It’s becoming pretty well known that too much screen time stresses us out, and that disconnecting from electronic devices as as possible is a good idea. When you have a smart home, however, that’s not always possible; you need something that works with the interior of your home, subtly adding to it instead of detracting from your day-to-day life. That’s where Mui comes in: it’s a smart home hub built from real, natural wood, and with an actual display.
That seems impossible, but it’s not; following the maker’s philosophy of “calm design,” Mui is made of wood, but has a “hidden” LCD touchscreen that is practically invisible when not in use. Just swipe and it appears. We’re not entirely sure how that works or what kind of technology they use, but we like the end result.
So what can Mui do? All the usual smart hub stuff: check the weather, use Google Assistant and Calendar, play music, and connect with other devices via IFTTT to control your lights, thermostat, door locks. Pretty much anything an Echo or Google Home Hub can do, Mui can do – but while being a classy addition to your living room wall, instead of a tacky one.
And since there’s no bright, shiny, blue display with tons of moving images and buttons – like on a smartphone – Mui won’t distract you, or hook your attention in the disruptive way that phones or computers do. It just sits in the background quietly, unnoticed, until you need it. We think it looks great in any room or interior style, and would work especially well in a minimalist-inspired home.
Mui certainly isn’t cheap, at $549 on Kickstarter – but we do think it’s worth the extra money if you’ve got it. It looks clean and classy, and poses zero distraction any time. What’s not to like? They don’t expect to ship until late 2019, but you can go on over and back them now to be one of the first to use it.