Ninja Sphere: the Most Advanced Sensors-in-the-Home Product Yet

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The team from Ninja Blocks (one of the first sensor platforms to put everything together in an easy-to-use, visually-programmable system) is back with a new product, Ninja Sphere, which they are positioning as the next generation of Ninja Blocks.

One of the incredible feats they’ve added to the platform include geolocating of other wireless devices that you may have in the home, including Fitbits, bluetooth stickers, Gecko devices and more.  In other words, Ninja Sphere can be used to track the precise movement of people and objects within indoor spaces — something we’ve not seen any sensor product do.

Ninja Sphere accomplishes this with Trilateration – a mechanism whereby the intersection of 3 or more overlapping signals can determine the location of an object. Your Spheramid gateway and Waypoints are the nodes that determine this information using BLE signals.

Currently we can precisely locate BLE tags (such as Stick ‘n Find, Tile, Gecko) that can be placed on pets, in wallets, on keys, and on valuables. We can also locate phones, tablets, laptops, and soon fitness devices like Fitbit, etc.

However, because this in itself is not accurate enough, we calibrate using sophisticated machine learning algorithms to build a model of your home. This method takes into account walls, furniture, and other objects that may interfere with the signals. We are then able to query against this model to find the location of your devices. This allows us to know where in 3D space a device is.

They’ve also added a gesture interface.  As we’ve noted before, an over-reliance on smartphones to control connected devices is sometimes a crutch that’s not the most natural way to interact with a physical device.  The Ninja Sphere recognizes gestures and can display info using LEDs hidden beneath it’s shell. Ninja Sphere builds on the contributions and interops created by the Ninja Block community, so it’s easy to imagine gestures being useful for controlling any number of home automation scenarios, depending on your individual setup and needs.

And they intend to open source the entire design. This looks like an incredible platform and product.

Check out Ninja Sphere on Kickstarter


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