mui Lab: Creators of beautiful gadgets

mui Lab, Inc, a Kyoto-based engineering firm, presented prototypes of their elegant gadgets at Slush Tokyo earlier this year. Since then, the product has been further polished, leading to a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter that has so far raised JPY 9m out of an approximately JPY 11m target.

mui is an interactive wood panel that is activated by swiping your finger across its surface. Using the digital display that appears on the wood surface, you can talk, send and receive messages, and check the news and weather. You can also control connected devices in your home, office or public spaces, like lighting, thermostats, and so on. When you are done, the panel goes back to sleep mode and looks just like a piece of beautifully sanded wood again.

Electronic devices can make homes feel cold and sterile. Designed to create a peaceful and relaxing space instead, mui uses natural wood as material. The beautiful look of the sanded sycamore, cherry, maple or ash grains blends in with the room’s décor and furniture, allowing you to forget the device’s existence when not using it.

mui is designed to create a modern living and work space where humans can thrive without being conditioned by technology. The intention is to stop technology from continuously demanding your attention, pulling you away from your loved ones while you try to enjoy your personal time. You can be a more mindful reader, more creative artist, better family member, thanks to the boundaries mui sets around your personal space and time.

Our homes will undoubtedly grow “smarter” as technologies further advance. There will always be some gap between how technology works and how humans are meant to live. Still, mui empowers people to live their lives in the way they want by minimizing technological barriers. mui operates as a tool which will help you create your desirable lifestyle, just like your favorite furniture which you choose to design your living space.

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