Antumbra is a new range of networked user interface panels from Philips that aims to redefine ‘the preconceptions about what a user interface can be, and the way people can interact with automated control systems’.
With this product Philips claims to move away from the standard ‘square box for a button’ approach, and introduce new methods of construction, installation and aesthetics. Geared towards residential and hospitality markets, the resulting products serve as user interfaces that are able to use the entire faceplate as touch points.
The Antumbra range consists of three different controls, each with a minimalistic look. One has tactile buttons; one has a clean glass finish; and the third has a state-of-the-art touch-sensitive screen. The tactile panel incorporates a display and supports a thermostat. From one panel it will be possible to operate lighting, blinds, HVAC and any other networked device connected to the system.
At rest, the panel looks like a simple panel with aesthetics that can easily be incorporated into a room’s decor and design. However, the use of field effects technology means that the panel is able to detect a person’s near-presence by their body’s own magnetic field. The panel ‘wakes up’ to display a light wash effect around the keypad and up to six buttons or touch points, complete with the option of custom labelling.
At night, this trigger allows for a dimmed backlight effect for easy identification of the panel by creating a comfortable light without glare. When a person moves away, the panel will simply fade back to merge into the wall architecture.