‘Smart Shabbos’ Technology Takes Brooklyn Jewish Homes by Storm
Rather than using manual timers, some Jewish residents of Brooklyn are having smart technology installed in their homes to help them prepare for Shabbat, Forbes magazine reported on Sunday.
Pre-programmable smart lights, smart thermostats and smart outlets enable users to set their hotplates, crockpocks, lights and heat/air-conditioning to turn on and off during the sabbath. All of this can be done with one click on the smartphone app created by Mark Hernandez, founder of the New York-based company, Cliqk, and its “Smart Shabbos” system.
This system has caught the attention of Jewish homeowners, and after reaching out to potential customers in the Brooklyn area, Hernandez had 30 smart-home referrals in the first 30 days.
The company installs the “Smart Shabbos” system in users’ homes, and sets up the mobile app on their electronic devices. All of the “Smart Shabbos” solutions operate on a schedule determined ahead of Shabbat and Jewish holidays. The Cliqk website states that the technology has been reviewed by “rabbis and leaders in the Orthodox community and ha[s] received their endorsements and blessings as meeting the strict standards of Halacha [Jewish law].” The system, which has a 3-year warranty, is branded as a “worry-free lighting solution for your day of rest.”
Hernandez, who founded Cliqk in 2015, has been installing a brand of what he calls “super custom bespoke systems” for the past 12 years — and believes New York’s Orthodox-Jewish community has a genuine need for his “Smart Shabbos” technology, Forbes reported.
Rabbi Shmary Gurary, from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, uses the “Smart Shabbos” system, which he programmed so that the lights above his dinner table go bright for Friday-night meals, and that of the bathroom stays on all night, to make it easier for his children to find their way.
“We used to leave our lights on throughout the Sabbath, which wasted energy and was very uncomfortable,” he said. “Cliqk set up smart lighting for us and now the lights in our entire apartment automatically adjust on a schedule.”
“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t use new technology,” Gurary said, adding that it is an obvious choice for Jews, but only for those who own their own homes and can afford to splurge. He explained, “If I was just renting, why would I want to spend $2,000 on this system?”