IMPORTANT: I have been encouraged to create a new topic on this project. Advertising is not intended, but information on the project and to get feedback from the community.
For the App go here: [APP][Pro] smpl products - Battery powered e-ink display
I am a smart home enthusiast and dedicated Homey user with a passion to show that not everything tech should originate from China or the US.
I have selected a European IoT development company as well as an experienced Dutch Homey app developer @Koktail to create the first customizable display device which is also specifically built for the Homey platform.
The idea initially came from my own demand which I quickly realized was like many others in the community: to make all the data from our smart homes available and visible to everyone and everywhere in the household.
Not a dashboard, although this would also be great, but a small versatile screen to show a few but highly relevant data.
You can already today find e.g., sensors with a small screen, but we often have many sensors in the same room or would like to show data from devices in other locations. And data is contextual: different data are often relevant at different times, situations etc.
I also have a LaMetric Time and a Google Nest Hub showing HomeyDash, but they are big, bulky, require power outlet, wifi/cloud etc.
> I need something simple, small, thin, elegant and versatile. Something to potentially put in every room, on the wall besides a switch, on a table or a shelf, blending in without standing out. That’s also what my wife is saying
So, it must be battery powered to place anywhere. It should be slim to stick on the wall. It must be able to communicate directly with Homey without yet another hub. It must be small, yet clear enough to be visible on a distance in bright daylight as well as evening lighting. And it must integrate perfectly with the Homey platform utilizing its connectivity and power of Flows.
That is what we are building. E-ink for power efficiency, slimness and clarity. Zigbee is also power efficient and integrates well with Homey. Imagine the Aqara TVOC sensor with almost double screen area combined with a Philips Hue Dimmer Switch magnetic wall-mount. And the ability to switch between portrait and landscape orientation. We are heavily prototyping now and will have our first field-test in January. If everything goes as planned, the first production series will be available sometime April.
There are many obstacles to overcome. The current global component crisis is imminent. But also, other practical issues, such as balancing battery lifetime (goal is at least 3-6 months with average minute-by-minute updates) and screen performance. Adding an extra color to e-ink increase refreshrate heavily and impact the ability to partial update the screen. Perhaps we will have to go for black/white/greyscale at the current e-ink technology. And a big thing is keeping cost down to make an affordable device. Homey is an expanding community, but still a small market to develop a bespoke device for.
I will update again soon. But in the meantime. Please don’t hesitate to leave any comments. What do you think about the project? What use-cases could you imagine/do you already have for this device?