Founder of Sen.se Rafi Haladjian is at Las Vegas to show its new product called Mother. The Paris-based company came up with a connected product that could be a perfect ambassador of the Internet of Things philosophy. Mother is a connected device to sit in your home and act as a hub for all your daily activities. You interact with it through what Rafi calls Motion Cookies, which are basically smart tags that you attach to people, objects, furniture and what not. You can then monitor all of your “things” (that includes people) and track customized events. For example, attach it to a coffee machine and it will count how many espressos you already had, and can warn you when will you run out of capsules. Or attach a smart tag to your kids backpack and you will know when he gets home and the tag syncs again with the Mother hub.
The main idea is that we are getting a ton of different smart connected devices for specialized activities, but they don’t talk to each other, and they can be an expensive investment considering we have to buy a connected device for each of our activities. That’s why Rafi came up with the Motion Cookies: they are this new breath of multi-purpose sensors that can be used on pretty much everything, and send a stream of data back to Mother – because yes, mothers know and do everything (a name I find a bit sexist to be honest).
So in the end, what does mother do? Everything and nothing. It can be extremely powerful since it’s highly customizable, in a way it’s an open form of the internet of things. If one day you find out you no longer want to track your coffee consumption you can simply use it to track your running activities or open doors in the house. Yes, it’s a very versatile system, and it can also answer the problem of tracking the small habits (how frequent you water the plants, opening/closing the fridge door, your own water consumption, etc.). It reminded me of Daytum – since they give you the platform to track any activity you want but only through manual input – no mother there to help you!
At the same time it can be difficult for the average consumer to give 199€ for something that has no specifically defined function. It comes with only 4 Motion Tags, so tracking your coffee habits will cost you ~50€, which sounds pretty absurd to me. If you use it for home intrusion and need to place a Tag in every door and window that would also be a costly setup. I think it’s a powerful system and definitely it’s a very interesting approach. More open and flexible than function-driven connected devices, the only thing that is missing is to get the price down for it to be possible to connect my life to Mother – the Mother hub for 199€ is actually cheap but the 50€/Tag is extremely high.
Another thing to consider is that while a smart light bulb from Philips, or a connected lock for your front door, can respond to your commands or have automated actions, the Mother system only gives you information. Again, it’s a very different approach to the Internet of Things. If only manufacturers could include small tags inside their products to work with Mother out of the box, now that would be an IoT open system.