The Mui Board 2nd Gen Takes Matter Into the User’s Hands

This Japanese IoT design startup is aiming to invite a calming presence within the homes of the future with its Matter-updated IoT control.

The Mui Board 2nd Gen Takes Matter Into the User’s Hands

The Mui Board 2nd Gen Takes Matter Into the User’s Hands

Attempting to define the Mui Board is better served by showing what it can do. But in essence the “calm technology” operates as a smart home interface with an illuminated touch sensitive display, all disguised within a strip of wood. One could imagine it as an elongated wall-mountable tactile remote control for all things connected home, presenting itself as more of a gentle touch of technology rather than an ever-glowing intrusive gadget. As noted, it’s better to show than describe:

And now Mui Board has been updated to version 2.0 with an important developing smart home interoperability standard ahead of its CES 2023 reveal: Matter. Think of Matter as a Rosetta Stone for smart home devices, a singular protocol that allows varying brands, devices, and systems to all understand and operate in conjunction in coordination. The standard corrals the still wild world of IoT devices into a secure and manageable ecosystem, one that delivers a much smarter user experience. With the Matter standard users are no longer required to have to jump through hoops to access controls in a multitude of walled-off apps incapable of communicating with another.

Mui Board radio dial display.

Mui Board signature feedback display.

Mui Board home screen display.

The Kyoto-based IoT design startup Mui’s “mui Platform” is one such Matter-ready solution. Mui proposes an entire ecosystem of other “calm” devices controlled by the Mui Board, one that disappears into the background of a domicile. But outside of this ideal, the wooden smart device control hub is intended to connect and control with any Matter-ready IoT device, whether it be lighting, audio, HVAC, or any other home environment technology, and does so with an inviting touch display that easily adapts its UI to display info and controls across whatever devices invited into the ecosystem.

Mui Board wall mounted over bed.

“Our platform takes a less-is-more approach to technology to create a ‘breathing room’ in users’ minds, so technology will feel like a truly natural part of human life,” says Mui Lab CEO Kaz Oki. “We believe the technology is capable of bringing out the humanness of human life and making people happier. We are excited to demonstrate at CES 2023 how our Matter-ready platform can add these capabilities to so many devices. We are ready to change the conventional idea of what technology is.”

Photo and graphics showing interoperability between Mui Board and Matter-ready devices with young Japanese woman seated on small gray sofa.

The second generation Mui Board intentionally retains its simple pixel art display in lieu of a larger screen, representative of a Taoist philosophy focused upon intentionality and harmony.

“We believe ‘technology’ can become synonymous with ‘unintentional,’ and strive to harness the power of cutting-edge engineering to create a harmony among technology, the humans who use it and the nature surrounding them.”