In 2011, an Aussie startup created its namesake invention: Ninja Blocks. These smart sensors promised to add a little brains to the average home. With motion and temperature sensors as well as an open-source infrastructure connected to your smartphone, they've done just that. But for the folks at Ninja Blocks, that just wasn't enough.
Smartphones are fine and dandy, but to create a truly intelligent home, Ninja Blocks wanted to create an infrastructure that was aware of the goings on within its walls and could function without the need of an all-controlling app. And that, in a nutshell, is what Ninja Sphere does. By coordinating the Ninja Blocks in each room and signals from smart devices, Ninja Sphere can pretty much tell exactly what is going on anywhere in your home at a given time.
Receiving a text message can prompt a notification on your TV which tells you who's texted and where you left your phone. If the cat's trying to pry into a bag of treats, you'll know it right away. You can even be made aware if you've left some power-hungry appliance on in a room nobody has been in for a while. Tags connected to your valuables will inform you if they start being moved without your knowledge.
Any of these notifications can be sent to your smartphone as with the Ninja Blocks alone, but there's also a new hub, called the "The Spheramid" which can also function as your smart home's interface. Looking like something Salvador Dali might have had around the house, The Spheramid is a gesture-controlled hub that can control any smart-connected device at the wave of your hand. As ever with Ninja Blocks, The Ninja Sphere system is open source, assuring you that whatever new smart device that comes down the chute will also be compatible with it in the future.
Each Spheramid houses Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Zigbee connectivity, but can also be connected to other devices via USB. The entire system is designed to be as customizable and forward compatible as possible. Ninja Sphere apartment kits are currently available via Ninja Blocks' Kickstarter page for $249, with larger home kits available at $449, though supplies are limited. Ninja Sphere blew past its funding goal in just 36 hours, so we can't quite guarantee those prices or availability for that much longer. What we can say is that Ninja Sphere looks like a very cool way to smarten up your average dim-witted home for the foreseeable future.