Sherpa Group has announced an exclusive distribution deal with Axis, a Toronto-based hardware and app company that makes the Axis GEAR, a product that allows any existing window shade to be motorized.
"As long as your existing window blinds are controlled with a loop chain or cable, Axis GEAR can be used to control your window treatments remotely," says Dennis Bazin, Director, Sales and Marketing, Sherpa Group.
The product consists of a motor-driven gear (hence the name) that opens to insert the traditional loop chain used to manually control most window blinds. The motor is then controlled via an Android or iOS app on a smartphone via Bluetooth, or by the push of buttons on the unit itself.
"This may be the easiest smart home automation device on the market, and can be used on roller blinds, vertical blinds, or even curtains," adds Bazin. "Axis will also integrate with the leading smart home systems as well as other connected devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home making it an incredibly easy addition to any home automation product."
The Axis GEAR is powered by a discreet accompanying solar panel that secures to the window, ensuring that any blind, regardless of position, will have appropriate power to operate the Axis GEAR. An integrated battery pack, using standard AA batteries, can also be used to charge the GEAR for cloudy days. "Since the product is used for window treatments," says Bazin, "the opportunity for solar power should be available in 99.9 per cent of applications."
Axis was originally funded through a crowdsourcing Indigogo campaign in 2016, and the product was delivered to funding backers in late January 2018. Since then, the company has participated at CEDIA and other trade shows, garnering accolades for the simplicity it provides in retrofitting existing window treatments at a fraction of the cost of the majority of motorized shade solutions.
Sherpa has been working with Axis since 2018. The Axis GEAR with solar panel sells for an MSRP of $349 and is shipping now.