FAQ - SmartBug

FAQ

We’ve got As to your Qs!

What is SmartBug made of?

FR4 which is composed of woven fiberglass cloth with an epoxy resin binder that is flame resistant (self-extinguishing). The semiconductors are made of mostly silicon and other rare metals, such as gold.

If I connect it to my older generation washing machine, how does it interface to turn the washer on once the power is connected?

Every washing machine and dishwasher has a reprise function built-in, that restarts the programmed cycle in the event of a power outage. When you program a washing cycle and the power goes out, the appliance will restart where it's left off as soon as the power comes back. We exploit this functionality to make the appliance smart in a seamless way. Think about the way you normally use your washing machine: you take your laundry to the washing machine, load it, set the program and start the machine. At this point you can press on the SmartBug switch and cut the power. This is when the SmartBug’s magic starts: you can download and install the washing machine smart-plugin, that lets you set a preferred time range for washing (e.g. when power cost is lower), set a timer to delay the wash, etc. You can of course override the settings of the smart-plugin either from the smartphone app or touching the smartbug switch. If you own a smart appliance its interfacing with SmartBug will depend on the brand/protocol it adopts as we plan to cover major brands first. Being SmartBug an open platform it will also be extended by third parties, through the development of smart-plugins that will make the ecosystem compatible with many other devices.

Is it compatible with Home Kit?

So far, we are compatible with the major home assistants (Google and Amazon) but we plan to include HomeKit. Furthermore, being that SmartBug is an open platform, it will also be extended by third parties, through the development of smart-plugins that will make it compatible with many other devices. Thanks to these smart-plugins, either a third party developer or ourselves - in-house - will be able to integrate many other features, including eventually the compatibility with HomeKit.

What is so special about this compared to SmartThings?

There are two points that really make SmartBug stand out compared to SmartThings. Firstly in order to use SmartThings, you have to fit your home with devices that are compatible with its communication protocol (such as Philips Hue or Samsung’s washing machines). This limitation doesn’t apply to SmartBug since it is an open platform and can thus be extended with endless capabilities, through the development of smart-plugins. This means that it will also be extended by third parties that can develop compatibility smart-plugins that will connect to other devices and standards. This point is really important, since at this time there is no other competitor that offers this possibility. On the other hand, SmartBug is a one-device-fit-all-needs platform, because it includes all hardware capabilities to act as any of the single SmartThings devices, that are specialized to a single function. What I mean by this is that a single SmartBug can be a smart thermostat, a power meter, a touch switch, a timer, a remote control and many other things, depending on the set of smart-plugins installed on it.

So what makes this any different from a $20 broadlink?

SmartBug includes hardware capabilities to act as any of the single smart devices that are only specialized to one exclusive function. This means that - depending on the set of smart plugins installed on the device - one single SmartBug can function not only as a touch switch but also as a smart thermostat, a timer, a power meter, a remote control, etc.

Does it require a hub?

Actually our product requires no hub because every single SmartBug can act as a hub itself and can control a specific function. Thanks to the use of swarm intelligence, each SmartBug can communicate with one another and complete the tasks correctly. This means that with SmartBug there will be no single point of failure and the ecosystem is fault-tolerant, translating in a very reliable and flexible system.

Why wouldn’t you just use an app?

The remote control feature was especially thought for Apple users since iPhones or iPads don’t have the built-in IR blaster. SmartBug is an ecosystem: ten SmartBugs can make a smart home by controlling the heating, air conditioning, televisions, washing machine, irrigation, lighting, gates, curtains, and much more. Furthermore, being that SmartBug is an open platform, it will also be extended by third parties, through the development of smart-plugins that will make it compatible with many other devices.

So, what is it?

SmartBug is a wall switch that can make your house smart without having to change anything more than the switches. It includes hardware capabilities to act as any of the single smart devices that are only specialized to one exclusive function. This means that - depending on the set of smart plugins installed on the device - one single SmartBug can function not only as a touch switch but also as a smart thermostat, a timer, a power meter, a remote control, etc.

What’s so unique about this product compared to the alternatives on the market?

SmartBug is very different from other solutions offered. Its uniqueness stands in the fact that it’s compatible with all products and devices already existing in the market (smart and dumb). It’s an enabling infrastructure that offers horizontal solutions to the domotic ecosystem.

Can it “learn” like Nest, or use sensors or even phone proximity to detect a user and perform an action?

Yes. The system has sensors and is able to detect the user from his/her smartphone and perform an action. It can learn from the user’s behavior and surely can handle scenarios (we are adding a few scenarios ourselves).

Will it be compatible with Lutron’s products?

We will be surely integrated with Lutron’s products, giving that they are open to systems created by third parties so as to significantly raise the functionality of their technologies.

Will SmartBug help me save money in terms of taxes and various fees?

SmartBug can help you save energy and therefore save money on your electric bills. Through it you can monitor your power usage and help you track faulty appliances. If an appliance or device connected to SmartBug is consuming too much energy the device will warn you.