There’s one piece of technology tying together all your gadgets. Your alarm clock, lamp, speakers and even your charging cords; there’s a pretty good chance they all plug into the same simple power strip.
That power strip doesn’t do much besides pipe electricity into other devices, but that doesn’t have to be the case. YOUMU makes it possible to add tons of different capabilities to your power strip with an awesome modular design.
YOUMU was developed by a small team in Munich, Germany. It comes with a variety of modules that can give your power strip awesome new features and even turn it into a smart home hub. The design is also simple and elegant, with each new piece attaching easily with a quick snap.
Each power strip includes a base unit, which comes in a variety of colors and three different cords lengths. From there the company offers the obvious additions, like USB ports and extra outlets for the U.S. or Europe. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous you can attach a module for wireless charging (Qi or PMA), a Bluetooth speaker and even a LED motion-sensing light.
Things get really interesting once you attach the Smart module. This makes it possible to control any device plugged into the power strip using a special app for iOS or Android. Using a chat interface YOUMU will ask your permission to turn off devices if you leave them on by accident. You can also put specific gadgets on a set schedule so they turn off and on automatically.
YOUMU is just getting started. The company plans to keep releasing new modules if the initial product is a success, which you’ll be able to buy through an online store. The entire platform is also open source, so anyone can create their own additions.
You can pre-order YOUMU on Kickstarter for as little as $33, which gets you a base unit and two modules of your choice, or grab a third module for $44 total. The company is also offering plenty of extra discounts when you buy in bulk, though nothing will actually ship until February 2017.
YOUMU still needs to go through safety testing, so it’s possible the product could run into unexpected issues. It’s currently ready for beta, though, and with a full year to get things right the company should be able to deliver on its lofty promise.