices and being plug-and-play — Hook is retrofittable into existing residences with no tools or technical know-how required.”
Hook is also compatible with IFTTT, which lets you schedule when a lightbulb or other appliance should turn on and off. Mohele said that the closest competitor to Hook is the Belkin Wemo, which he said is more expensive and restricted to just outlet control.
Hook has raised just over $10,000 of its $25,000 funding goal with 21 days remaining on the Kickstarter campaign.