Great questions. To answer:
- IFTTT: You are correct, IFTTT will only work when the user is at home. That being said, there are a lot of products that are on IFTTT that do not have a wifi chip in them; they rely on IFTTT (e.g. Fitbit). The IFTTT recipes that we brainstormed have to do specifically with user convenience - for example, having the shades rise when your Fitbit detects that you have waken up, so you can wake up to sunshine.
- Noise: You are also absolutely correct, noise is a huge concern. We have designed our device based on this requirement. We have designed a custom gear box with the lowest noise possible, using lubrication and plastics. This is not an off-the-shelf gear box we have chosen. The metal bead chains also do not cause any noise as we have shifted from a sprocket design to using a rubber pulley to tension and control the chain. Unfortunately, noise is very difficult record via video.
- SmartHome Integration: For Zigbee, we have already tested Zigbee HA 1.2 which is at the heart of SmartThings, and we will soon start the certification process with the SmartThings hub. As for THREAD, NEST announced the WEAVE program which allow us to directly communicate with NEST without WIFI.
These are great questions and insights. If you have any more questions or concerns, please let us know. Any feedback on our device is also appreciated! Hoping you can support our Indiegogo campaign!