Munich startup’s UpLamp uses your phone to create hand-motion nightlight

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Munich-based Product.Plus launched a Kickstarter campaign on Wednesday for the ‘UpLamp,’ a hand-gesture-reading, light-dimming, phone-modding bedside light that optimizes your phone’s power while trying to wrest it from your tired hands and get you to sleep.

“For years, every night before I went to sleep, I would enter my bedroom with my iPhone’s flashlight on so as not to wake my partner, as she usually falls asleep before me,” Moskovich told Geektime. “One of the nights, about a year ago, I had a lamp prototype next to bed (of a different lamp I was developing), and instead of placing the iPhone on my bedside desk, I placed it on the lamp prototype — and woohoo — it shines! An idea was born!”

It’s the design of Naty Moskovich that will grace Kickstarter’s new campaigns page today. Moskovich graduated from Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and the Sandberg Institute for Arts in Amsterdam.

The lamp is pretty large, made of optical grade injection plastic translucent resin, with a plastic groove for a phone dock that automatically puts your phone in snooze mode when you plug it in. To control the brightness of the light, the associated app also reads hand gestures. The app also has a built-in speaker to play music off the phone.

They harp on minimizing cable use and eliminating installation/setup. The iOS model has fewer dimming steps, while the Android version is a bit smoother and includes “white tuning.” It comes in four colors: white, blue, yellow and pink.

Moskovich explained that, “Studying the user habits of iPhone owners, I discovered that many use their phone like I do — docked next to the bed, set as [an] alarm clock. Since the phone is anyways placed next to [the] bed and charging, it is this fine tuning of positioning that turns the smartphone into a smart lamp.”

Its automated snooze mode can be turned off to continue using the phone, but will automatically go back into off-mode after a certain duration of inactivity. The light is also integrated into the alarm feature. Product.Plus claims the lamp’s hardware is not a barrier to software updates, having no WiFi capabilities that might have been based on would-be antiquated software or hardware. Its connection is purely through the phone.

UpLamp uses a clap feature and other hand gestures to turn off lights but also to dim them

“Smartphone docking stations and alarm clocks all lack the ability to be used as a bedside light, and the smart ones that do are not as smart as their smartphone. They require pairing, setting up, and in the future firmware update, and possible redundancy,” he noted.

They hope to manufacture at least 800 models and have set a goal of 36,000 EUR for the campaign. The phone is comparable with iPhones (5/5s/5se/6/6s) and Samsung Galaxy models (5/6/6edge/7/7edge). The lamp also comes with interchangeable adaptors (lightning chargers and micro-USBs) and they tell users they will ensure more models of Android will be compatible in the future.

UpLamp's screens depending on the time of day

Moskovich said to Geektime, “I see UpLamp as a ‘lampless lamp,’ where it has all the capabilities and functions of a smart lamp, without the traditional design (and price tag).”

Product.Plus is based in both Munich, Germany and Tel Aviv, Israel.

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