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This gadget turns your basic blinds into smart blinds

These SmartShades from RYSE are compatible with a ton of different window shades.

ryse smart window shade control box in front of window
Image: Ryse

When you’re trying to create a truly smart home, it’s simple to fill it with cameras, lights, and other gear. One thing that isn’t so easy is making your blinds smarter, at least not without a huge cost. That’s about to change, with the $169 RYSE SmartShades.

Hitting the market after a successful Kickstarter run, the SmartShades retrofit your existing blinds and shades to smart ones. Then you can use the RYSE app, Alexa, Google Home, or even Siri + HomeKit to control them.

The other wonderful thing is that the unit is compatible with plastic- and metal-beaded chains, and cord loops of 1.6mm to 3.2mm diameter. Most other units on the market only support the beaded chains, so more homes can use the SmartShades.

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While individual shades can be controlled in the RYSE app, you’ll want the $69 SmartBridge hub to control your whole house. Up to 10 SmartShades can be linked to each SmartBridge, and then you get HomeKit voice command integration as well.

Signing up for a RYSE account gets you more functionality, including Alexa, Google Home, remote control from outside the home, and scheduling/grouping options.

The SmartShades need wiring into the mains, but you can snap on the $69 BatteryPack unit to each SmartShades control box and have up to six months of wire-free control.

That sounds like a better option than snaking wires around, or even paying an electrician to wire things in. Plus, you can move the unit easily to another window or home.

I’ve recently moved into a new place and was looking at smart blinds. It was going to be over $1,000 per window, because window coverings are insanely expensive. Maybe now, SmartShades means I won’t have to spend that much.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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