I Was Wrong About Myxyty, the Impossibly Tall Home Automation Hub
I made fun of the modular Myxyty IoT hub in a CES 2016 presentation, but the smart-home system has a clever industrial design and some interesting options like ‘olfactory ambiance.’
Julie Jacobson · March 8, 2016
In my Ultimate Guide to Home Automation at CES 2016, I tried to cover virtually every new smart-home product at the show … in 60 minutes or less.
So I stumbled across this IoT tower called MyxyPod from a company called Myxyty and couldn’t help but mock the do-all device. It reminded me of the short-lived Revolv hub. Like Revolv, Myxyty promised to be everything to everybody.
What long-time home automation reporter wouldn’t chortle in a knowing sort of way?
In fact, I led my discussion of Myxyty with, “This is not a joke.”
And then I quoted from the Myxyty literature, “Music, atmospheric lighting, safety, e-health, energy efficiency, home automation … Everything is linked to the user from everywhere.”
As it turns out, the joke was on me, because now that I see Myxyty presented in a different way, I think I like this monster as a model for modular home-control. And so, I admit it, I was wrong.
After all, it would be cynical of me to laud the modular ZipaBox from Zipato, and then dismiss the MyxyPod, which actually seems like a more capable and consumer-friendly version of ZipaBox -- if it works, of course. And that's a big if.
Billed as a “smart home speaker,” the MyxyPod starts with a Web-connected cylinder that looks just like an Amazon Echo but a little more fashionable with orange highlights.
From there, users can remove the “lid” and slide in new pucks to add capabilities to the tower. And Myxyty certainly offers -- or promises to offer -- a lot of these modules (below, and in gallery).
I can’t comment on the usability of this product, but I like the form factor. Personally, I wish I could add a Z-Wave pod or night light to my own Amazon Echo.
At the end of the day, you can sell a cheaper hub with many of these superfluous features built in, or you can start with some basic functionality – like a 360-degree speaker – and invite consumers to spend more money to build on it.
I think option No. 2 is a more profitable endeavor. Consumers must make deliberate decisions to add more functionality. Those decisions turn into action, which keeps the customers engaged in their smart-home project. The more engaged they are, the more they buy.
Smart Modules for MyxyPod
MyxyPod isn't shipping, and it's unclear whether Myxyty actually plans to make and sell the product. There is no master list of add-on-modules, but the company has mentioned or illustrated these pods and features at various times:
- 360-degree speaker that supports Deezer, Spotify and DLNA, as well as multiroom distribution
- Hard drive
- Back-up battery
- Perfume diffuser ("olfactory ambiance")
- RGB light that can pulsate with the music
- Speech recognition
- RF: Zwave, Zigbee, Bluetooth, WiFi, X2D (868 Mhz) and "many more coming soon"
- Video projector
Who is Myxyty?
Myxyty founder Olivier Courtade got is start in the "smart home" with the "first car alarm system with GPS and remote stop of the vehicle," according to the Website. He sold that original company to Cobra in 2001.
He went on to launch an M2M platform-development company called M2M Solution in 2005, and in 2008 started Myxyty to implement M2M's technology.
More Interesting Industrial Designs for the Smart Home
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org
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