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Circuit Breaker

Mui is an interactive wooden panel that can control your smart home

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It’s now funding on Kickstarter

Forget E Ink or OLED screens. Now, the hottest new display is a piece of wood. With the Mui interactive wooden display, which is now funding on Kickstarter, you can choose a Sanded Sycamore, Cherry, Maple, or Ash panel to send and receive messages, check the news and weather, and control your smart home. Via IFTTT, it can also connect to a Google Home, Amazon Echo, Philips Hue, Sonos, and other smart home services.

We got an early preview of Mui last year, and we came away impressed with its elegant design and concept. The display is activated when you touch the surface, showing a minimal menu that disappears when the panel goes back into sleep mode. Early adopters can back Mui for $499. Its price will go up to $999 when it ships, which is planned for September 2019. Mui is also offering a $999 developer version that comes with the Mui SDK and a Raspberry Pi connector so you can work with the company to develop new IFTTT triggers and actions.

An “internet-connected block of wood” is a funny thought until you realize how seamlessly the display can blend into your home. Mui’s biggest strength is its ability to integrate digital platforms into everyday life in a warm, non-intrusive way. “Most homes and offices today are designed to accommodate technology, rather than to focus on the needs of humans who use the spaces,” the company writes on its Kickstarter page. “We created Mui to reverse that trend, to make digital more nature-centric.”

Mui is funding now on Kickstarter, and it’s planned to ship in September 2019. As always, use your best judgment when backing crowdfunded products, as they can experience delays or fail to ship completely.