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Voice-Controlled Device Automates Window Blinds

Many homeowners have struggled with, and given up on, conventional blinds for one simple reason: the outdated and cumbersome pull cord. A key component in the proper functioning of the window blind, the pull cord can become unwieldy, often getting tangled or simply becoming a jumbled eyesore in an otherwise finely appointed room. For those that can afford to do so, replacing conventional blinds with a high-end motorized and automated alternative can more than adequately address these issues. For those that are perhaps more bound by their monthly budget, there’s an easy to install device that will not only mitigate the aforementioned issues, it’ll also allow the user to open and close their shades using nothing more than a simple voice command.

The Brunt Blind Engine

In addition to being dangerously close to a tongue twister, the Brunt Blind Engine -- developed by the aptly named South Korean startup, Brunt -- is a simple, cost-effective, and tech-based solution to troublesome blinds.

The way it works is simple enough. Simply attach the Brunt Blind Engine to the wall adjacent of the blind’s pull cord, and loop the cord pulley through the engine’s notched, torque-controlled gear. As far as installation goes, that’s pretty much all there is to it -- there’s no need to hire an expensive contractor. (Oh, and the gear is available in two different sizes, to accommodate varying cord widths).

With this simple installation complete, the creators of the Brunt Blind Engine claim that users save roughly 70% over other motorized blind solutions that need to be installed from scratch. Cost savings are always a good thing, particularly in times of economic hardship, as are finding ways to to repurpose existing things, thereby reducing waste. But how else does this transformative device change the lives of homeowners?

As if being able to motorize window blinds on a dime wasn’t enough, the Brunt Blind Engine comes with a number of other pretty great features. Have an Amazon Alexa? The Brunt Blind Engine can be configured to respond to voice commands. Instead of another remote control that will invariably get lost or clutter a side table, this device can also interface with a smartphone so that the window blinds can be raised and lowered from anywhere in the world -- provided there’s a reliable Internet connection. A person’s GPS location can also trigger the opening and closing of the blinds, whenever they return home or depart for the day.

So why is this important? These features, which seamlessly mirror those found in more expensive options, have several unarguable benefits.
  1. Help reduce heating and cooling costs. Programmable window coverings have often been touted as playing a substantial role in reducing monthly utility bills. Having the ability to remotely open and close blinds based on the sun’s position can help keep the ambient temperature within a home at a consistent level without requiring the furnace or air conditioning to turn on.
  2. Security. Unlikely as it may sound, automated window blinds act as a deterrent to burglars by giving the impression that someone is home even when the home is empty.
  3. Safety. The Brunt Blind Engine also helps to keep wayward cords out of the reach of young children and pets, reducing the danger of accidental entanglement.

How to Get One

Though the Brunt Blind Engine has yet to hit store shelves, eager homeowners can line up and fund the release of the product for a paltry $99 on Kickstarter (compared to a still more than reasonable price point of around $120 after the fundraising campaign closes in November). For homeowners concerned about price, it’s hard to argue the value and savings offered by Brunt’s products over a new motorized shade install that can easily run upwards of $1,000.

Window coverings aren’t going anywhere, and smart home technology is only going to become more prevalent. The fact is that improving the home with these devices doesn’t have to break the bank and they can undoubtedly make life better and more cost-efficient. To those that perhaps aren’t ready to plunge headlong into smart home devices, a device like Brunt’s Blind Engine can be an excellent introduction into a world of convenience and savings not previously explored.