The Tech Bet

Lighting up a room with the wave of your hand

Tech Yeah! Handsfree light switches
Tech Yeah! Handsfree light switches

A new fixture to control lighting and electronics could be in smart homes this fall if Kickstarter users are impressed enough.

Using a proximity sensor, tech startup iOn Switching has developed iOn, a gadget that can replace a wall-mounted lightswitch and be used with a wave of the hand to turn on and off and dim lights. It can also control fans, electric fireplaces and other devices that plug into a wall, according to the company.

Source: iOn

Electronics equipped with iOn switching can also be operated using a mobile app available on iOS and Android devices.

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Proximity sensors are already being used to control lighting and other electronics in homes, and are made by the likes of electronics giants like Panasonic and sold in stores like Home Depot, but they can be complicated to install.

iOn Switching, and competing firm, Anigmo, whose devices focus on lighting specifically, hope that swapping out a light switch for one of their gadgets will be simple enough for the average consumers to do on their own.

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If crowd-funding through Kickstarter permits, iOn Switching expects to make its gadget available for sale this fall for $60, and the company hopes to sell the devices at home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe's.

Anigmo's devices, which aren't controlled by their own smart phone app, are priced between $59 and $159. Anigmo is also seeking funding to bring its devices to more stores across North America, but chose the more traditional venture capital route as opposed to Kickstarter.