Ninja Sphere

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  • 2015

  • Product
    Consumer Electronics

Designed By:

  • cocreators pty ltd

Commissioned By:

Ninja Blocks Pty Ltd

Designed In:

Australia

Ninja Sphere opens up and simplifies the Internet of Things (IoT) for the home, allowing for the easy connection and control of devices within the home. Until now the Smart home has been a fairly cumbersome affair or a closed environment where users are locked into a proprietary brand of equipment.

The goal of the Ninja Sphere is to deliver simple control of your home that is accessible to the entire family. It accomplishes this with a unique gesture/LED matrix allowing for dead simple control of the environment.

Further, the device integrates with most of the best selling smart devices on the market now, and because it employs an open source approach, more connectors are being added continuously.


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  • Design & aesthetic intelligence were a primary focus in designing the Ninja Sphere. The form had to capture the vision and spirit of the futuristic smart home promised by the embedded technology. A revolving sine wave scribes three contact points upon the simplest primitive, a sphere, in uniform clean elegance of perfect mathematical minimalism. Positioning the sine wave to drop below the horizontal perimeter of the sphere invokes a dynamic between tension & release. The Sphere's aesthetic, sculptural and proportional elements were closely engineered. Rhythm, balance and harmony were considered, even in placement of certification details on the devices underbelly and in detailing of the cable inlet & position

  • Ninja Sphere was created to act as a central interactive control for the heart of your home, allowing for the easy control of IoT devices around your home such as lights and appliances directly from the sphere itself using gesture control or via the app, giving you control even if you're not home. This new interaction required a new type of design for the device. During use the Ninja Sphere is automatically learning about its environment, building an understanding of your daily activities, and acting to make the little things easier through simple, actionable notifications. Further, as the device is open source, new devices can be added, future proofing the device as technology in the home evolves.

  • The Ninja Sphere innovates the IoT hub through addition of direct control & feedback. The Sphere incorporates world first gesture/LED matrix display allowing users to directly control their integrated smart devices without an App. The 3D 16x16 lightpipe carries light through a cutting edge gesture PCB that measures the distortion of a an electric field by the user's hand. This allows the user to swipe through functions on the Sphere using simple gestures. The Sphere implements cutting edge trilateration allowing for the accurate location of any Bluetooth Smart device (tags, fitness trackers, smart watches, etc). The system is able to let a user know exactly which room their keys, wallet, phone or pets are in.

  • The Ninja Sphere has been tested and complies with FCC, CE & C-tick regulations, meeting and exceeding safety tests required for electromagnetic emissions, including maturity tests demanded for european markets which include tests that require it being protected from interference from users (electromagnet or otherwise). Further the device meets with RoHS2 compliance. Further, several features of the device aid in safety around the home, such as automated lighting at night. Future applications for the Sphere could be used in aged care, as the simplicity of the gesture control is accessible to users of all ages, and the Ninja Sphere could allow for monitoring and alert carers if unusual events occur in the home.

    The Ninja Sphere and it's packaging is engineered to use minimal components created with recyclable materials, meaning even at the end of the Sphere's life environmental impact is reduced. Disassembly is easy, in fact the device only has 5 screws and the low number of efficiently used components in the device reduces material and manufacturing complexity. During everyday use the Ninja Sphere seamlessly monitors connected appliances around the home. If nobody is home the Sphere can contact the user and turn off appliances and lights on demand, saving electricity.

    The Ninja Sphere was designed to be a highly visible, beautiful electronics device, execution of its delivery demanded the best possible finish on each part and every assembly detail needed to be perfect. A premium finish is created through the use of high quality polycarbonate in the upper housing and the use of subtle overmoulding on the lower housing. This overmould detail softens the three contact points and incorporates the device's only button. The continuous surface across the junction between the upper and lower housings were paid special attention, as was the overmould tooling of the lower housing, resolved with one slider on each leg to remove tool marks on the outward facing undercut profile.

    Ninja Blocks initially focused on the hacker, early adopter market, the Sphere changed this and is the company's first product endeavouring to capture a mainstream retail market. Use of elegant, resolved design was instrumental in successful execution of this strategy. The quality of the design reflects the value of the unseen technology embedded within the Sphere. The device has received critical acclaim across worldwide press outlets, with the design being globally applauded, setting an aesthetic precedent in the emerging market of IoT hub devices. The Ninja Sphere Kickstarter campaign raised over AU$700k. Further, Ninja Blocks recently raised a further US$725k from national and international investors.