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The tiny Klug Home promises big changes in what we should expect of hubs and controllers

If you live in a connected home, you’ve likely spent a great deal of time customizing it for your needs and preferences. That’s because the smart  home is actually rather dumb, until you’ve invested some time teaching it: While some smart-home components—such as the Nest thermostat—are capable of learning on their own, there are no connected-home hubs that do. The Klug Home promises to change that. 

The Klug Home, from Singapore-based Intraix, is a $79 smart hub that plugs into one of your router's USB ports. It's available for preorder on Indiegogo, with delivery expected in October 2016. The hub can control Wi-Fi and ZigBee devices directly, via a smartphone app, and it will also be able to interact with other connected-home systems and devices, including Samsung's SmartThings, Nest products, Philips' Hue lighting, and the Netatmo Weather Station. The Klug Home will respond to voice commands by way of Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, and Google's Google Now.

The Klug Home's most promising feature is its machine-learning algorithm that can learn a user's preferences, combine that with data acquired from sensors and other devices under its control, and automatically adjust your smart-home systems, including lighting and HVAC. The company provided one example in which a home's air conditioner turns on in advance of a FitBit wearer returning from a run, so that the home is at just the right temperature when he arrives home.

“We’ve designed Klug Home to listen, learn and understand your habits and preferences at home,” Intraix co-founder Bryan Lee explains. “It gets smarter as it gets to know you better and is able to develop single contexts across the multiple devices that you own and use most.”

Klug Home draws power from your router’s USB port, so it doesn't need an AC adapter of its own, and its small enough to be unobtrusive even if you leave your router out in plain site. Intraix says a single Klug Home, powered by a 32-bit ARM Cortex M3 process, can communicate with at least 20 smart-home devices. 

Why this matters: This being a crowd-funding campaign, we'll maintain a show-me attitude until we can land physical hardware that we can evaluate. But the idea of a connected-home hub that can learn and adapt makes a lot of sense and shouldn't be that difficult to achieve.

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