The Premise. Sometimes the light switch is just too far away. Whether you’re cozy in bed, just getting in the door with your hands full of groceries or unable to easily get to the switch due to injury, flipping the switch can sometimes be a pain.
The Product. Vocca is a voice-activated light switch. The small white device screws into any conventional light fixture. Once in, the lightbulb then screws into Vocca. By simply saying the phrase, “Vocca switch light,” the device turns the light on or off. Vocca Pro allows for customization and the user can program up to five trigger phrases for the light using an accompanying app. The product itself is white and very discreet.
The Pitch. Watching the Vocca campaign video is like seeing a musical on Broadway. Sort of. The star bursts into song from the get go and sings robustly, and informatively, about Vocca explaining that normal light switches will still work and comparing other products. There’s some drama in there too and, like all classic narratives, a conflict about who’s getting up to switch off the light and a solution, Vocca. The rest of the campaign goes through the specs of Vocca and Vocca Pro, showing off its features to potential backers. This smart light switch product hopes to raise $40,000 in a two-month Kickstarter campaign.
The Perks. For $29, backers will get the Vocca at a special early price. For later backers, $39 is enough to get the Vocca delivered by December 2014. The Vocca Pro goes for an early tier of $42 and regular tier of $49.
The Potential. As the video points out, there are other smart light switches out there. As the video also points out, these come with limitations. Messing around with your phone isn’t really too much faster than hauling your butt up to turn off or on the light. While Vocca does feature the convenience of customization on your phone, including setting the lights to turn on when you want to wake up, it doesn’t rely solely upon that. For instance, Belkin’s WeMo LightSwitch lets you customize your lighting, but the phone is always needed to control it. If you lose your phone, you’re hosed. With Vocca, simply remembering the phrase is all you need to operate the device. All in all, people are very lazy and for that reason alone, there is definitely a place on the market for Vocca.
Julia Herrick is a freelance writer who recently relocated from Canada to New Hampshire where she works in social media marketing and plays the cello for the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra.