AXIS Gear will make your existing window blinds or shades smart


This easy-to-install device will let you control all your shades with a tap of a finger to save you time and effort.


With seemingly everything in and around our homes becoming connected, it’s hard to envision everyday life without automated window shades and self-adjusting blinds. Well, it looks Toronto-based startup AXIS feels the same way. That’s because the team has unveiled AXIS Gear, a motorized add-on that can make any new and existing window unit smart.

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So if you’re tired of constantly having to raise and lower the chain or looped cord, you’re in luck. This intelligent gadget will automatically take care of it all for you at pre-programmed times and even in response to light levels. Beyond that, you’ll be able to regulate your blinds using on-device controls or right from the palm of your hand with its accompanying mobile app.

In terms of hardware, the easy-to-install product consist of an electric motor, a rechargeable LiPo battery, a light sensor, a solar panel, a Bluetooth radio and a microcontroller, all housed inside a sleek wall-mounted box. The Gear’s solar-powered and wireless motor can be attached to the chain or cord of existing window shades. Meanwhile, a suite of sensors will enable you to configure “intelligent scheduling,” such as lifting the shades in the morning and turning down the blinds during the hottest periods of the day to help conserve energy. Looking ahead, the team also hopes to integrate the unit with some of today’s most popular smart home equipment running on ZigBee or Thread protocols and IFTTT so that you can customize your own scenarios that best suit your needs.

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AXIS has designed their intelligent system with safety and security in mind. For starters, Gear not only lets you come home at night to much-need privacy knowing all your shades are lowered, it can help give off the impression that you’re home while away. But even more importantly, motorized blinds eliminate the all too common danger of strangulation by preventing the chain/cord from dangling freely so that children, in particular, can have a safe environment to play in.

Interested? Head over to Gear’s Indiegogo campaign, where AXIS is hoping to reach its $100,000 goal. Delivery is expected to get underway in late 2016.

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