Nanoleaf, makers of the popular Aurora and Canvas light panel systems has recently released a beta firmware update to testers that add new functionality for HomeKit. The new update turns the Canvas light panels into a bridge in the Home App, and each individual light tile into a button, meaning that owners of the starter kits will suddenly have 9 devices added to their home. Since the buttons function just the same as every other button in HomeKit, they are able to toggle other devices and scenes, allowing them to be used as things such as a light switch, although placement around the home will ultimately decide just how useful this new feature really is.
If having 9 additional buttons in your home wasn’t enough, each button also supports multiple states. Single press, double press, and long press are all able to assigned different actions, and when couple with scenes, it essentially creates almost limitless possibilities. Furthermore, Nanoleaf states that up to 25 panels can be added per power supply, allowing users to potentially create things such as entire walls being covered completely by panels. Coupled with the capabilities already available for the Canvas, such as games like whack-a-mole, and sound visualization, it really elevates them from being a niche, visually pleasing product, to an interactive experience.
Nanoleaf’s Canvas Smarter Kit retails for $229.99 U.S. and include the aforementioned 9 panels, power supply, and mounting hardware. Expansion sets that include 4 additional panels are priced at $79.99, although prices have fluctuated recently, with the Smarter Kit being found found for just $189.99 earlier this week. As the new capabilities are in a beta firmware release, an actual date as to when it will be available to everyone may not be too far off. However, problems could also be found during the test, which could delay or even cancel this feature entirely, so buyer beware if you are looking at picking up a set just for these features. For those interested, sign ups for beta testing can be found on Nanoleaf’s website, and the company states that beta testers have a chance to earn rewards such as discounts for products offered on their online store.
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