Roof robot: Smart Haiku with SenseME fan channels Nest

Chris Davies - Jun 4, 2014
Roof robot: Smart Haiku with SenseME fan channels Nest

Come the smart home revolution, everything will have a brain, and the humble ceiling fan is the latest to get blessed. The handiwork of comically-named Big Ass Fans, Haiku with SenseME takes the ceiling fan and gives it LED lighting, WiFi, a smartphone companion app, and the ability to track temperature and room use and adjust itself accordingly.

The fan has a lens at its center, which can monitor when the room is being used – similar to how Nest‘s smart thermostat works – and turn itself on accordingly. Similarly, the lights can be set to automatically switch on if there’s movement.

Meanwhile, the temperature monitoring system adjusts the fan speed depending on the overall conditions in the room, including its humidity. The blades get faster if it gets hotter, and slower if it cools.

If the user actively changes the speed, however, and overrides the automatic settings, those preferences are stored and are taken into account as the SenseME system controls the fans later on.

As for the smartphone app, that allows scheduling of lighting and fan activity, as well as turning the system on and off from the sofa. There’s also a “Gradual Awake” mode which gently starts to turn up the fan speed and lighting level to make you feel like you’re waking up on an increasingly windy hillock.

There’s also a “Whoosh” setting for a sudden blast of cooling. BAF says that it’s open to the fan being integrated into third-party home automation systems, too, though that’ll be up to them to configure.


Multiple fans can be grouped together and controlled simultaneously. The blades are made from five layers of bamboo and are hand-balanced, while the motor is of BAF’s own creation and claims to be silent. It offers seven speed settings, and there are various blade and motor-housing finishes available, as well as an outdoor model.

The Haiku with SenseME fan is up for preorder now, priced at around $1,190 depending on options, with delivery expected in 8-12 weeks.

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