May 17, 2012
| by Rachel Cericola
We just mentioned this morning that home automation is on the rise. Electric Imp is hoping to further that trend by announcing Imp, a cloud-based home automation system.
According to the company, Imp is “a new approach to monitoring and controlling real things using the Internet.” It’s basically a little user-installable card that can be put into almost any product.
The card includes both Wi-Fi and an embedded processor, which allows the device to talk to other devices and communicate with users and services via the Internet. Once the device is connected, a user can monitor and control it from almost anywhere in the world using a web browser or web-enabled smartphone.
Electric Imp says that Imp-enabled devices can be linked for a variety of tasks. For instance, you can receive a text when it’s time to switch the laundry or maybe use a solar-powered soil moisture sensor to turn on an automated watering system in the garden.
“Until now, creating connected devices was a huge challenge for any vendor,” said Hugo Fiennes, founder and CEO of Electric Imp. “Connected devices were expensive, didn’t play well with others, and were generally disappointing to the consumer. Electric Imp changes all this by bringing the power of an easy to use, cloud-based service to almost any device and allowing the internet to interact with everyday objects.”
Besides the Imp card, Electric Imp also announced backing by Redpoint Ventures, who have invested $7.9 million (via TechCrunch) in the project.
Just don’t expect to see the Imp card on shelves anytime soon. Electronic Imp is planning to release a developer preview bundle in late June. That will allow manufacturers to test out the product and make devices Imp-compatible.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.