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'Brilliant' Aims to Replace Your Home's Light Switches With Touchscreens

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Apr 12, 2001
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Brilliant today introduced the Brilliant Control, designed to replace an existing light switch and provide homeowners with a range of smart home controls.


Brilliant Control has a 5-inch touchscreen with swipe-based lighting, music, and climate controls, and homeowners can interact directly with other smart home devices, such as the Nest thermostat, Sonos speakers, Philips Hue lights, Ring doorbells, and the Honeywell Lyric. It also works with IFTTT and SmartThings and Wink hubs.


In addition to touch capabilities, the Brilliant Control has both a built-in microphone and speaker for native voice control and Amazon Alexa services. The idea is that users can control their smart homes without taking out their smartphone, which Brilliant co-founder Aaron Emigh described as "clumsy."
"While renovating my house, it was important to me that anyone in any room could adjust lighting, music, and climate control as easily as flipping a light switch," said Emigh. "Requiring a mobile phone and apps to adjust your environment is clumsy, and for guests or children, it's impossible."
Nevertheless, Brilliant said it will offer a free companion app for iOS and Android.

The control features 720x1,280 resolution, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to interact with other smart home devices, a video camera with a physical cover for added security, motion detection, and compatibility with existing security systems. Brilliant told MacRumors that HomeKit support could be added later if consumer demand is strong enough.

Brilliant Controls cost $199 each and are available for pre-order beginning today. The first 1,000 customers will receive an early-bird price of $149. Two, three, and four switch models are also available for $249, $299, and $349 respectively. Shipping is expected to begin in late summer 2017.

Alternatively: Best Buy has the iPad mini 2 on sale for $215. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy.

Article Link: 'Brilliant' Aims to Replace Your Home's Light Switches With Touchscreens
 

gsmornot

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Sep 29, 2014
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Pricing is to be expected I guess but already wish Lutron Caseta was cheaper and now this. Good luck getting the average don't care about a switch person to get on board.
 
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sidewinder3000

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If Brilliant doesn't support HomeKit, I won't support Brilliant. This is one area Apple is getting right: tight protocols and emphasis on security & privacy. Without them, the Internet of Things will become the Internet of Things that Leer and Listen to You While You're at Home. No thank you.
 
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sidewinder3000

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Jan 29, 2010
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Pricing is to be expected I guess but already wish Lutron Caseta was cheaper and now this. Good luck getting the average don't care about a switch person to get on board.
I love that the founder says "picking up your smartphone is clumsy". Clumsier than spending $200 in every room of your house for light switches?

Also, I don't pick up my iPhone everytime I change my Hue lights. I say "hey Siri" and it wakes up my iPhone remotely. Unless I'm on the couch watching TV with the volume up, in which case I do pick up my iPhone or my Apple TV remote or speak into my watch, for voice clarity. A wall switch would be useless in that scenario, since there's no way vox recognition would work from way across a noisy room. Plus, the Hue wall switch I currently have is great for guests, moveable and useable as a remote, and it only cost $30.

Sorry, but needing to spend $1800 on wall mounted light switches for a 1200 sq ft loft is "clumsy".
 
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daftpunker909

macrumors regular
Sep 3, 2012
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Hard to believe they rolled this out without HomeKit compatibility. I do think there's plenty of anti-Apple CEOs and tech department heads out there that drool over anything non-Apple. Or was there another reason they missed including that?

Yes it must be apple hate, not the fact that their home platform is way behind the Alexa platform. It seems that the tight control over homekit certification comes at the price of few companies committing to their platform.
 

ChromeAce

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2009
213
202
Anything about homekit?

Also does it work with a 3 way switch? All the other "replacements" for light switches I've seen don't work with 3-way wiring, which makes them useless for me.

GE sells light switches and remote switches that use your existing 3-way wiring while connecting via zwave or zigbee to home automation hubs like SmartThings. I have them up and running in 4 client homes including my own.
 

mikecorp

Suspended
Mar 20, 2008
502
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you are better of to use KNX that uses significantly less energy. Nowadays everyone have LED inside their house. so saving on energy is not really an issue. My question would be. Can I get rid off all the base stations? Most likely not.
 

DCYorke

macrumors member
Apr 7, 2010
36
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Yes it must be apple hate, not the fact that their home platform is way behind the Alexa platform. It seems that the tight control over homekit certification comes at the price of few companies committing to their platform.

I think you're absolutely right that "Apple hate" is just a way too simplistic explanation. You're right that some of the other platforms (like SmartThings and Alexa) have much broader support, but there's a price to be paid. HomeKit (and apple) takes security and privacy very seriously. I have a dual setup, with some things on SmartThings and others on HomeKit. I love SmartThings, but I would not trust my door locks on it, for instance.

From a manufacturer's perspective, HomeKit requires special hardware, certification, and security considerations. While I wouldn't consider this product without HomeKit, it was far easier and cheaper for them to do it without it.
 

alexgowers

macrumors 65816
Jun 3, 2012
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Vapourware ready to be discontinued the second it's released. How is it I can see this will never be a viable product market yet we keep seeing these startups selling the same stuff that already isn't selling.

Light switches! So i wake up and want to turn the ceiling light on, what advantages am i getting? I still have to get up or be entering a room to turn the switch. It's no quicker but consumes power and requires someone qualified to install it. It's 20-40 times the price of a standard switch. For it to be even vaguely useful you'd need to heavily invest in multiple lights and control them at once. If you want timers or multiple states you can invest far less in a total system that doesn't require touch screens that will be outdated before you come to sell your home and will be stripped out immediately.

I serious don't get it. The market can't be big enough to even be worth the PR costs just trying to sell some.
 

ChromeAce

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2009
213
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Curious how they would implement Ring doorbell support as currently you have to rotate your device sideways to view the video from the front door.
 

canny

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Jun 11, 2009
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Like a lot of the Home Automation stuff, this provides very little advantage to existing technology.

I really don't understand the video advert. Do the kids live in a separate house, so the parents can't communicate directly? Or do the parents just hate their children?
 
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AbSoluTc

macrumors 601
Sep 21, 2008
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No HomeKit, no sale.

Also, why complicate the light switch? They're turning a light switch into a connected device that now draws energy, has a screen that can go bad, will need "updates" and can be made obsolete. No thanks. HomeKit is about automation, controlling things from ONE location and security. When done correctly, you shouldn't need a screen on all your switches. I don't need to see the weather. My wall switch, thermostat and fridge are the last places I want to check weather.

This is a product for a problem that doesn't exist. No thanks.
 
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WatchFromAfar

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To all the people bemoaning the lack of Homekit support would you really spend that much money to replace all your light switches if it was Homekit compliant? Perhaps I'm too poor but I couldn't justify it through-out my entire house.
 

Analog Kid

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Mar 4, 2003
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Among the projects I had in mind for a mythical free weekend was setting up iPod touches to do something similar with my current Insteon setup. I'll have to look at this and re-evaluate the make/buy decision.

One catch, and the reason I wired up the place using Insteon in the first place is that the in wall wiring doesn't match the switches I have with the outlets I want them to control-- so I need more than just a switch replacement, I need to be able to remotely operate a smart outlet.

Whoever wired up this place really didn't put two thoughts into what it would be like to live here...
 

GermanSuplex

macrumors 65816
Aug 26, 2009
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Too much technology. A phone, iPad and computer are enough for me (too much, really.). I don't want to have to make sure my light switches and toilet seats have a good wifi signal. I don't want to make sure my coffee table has the latest software updates.
 

Joe Rossignol

Editor
Staff member
May 12, 2012
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Anything about homekit?

Also does it work with a 3 way switch? All the other "replacements" for light switches I've seen don't work with 3-way wiring, which makes them useless for me.

Finally, now we are getting somewhere... now it just needs to support homekit and give it another year to work out all the bugs and other issues every new product comes with.

"It does not appear to support Apple HomeKit. "

Deal breaker.

If Brilliant doesn't support HomeKit, I won't support Brilliant. This is one area Apple is getting right: tight protocols and emphasis on security & privacy. Without them, the Internet of Things will become the Internet of Things that Leer and Listen to You While You're at Home. No thank you.


I received word from Brilliant co-founder Aaron Emigh:
So far HomeKit has not been something that our pilot customers have asked for. We have planned for the capability of adding support by populating depopulated chips (and of course going through certification). We'll do that if we find that the consumer demand is there.
 
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Analog Kid

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To all the people bemoaning the lack of Homekit support would you really spend that much money to replace all your light switches if it was Homekit compliant? Perhaps I'm too poor but I couldn't justify it through-out my entire house.
I'm not sure it makes sense on a purely utilitarian level, but maybe utility combined with geek joy makes it worth it for some. We stayed in a vacation rental home that was all smart wired, and it certainly gave a vibe of luxury-- maybe enough that they could boost the rent to compensate for the cost.

For me, I basically had three choices-- call an electrician in to pull all the wiring from the walls and start again, go insane over confronting the absurdity of the current wiring, or put in some smart switches. Probably cost me a couple thousand all told, which I think is cheaper than the first option and less than the lost wages from the second.
 

WatchFromAfar

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Jan 26, 2017
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Too much technology. A phone, iPad and computer are enough for me (too much, really.). I don't want to have to make sure my light switches and toilet seats have a good wifi signal. I don't want to make sure my coffee table has the latest software updates.

I guarantee some start-up is working on a wi-fi toilet seat right now. I can see the pitch for it: “Do you, like me, have your best ideas on the crapper” or “Who really has time to disconnect from today’s faced paced go-go technology world? Well we’ve solved that”
 
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