(Tech Xplore)—A California-based tech company Brilliant on Wednesday announced Brilliant Control, and in so doing showed its ambitions in the smart home marketplace.
This is a lighting solution that dips into home control, from lighting that wakes you up to your stepping into the kitchen to hear a weather report on the radio, to a system for climate control. In other words, it is a lighting system working with other systems.
Brilliant replaces an existing light switch and in so doing enables access to smart home products such as Sonos and Nest.
You get functions of a basic switch with a touchscreen that allows you to do a lot more.
The touchscreen that you get as your path to home control functions is a 5" LCD touch display with 720x1280 resolution. Joe Rossignol in MacRumors said the touchscreen offers swipe-based lighting, music, and climate controls.
"Swipe your finger up/down on the screen to turn lights on/off or adjust dimming," said Brilliant.
The company said that anyone in the household can swipe up/down on the screen or use the touch sliders to adjust lights, similar to flipping on a light switch.
The video said it installs in 5 to 10 minutes (as configuring the panel takes no more than that amount of time).
What is noteworthy too is that Amazon Alexa is built in; that means one can ask for information such as news, sports and weather. According to the company, each Brilliant Control has a microphone and a speaker, allowing you to control it using voice commands. You can use their native voice control ("Hey, Brilliant...turn on the lights"), or also access Amazon Alexa Voice Services ("Alexa, what's the weather today?").
Brilliant's site said that "On the top of the Brilliant Control is the motion sensor, an ambient light sensor, and a camera with a physical privacy slider for added peace of mind. The camera is currently only used for the video intercom between Brilliant Controls."
Another highlighted characteristic of Brilliant's product is what is not included: there is no mobile app necessary, and in turn you don't need to be carrying a smartphone around the house.
"Requiring a mobile phone and apps to adjust your environment is clumsy, and for guests or children, it's impossible. But every available system in the market costs tens of thousands of dollars and takes weeks to install, and still doesn't bring control to every room. We knew there had to be a better solution," said Aaron Emigh, co-founder and chief executive officer of Brilliant.
The product comes in different colors; the company is taking pre-orders. They said they are offering the first 10,000 units for pre-order at a discount, due to ship in late Summer 2017.
An earlybird price is $149, and it is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled to connect with the other smart home devices.
Brilliant also announced Wednesday that Brilliant Control is one of the new products to be featured at the reopening Target Open House, a connected products concept store in San Francisco
CNET shared its observations on Brilliant announcement. "Brilliant's Alexa integration is a nice touch, as are its many other smart home integrations. But since it's aiming to centralize the smart home, the Brilliant Control has a steep hill to climb if it wants to beat the Amazon Echo at its own game with its own assistant."
Brett Williams in Mashable: "Out of all the home appliances you'd expect could be smart-ified as part of the connected home, the classic light switch might be last on the list... but when you add some connectivity and a color display (who doesn't love touch screens?) it can become a smart light switch system that controls the whole house."
Brilliant was founded by Aaron Emigh, Steven Stanek and Jeremy Hiatt. They are experienced technology entrepreneurs from the mobile industry.