Control Your Window Shades with Your Smartphone

“If you give my dad a power tool, he’ll build you a tree house. If you give me a power tool, I’ll ask if there’s an app for this,” says Manu Menon, COO of AXIS, a Toronto-based company.

And quite frankly, this is the story of our generation. We are very tech-savvy, but not exactly handy.

Knowing this, the team at AXIS began to design do-it-yourself (DIY) products for tech-savvy homeowners and renters.

AXIS launched their latest product this week on Indiegogo. The device, called the AXIS Gear, is a home automation device that motorizes new and existing window shades.

The Gear can be controlled wirelessly by either a smartphone app that is programmed to open and close shades at pre-scheduled times, or through the on-device controls. The device’s motor can be attached to the chain or cord of existing window shades.

In addition, the Gear allows a number of programming options such as grouping more than one window shade to follow the same open-close schedule. It also incorporates “intelligent scheduling,” such as lifting the shades in the morning the moment your FitBit detects your awake, or even lowering the shades during the hottest periods of the day to conserve energy.

The Gear is expected to be available in late 2016.

“Our goal is to simplify our customers’ lives by offering an innovative, affordable, and easy-to-install product,” says Trung Pham, CEO and founder of AXIS.

The AXIS team consists of Pham and Menon, along with Wilfred Ngo as the mechanical engineer, Matthew Vultaggio in charge of digital marketing, and Marc Bishara as the product development engineer. They’ve been working on the AXIS Gear since December 2014, and are heavily invested in being the guys that own the word “DIY 2.0.”

Long-term, the team expects to expand into other markets such as furniture, and other smart home products that aren’t being represented today.

“It’s very different now for our generation than it was for our parent’s generation. We want to build products for our generation,” says Pham.