Tag Archives: nCube

The Smart nCube Home

The smart home marketplace is growing rapidly at the moment with new entrants on an almost daily basis. The original “one-trick ponies” like Hue, Nest, Hive and Ring are expanding their single USP feature into a portfolio of smart devices, and well-known electronics companies like Belkin and Panasonic are setting up shop too. Most of these big names sell their own branded accessories creating a small ecosystem and a straightforward user experience. Once familiar with the smart home space, it’s easy to spot that the branded accessories are often rebadged OEM items from specialists.

Underneath the big names, there is a veritable housing development of home automation hubs, including Fibaro, Cozify and nCube, each with their own speciality. Finnish Cozify has more radios than most and works with devices using 433 MHz, whereas Polish outfit Fibaro excel at the user interface with dedicated touchpads and visual controls.

British outfit nCube are notable for three things. First, the hub is blue which makes a change from the usual white; second, they only make the the hub and connect to other manufacturer’s sensors and systems; third, all local processing is done on the nCube hub, ensuring privacy and retaining personal information at home. It also means that it’s not a big problem if the internet connection goes down. Yes, interfaces to other cloud-based systems won’t work, but other activities will continue as normal, e.g. turning on a power socket at a certain time.

As nCube Home doesn’t make anything other than the hub, they connect to a wide variety of other people’s gear, with support for over 120 devices. For Z-Wave gear, nCube works with Everspring, Popp, Fibaro, TKB, Philio, Danfoss and Aeotec, covering heating, lighting, sensing, switching and alarms. As expected, nCube integrates with other home automation systems such as Hue, Nest, LIFX, Sonos and Belkin. Amazon’s Alexa now has an nCube skill, so you can talk to nCube via Echo and Echo Dot.

Done right, this is a great opportunity for an open system giving more choice to the consumer.

As expected, nCube have an app for iOS and Android, bringing together all the devices and controls into a single convenient home. “Cubes” is their term for automation, which could be a command like, “At 7am turn the bedside light on and play music at 20% volume.” Security features can be built in Cubes too, “If water’s detected under the sink, send a text message.”

Originally a Kickstarter project, nCube Home is based around the Raspberry Pi. I interviewed nCube back in 2016 at the Wearable Technology Show and the hub was just about to come to market. You can listen to the interview on Geek News Central.

The nCube Home can be purchased from nCube for GB£149.

nCube Home at Wearable Tech Show

nCube HomeOriginally a Kickstarter project, nCube Home is a smart home hub and app to control a wide range of smart devices from a single place. Andrew interviews Myriam from nCube and finds out why nCube is a little bit different from the rest.

Like most of the competitors, the nCube Home is a small network connected box with a complementary app that communicates with sensors and other devices using Z-Wave. Unlike the competitors, it’s blue. More seriously, the nCube retains all the logic and actions within the nCube box rather than receiving instructions from an external portal, so even if the network connection goes down, activity goes on as normal. The nCube Home integrates with over 70 different IoT devices so the chances are that if it’s a Z-Wave capable device, the hub will work with it.

The nCube Home is shipping shortly (if it isn’t already). The normal price from nCube is GB£149 but there’s a £99 Wearable Show offer on until the end of the week (25th March).

nCube Home

By way of awards, the nCube Home won the IoT Wearable Award at the Wearable Technology Show this year. Well done.