Mui’s whimsical wooden smart home controller hits Kickstarter tomorrow as CES 2024 kicks off

Mui is no stranger to CES — the company’s first wooden smart home control board was shown off way back in 2019, and the company has been working on a second generation model for at least a year now. But, finally, it looks like the new Mui Board will be something you can order, and hopefully get before the end of 2024.

Like the original, the new Mui Board is a wooden, touch-sensitive surface that lets you control smart devices around your home. When it’s not in use, it looks like a minimalist little wooden ledge, but when you tap it, the display lights up. It’s kind of like a classier, less obtrusive version of a Nest Hub. The smart home controls apply, like adjusting thermostats, turning lights on, locking doors, starting the charger for your electric car and more. Perhaps the most significant change with this new board is that it works with Matter, the smart home standard that may have broad enough support to finally be successful. So while it’s a little early to say exactly how that’ll affect its usefulness, chances are good it’ll be a lot more compatible with your smart home than the original was.

Despite the fact that the second-generation Mui Board has been in the works for a while, the company says it won’t be shipping until the end of 2024. But a Kickstarter campaign for the device opens up on the morning of January 8, with the Board sporting a $499 price tag. Mui’s latest feels like a classic CES product from a small company, something with a nice design and intriguing features that is far from guaranteed to be something that makes sense for many people. But if Mui can make its utility can match its whimsy (c’mon, look at these adorable pixelated animals enjoying the forest!), it might be worth having in your home.

Photo by Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

We’re reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.

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