The name was inspired by a chinese welcoming cat Maneki-neko (whilst Maneki-neko is actually a japanese word, this particular welcoming cat was of chinese origin).
In 2011 (before whatsapp really took off and we all still used email) I thought it would be very useful to be notified of new emails. This should be a device which is not intrusive and belongs to the household. The first item I noticed was a cat waving her paw. Now, if only this could be made to wave only when there's email in the inbox, I thought...
At first, I used arduinos and rasperry PIs, which are a lot of fun, and one can share a lot of code with others. But it quickly made the livingroom look very untidy. It also didn't feel right to have to purchase a power-supply, a wifi-shield, a raspberry pi, and even a transistor, seperately, then write the code, and then solder it to a simple little device. And each time we changed the wifi password we had to get the device, plug it into a computer and upload new code via USB. This had to be easier.
After talking to several people, we thought, it would be great if it wouldn't only react to email, and if it not only be a cat, but a more generic device, but still 'ready-to-go' and 'plug'n play' and 'turnkey solution'.
And this is what all our products are: plug'n play but fully open and flexible so that you can decide what, when and how a device in your home or office does whatever you want it do.
If you want to know more about the people behind this, read more about the team here.
If you want to know more about the company, then read this.
In pictures: From prototype to PCB to product this.