Nanoleaf’s New Touch Reactive Panels and RemoteBy - 01/30/2018
For the past three years, we’ve never missed a chance to visit Nanoleaf’s CES booth in Las Vegas. Their products, in turn, never missed to amaze us. In 2016, they showed off Aurora, a triangular Lego-esque color changing light panel. You can mount it on your wall, ceiling, floor, kitchen counter, or on virtually any flat surface that needs a little life and color. In 2017, they unveiled Rhythm, a module equipped with a mic that turns Aurora into a dancing light show. Unfortunately, this year, we ran out of time and didn’t get to visit with Nanoleaf, but thanks to a press kit, and some communication, we were still able to get an insider look at what’s next for Nanoleaf.
Nanoleaf Light Panels
Nanoleaf’s newest product lacks a name but not a design. The to-be-named product is currently titled “Nanoleaf Light Panels” and is slated to become the next-gen of Aurora. The difference is that Light Panels will be square-shaped. Also, unlike Aurora that can only accommodate 30 panels per base station, you can outfit up to 1,000 square-shaped Light Panels together, although Nanoleaf points out that you need to connect a power booster (sold separately) for every 60 panels.
Nanoleaf is also adding new features to the square-shaped panels. For one, the panels are touch sensitive on an individual basis. You can tap or slide your finger across any individual panel to turn it on or off, adjust the brightness, or even change the panel’s color. The base station also comes with a built-in microphone and motion sensor. The microphone allows the panels to “dance to music” and the motion sensor can be used to trigger your lights. Ultimately, Nanoleaf plans to open up their software so developers can lend their creativity to the device’s abilities. Hopefully, we’ll soon see options to turn your panels into a cascading waterfall or a flowing river.
Like Aurora, the square-shaped panels will work with Siri (via HomeKit) and Alexa for voice control. Pricing is still TBD. To compare, the Nanoleaf Rhythm Edition nine panel Starter Kit sells for $229.99, and Nanoleaf hopes to keep the Nanoleaf Light Panels in the same affordable range when launched later this year.
A Dodecahedron Remote Control
Nanoleaf also revealed a remote control for Aurora and HomeKit. But it’s no ordinary remote control.
Last year, we played with a dodecahedron (that’s a polyhedron with 12 faces and 30 edges) die-like remote control (pictured above). Each face had a different color. We rolled the die, and the color on top triggered Aurora to change to that same color. At the time, they told us that they never intended to sell such a device publically. This year, they decided to make the die a reality. Well, with a few changes.
The Nanoleaf Remote is also a dodecahedron shaped Bluetooth controller. However, unlike the one we saw last year, Nanoleaf Remote is white. As you interact with the remote, it lights up and changes color based on how you interact with it. Another difference between the two devices is that Nanoleaf Remote can do more than change your light’s color; it can also activate scenes. Each face corresponds to a number between 1 and 12. Each number can be programmed using the Nanoleaf app to trigger an action. For example, you can set 1 as your “I’m Home!” scene where Aurora turns on your lights, 2 might be your “Party” scene where Aurora activates its Rhythm feature, and 3 could be a “Date Night” color palette. To trigger a scene, simply rotate the remote, placing the corresponding number on top. Of course, the die is also HomeKit ready. You could choose to add your other HomeKit devices (e.g., thermostats, lights, speakers) to scenes alongside your Nanoleaf remote. When you trigger one of your scenes, all of your HomeKit devices can respond. For example, “Date Night” might set your light panels to something romantic, your thermostat to a cooler temp, and your speakers to nonstop Barry Manilow.
The Nanoleaf Remote is set to hit the market this spring at a price of $50. You can head over to Nanoleaf’s website and sign up for pre-order notifications.