Future solution for presence sensor? (Dot on Kickstarter)

Just saw this today. I kinda like what they are doing here. Almost works like a beacon. They have an open API so if this could work with Smartthings (like possibly when they ever activate the built in BT) this could make a great door bell or at least let you hit a button when you are home on your dash so that it wakes up your home.

If the video doesn’t play this located here ( https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1867163750/dot-the-physical-push-notification)

I saw this, it is an IBeacon, they have no patents and no magic to make it any different. OK, maybe it’s an eddystone beacon, but it’s a Bluetooth beacon. With a colored LED to add a notification ( which, btw, is going to kill the battery life, which is why beacons don’t typically have them now.)

Once it comes to market we can see if they’ve actually done something different, but so far I’m not impressed.

If you have an iPhone 6 or higher, try Beecon+ from these guys. It’s really nice app, available now, does everything that the kickstarter campaign is promising and more (beecon+ can connect to IFTTT) except no notifier light on the Ibeacons. Plus the developers are very helpful. You can buy pretty much any IBeacon hardware you want to go with it.

how much does a typical beacon cost and are they that hard to set up?

The Beacon itself is just a few minutes to set up. It’s getting it connected to SmartThings that takes more time. It’s still not bad, but it’s probably 4 steps instead of two like it would be with the SmartThings branded arrival sensor. You have to recognize the Beecon (receiving station app), create an action (receiving station app), create an event for that action (IFTTT or SmartThings custom code), set up a rule/smart app to process that event in SmartThings.

There are really cheap beacons for about four dollars, but I wouldn’t get those. They are really nice beacons for 3 for $99, and that’s what I have (estimote brand). Radius Networks makes a good-quality value Beacon for $10.

There are some other good brands too, these are just some examples.

More discussion about Ibeacons and SmartThings:

Thought I’d make you all aware of this. I’m thinking about taking the plunge, looks promising.


Save your money and wait until it actually comes to market. You can get all the functionality it offers right now with existing Ibeacons. The only thing that’s new is the notifier light and that’s going to eat the battery. So let’s wait and see if they can actually make that part work. :wink:

Hi JDRoberts, fightingmajor, and Leeh. Thanks for considering our Kickstarter! We saw this discussion and thought we’d throw in our two cents. JDRoberts, you are correct that the light has the potential to kill the battery. We are addressing this in several ways. First, we are 100% committed to making the battery in Dot user-replaceable. Second, depending on which use case you want to apply to your dot, you may not need to use the light at all- but it’s there if you want it, and at a price that is competitive with other bluetooth beacons that have no LED or button. Third, the light will have a slow blink mode to cut down the time the light is on, which saves a lot of power. Finally, since Dot is contextually aware, it won’t just be sitting there all day with the light on- just when you are likely to be looking at it and when you need the information, which for many use cases might only be a few minutes per day. In such cases, Dot won’t have a problem lasting a good part of a year on a single battery. So you’re right that no one traditionally does the LED because it doesn’t look like it will work at first glance, but we think that by being smart about it we can turn an LED into a powerful feature that’s going to push beacon technology forward.

You are also correct that this is a space that has a lot of products in it. We think that what differentiates us is that we are going to deliver complete working solutions in just a few clicks, since we are making both the hardware and the app and the backend. The customer won’t have to fiddle around with integrating different apps and products (unless they really want to!). We have a professional team that is going to endeavor to make everything work perfectly behind the scenes, but also a powerful enough API that 3rd party developers can do more with our technology with less effort than many of our competitors- all while making their use cases easy to access.


The Dot Team

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Thanks for responding. As you may know, in the home automation space battery life of one year is considered a minimum for most devices. Two years is even better. People just don’t want to have to change the batteries every three or four months. Maybe if your device delivers enough compelling value, people will be willing to replace the battery every six months. But if it’s more than that, you really increase the cost per day of your device. I just think it’s going to be hard for you to compete.

I’ll be very glad to take a look again at the device once you actually have it working. I was very pleasantly surprised by what blink did with their battery life, but then they hold patents on their process. :sunglasses:

Part of your competition is some of the beacons that have really outstanding smart watch apps. Beecon plus is one of these. I get context aware notifications and reminders on my smartwatch in several areas of my house. I can also set it up to trigger multiple different kinds of events, including management of Phillips hue lights, harmony hub, and IFTTT. Easy to use, very powerful. And available now.

Again, I appreciate your posting here. I wish you great luck with the project. I think it’s a very cool idea. But in the absence of patents, I’m just not quite clear on how you’re going to be able to deliver. But like I said, I’m happy to be pleasantly surprised, it’s happened before.

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I just backed a Kickstarter project called ‘Dot’ which has an interesting premise. I really like the idea of the project but not really sure what I’ll use them for. They are going to come with SmartThings integration out of the box and its going to have IFTTT support from day 1 so the possibilities are there.

Thought I’d mention the project here in case anyone wanted to back the project before it closes as its already 400% over its goal, so its going to happen…

Thank you JD … trying to keep smiling today - It is Friday after all.
And you are right “marketing” If I had a dollar (or even 50 cents at this point) for every time I heard "They are going to come with SmartThings integration " well … you get it. HAPPY FRIDAY ST’ers!


So the Kickstarter has closed now and they got funded. Got an email this morning saying they will collect shipping info soon and are setting up a Slack channel for all backers to keep tabs on the project, ask questions, contribute to feature suggestions and so on. ETA is March :slight_smile:

I backed for 3 how many did everyone else back for??

None, for the reasons I gave above. You can already do everything that they’re offering with existing technology except for the indicator light. And the indicator light is going to use up the battery pretty quickly. They don’t have any patent so they’re going to try to solve a hardware problem with Software design, and I always wait until those actually come to market before trying to evaluate them.

I use IBeacons now in my house, and get notifications on my watch, which removes most of the need for the light. I do use a couple of regular RGB light strips as persistent notifiers that are visible to everyone in the house. And all of that runs locally at my house. It appears that this product will require a cloud piece, although that’s not quite clear.

So this product has excellent marketing, but there’s no engineering to evaluate yet and I’ll wait until you can order it from Amazon.

When I back something, it’s either because I want to demonstrate market demand for a particular form or because they have an interesting patent and I’d like to help in seeing it commercialized. :sunglasses:

I went for the set of three too. If they are as useful as I hope they’re going to be then I’ll get more later, but wanted to minimise the risk while backing what seemed like a really nice project.