We have all seen in Hollywood movies how lights in a room can be controlled by hand claps or Artificial Intelligence (AI) and wondered whether we can ever avail of such things. Picostone, a Mumbai-based startup, lets you do that — you can now control the switches and electrical gadgets installed at home, from your phone, even if you are away.
The device which allows you to control your household gadgets using your smartphone is called Picostone Basic. It is a small box measuring 87mm x 57mm which sits inside your switchboard. You can either ask your local electrician to install it or the company can provide the installation facility and give you a demo of the gadget at a reasonable rate. However, it is better to let the company-recommended electrician do it. My switchboard had some faults, which would have affected the working of the device. The installtion takes merely 15 minutes and you are all set to enjoy the facility.
After installation, up next is the installation of the app. It is available in the Google Play Store and App store. Download it and create an account. Once installed, it will ask you to connect to the Picostone device. There is a WiFi chip inside the unit which comes with a pre-configured password that you will need when setting it up for the first time. According to the company, the WiFi is secured with 256-bit encryption which takes care of the security aspect.
Once installed and configured, it can control up to four devices in a single room. If you have a fan, you can control its speed and dim/brighten lights too. But four only in a single room. You can however add more devices in various rooms, and they can all be controlled though one app. It will be arranged as per the room, and you can play around with the configuration.
The product is only available via the company and is not available through any other online vendors. Also, considering its price (Rs 11,800), automating more rooms can become somewhat a costly affair. Having only four switches could be a letdown if the room has more than four gadgets. Otherwise, it is a great product.