One of the main technological trends today is virtual reality or VR. This industry made a huge leap in the last few years thanks to a lot of investments from big companies. It’s quite simple to imagine what VR is – you wear a special headset and basically immerse into a virtual reality that surrounds you.
Another perspective and a similar field is augmented reality. AR is based on combination of virtual and real words. Normally, “virtuality” is presented with holograms which can be placed anywhere in the real world. This area isn’t as developed as VR yet. The only functional device here is the Microsoft Hololens, which requires users to wear an expensive headset. However, AR keeps going forward and it’s ready to enter our homes. And that’s exactly what our next product does.
This is Umbo or as it’s called on the official website, “the future of smart homes”. Like many other smart home devices, this one provides you with the opportunity for a simpler lifestyle, but Umbo hopes to do so at a fraction of the cost. So let’s find out more about this peculiar gadget.
Umbo is a small device shaped like a whimsical geometrical figurer or a sophisticated dome. It isn’t big at all, you can actually put it in any room of your house or even at your work office. But why would you do that? Because Umbo provides information in a very advanced and comfortable way.
“…Imagine that you wake up, look up and see your agenda, weather, and emails displayed in your ceiling. You wave your hands to navigate these beautiful displays. As you walk in your kitchen, the news, stocks, or even your Facebook feed are displayed on your wall. As you are leaving the house, Umbo notifies you of a traffic accident and advises you to take another route. This is the future we’re building at Umbo and our open API will allow for endless possibilities over time,” says founder Francisco Saez.
It essentially emulates augmented reality through automated displays and gesture control within your home. If you have multiple Umbos, they will communicate with each other to provide you with a connected experience throughout your house. To achieve this, Umbo is built with an optical engine, a quad-core processor, and a lot of software to control everything that’s going on. Plus, the gadget is packed with multiple sensors including motion, capacitive touch, temperature, and ambient light.
So, you have an augmented reality gadget but what exactly can you do with it? What you want to experience depends totally on you. Umbo connects seamlessly with many of the most popular apps, including Calendar, Gmail, Waze, Facebook, Health and many more.
In order to provide an optimal user experience, Umbo uses machine learning algorithms to automatically customize both the content and the position of the widgets. The company’s goal is that after setting up your preferences and adding your apps during onboarding, you won’t have to interact with your phone again to use Umbo.
So if you don’t need your phone, how do your control the windows? No worries here because Umbo is equipped with intuitive gesture control. There are no complicated instructions – just move your hand left or right to scroll through the windows. Instead of waking up to a 5-inch phone screen every morning, you can now wake up to Umbo and scroll through your agenda, check the sports stats, weather, and traffic, and get ready for a productive day.
The same applies for bedtime. Before going to sleep, we always stare at our smartphones in the dark while reading news or surfing through social media. All of that can change with Umbo. It’s a much more innovative way to relax, and there’s a special Umbo Night Mode that will make sure you get to bed the right way.
One of the biggest benefits of Umbo is it’s open API. In laymen’s terms, this offers the potential to seamlessly integrate with other smart home devices on the market. In addition, this gives users full customization – if you’ve ever wanted to wake up like Iron Man, now you can.
Augmented reality is something that we’re not yet use to, but the team at Umbo is determined to help us become more tech-savvy while making our lives simpler. This compact gadget does exactly that and displays the information you need, in the right place, at the right time. “The future will be ‘interfaceless’ – without the need to interact with physical devices (headsets/ phones/ etc) to get the content we want,” head of ops Jeff Nowak says. “Come build this future with us.”