A Japanese company has developed a block of wood that connects to the internet and acts as a fully functional smart home display.
Kyoto-based tech company Nissha has created “Mui”: a minimal, interactive wooden display that can control the lighting in your house. It also displays the current temperature, other weather information and a voicemail interface.
The Mui currently works with Philips Hue light bulbs and Net LED, but the company says the novel product is adaptable for use with a wide range of providers.
The name comes comes from a Japanese word meaning ‘silence’, which is very appropriate for a 67cm x 8cm home appliance with a very natural aesthetic. It also links beautifully with its design mantra, “out of sight until needed, and out of mind until utilised”.
“Mui is a Japanese word which depicts a natural sense of mind, inactivity, idleness,” the company states on its official website.
“Mui: effortless comfort.”
The first prototype was made out of sycamore, but Nissha also dabbled with other materials such as red fabric, mirrored glass and marble before settling for the light-coloured wood used for the finished product.
The smart home appliance will likely retail between 900 and 1200 USD (1144 and 1525 AUD) and will be officially launched via a crowdfunding campaign in mid-2018.
“In every mui hospitality space, space understands you and adjusts your environment to alleviate stress and provide relaxation,” Nissha states.
“We have created a new multi-instinctive user interface that displays various features, perfectly fitted to this quality space, using the same materials.”
Private spaces are intended to be a relief from work and the stress of daily life. The Japanese tech company aims to create appliances that are non-intrusive and inspire a “calmer state of mind”
“Mui acts as a bridge between space and your intuition.”