Ninja Blocks

Meet the Ninja Sphere.
Much more than a smart home controller,
it's a computer for your coffee table.

Apps for your Home

The Ninja Sphere connects your devices together and lets you control them with your smartphone or from the Sphere itself with gesture control and an LED display.
Run apps at the edge
in your own home, not in the cloud

Today’s smart home hubs process information in the cloud, leading to long delays for simple automation. The Ninja Sphere is the first hub/controller to run apps in the home, meaning you don’t have to rely on your ISP for your home to keep working.

That means when you want a light on
... it's on!

Technical Specifications

Radios

ZigBee
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Smart
Wifi 2.4GHz only

Display

16 x 16 LED Matrix
16 Million Colors

Operating System

Snappy Ubuntu Core

Gesture

e-Field Gesture board

In the box

1 x spheramid
1 x power supply
(US/EU/UK/AU)

Mobile App

iOS 8+
Android 4.4+

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Shipping 30 days
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Works with

Development

Open Source

Most of what we create we release under The MIT License. We trying to build not just products, but a vibrant open community. We’ll never be able to add support for all the devices in the world, but we’ll make sure someone can.

What can I control inside the Spheramid?

No signed firmware and closed-source drivers here (at least, not on anything we write!), you have as much access to the hardware as we do.

Ubuntu

After launching on Ubuntu’s 14.04 release, we’ve recently partnered with them to port the brand new, very exciting, Ubuntu Snappy Core to Ninja Sphere. Bringing transactional updates, an app store, and application security profiles, plus the backing of Ubuntu’s world-leading developers the next version of Ninja Sphere will be faster, more reliable and more fun.

Zigbee

Using TI’s CC2530, you can run a ZigBee Home Automation network. Our go-zigbee library has abstractions for many common device types, but can be also used to send and receive raw ZCL packets. This allows you to communicate with any standards-compliant hardware, now and in the future. If you prefer to live on the edge, you could try 6LoWPAN instead by flashing the Open Source Contiki project (not for the faint of heart).

Bluetooth Smart

Also known as BLE, this protocol is seeing widespread adoption due to its ubiquity and low power requirements. We’ve contributed client bindings to the Gatt project, making it relatively straight-forward to talk to the many new Bluetooth Smart devices being released.

Gestures

The e-field gesture reader is fully supported by our go-gestic library, allowing you high-bandwidth access to the raw data as well as calibrated gesture events and X/Y/Z positions.

LED Display

A bright and beautiful 16x16 RGB LED display accepts raw pixel data at up to 30fps. We have an API allowing you to display animated GIFs, transparent PNGs, scrolling text and more. You can also control the underlight brightness.

USB

We’ve written our Z-Wave driver using a USB dongle, and the same could be done with almost any protocol that has a USB adapter available. This is a full Linux machine, the possibilities are endless. Audio? Xbox controller? Another display? Go for it.

Code Sample

Using Go, we can turn off our lights with the following snippet


conn, _ := ninja.Connect("my-great-app")

var lights []model.Thing
conn.GetServiceClient("$home/services/ThingModel").Call("fetchByType", "light", &lights, time.Second*5)

for _, light := range lights {
  light.GetChannelByName("on-off").GetServiceClient(conn).Call("turnOff", nil, nil, time.Second*5)
}

FAQ

What is the Ninja Sphere?

The Ninja Sphere is a small device that finally delivers on the promise of “Smart Homes”, without all the tedious wiring and configuration. By connecting the devices around your home, and being able to locate you and your belongings it can automate, monitor and provide suggestions to help make your life a little easier (and hopefully a lot more awesome).

How much is shipping?

$35 to most countries in world.

Will you be shipping internationally?

Yes we are shipping to most places around the world. If you open the pre-order form, there is a list of countries we will ship to. If your country isn’t on that list, ask nicely at support@ninjablocks.com) and we may make an exception for you (just you though, because we think you’re great).

How does location work? (coming soon)

Along with the GPS signal received by you phone, the Ninja Sphere uses signals from Bluetooth Smart devices and a technique called trilateration.

Trilateration is similar to triangulation, however instead of using the angle a signal is received, trilateration uses the intersection of overlapping spheres to locate a position in space.

To increase the accuracy of the system, we calibrate by taking thousands of signals in various places throughout your home and us them to build a model using machine learning algorithms.

The Sphere and waypoints then use this model to calculate the position of your devices as they move around your home.

TL;DR - Magic. It’s Magic.

I have a Ninja Block, can it be used?

Yes, absolutely. We will be releasing an update to The Ninja Block to make it work seamlessly with The Ninja Sphere (or even without it). Internally both products will be running the same code, but due to hardware differences (mainly the lack of radios, display and gestures) some functionality will not be available. There will be No Ninjas Left Behind.

Will you be supporting different power adapters & sockets for various countries?

Yes we will be providing power adapters and sockets to fit USA, AUS, UK & EUR power points.

What is the range / How many do I need?

There is 50m range line of sight for Bluetooth Smart (which is used for location and some devices), however walls and floors impact it quite heavily.

To ensure reliable service, we suggest 1 Sphere per level for most residential homes, and for really long/wide homes 2 Spheres per level.

ZigBee is a meshing framework that expands as you add more devices, so its range should be fine for the large majority of houses.

The Sphere also requires a Wifi connection to the internet.

Will I be able to purchase additional items to add to my Ninja Sphere?

Yes. We’ll be selling a variety of devices, as well as providing detailed information about which third-party devices we support. Our decision to support a product is always based on demand and how useful it would be to our customers (not how much money we’d make selling it) so the list of devices is already long, and will continue to grow quickly.

What third party devices are supported?

Current supported third party devices:

  • Lights: LiFX, Philips Hue, MiLight, EasyBulb
  • Power: ZigBee Smart Sockets, Z-Wave Energy
  • Monitors (via addon dongle), Belkin WeMo,
  • Media: Google Chromecast , Sonos, XBMC.
  • Motion: ZigBee motion sensors.
  • Smart watches: Pebble (coming soon).
  • Tags (coming soon): Any tag supporting the standard Bluetooth Smart proximity profile.

Note that our driver interface is open source, and many of the above connectors have been written by people in our community. Some are now being maintained by us.

Ninja Sphere Developer Sale Now On!