Notti: a Smart Light for Visual Notifications (Review)

If you own an iPhone like me you’re probably bombarded with notifications all day and night: calls, emails, texts, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, IFTTT, calendar events and on and on. Of course I’ve modified my iPhone’s settings to get only the notifications I’m interested in, when I’m interested in receiving notifications (i.e. not at 1 am). So I’m against notifications cluttering up my life but at the same time I’m intrigued by the idea of visual notifications.

And that’s exactly what you get with the Notti Smart Light: customizable, visual, light-driven notifications.

The Notti is a small light that looks sort of like a frosty white sculpture when not in use. You could almost look at it and mistake it for a fine piece of marble, although to the touch it’s obviously made of a light, cheap plastic.

There’s just one button on the Notti; a power button shaped as a W, apparently in reference to the W in Witti, the company behind the Notti. On the back there’s a mini USB plug where the cord fits. The Notti is powered via USB and won’t plug into a normal wall outlet which somewhat limits where you can place it.

It’s not the world’s sturdiest-feeling device, but as long as you keep it out of the reach of kids you shouldn’t have any problems with it (which may be easier said than done; tell me who lights bright flashing lights more than kids).

The Notti has a companion app which in some ways reminds me of a less-polished version of the Lifx app. But it’s very usable and lets you change the hue of the light anytime as well as customize color flashes for specific notifications. There’s a music mode that’s actually less than stellar; it would be much nicer if you could just play your music from your regular preferred music app and have the light pick up on it that way. You can also use the Notti as a visual alarm clock.

After using the Notti for several days now I’ve come to the conclusion that there probably is a place for visual notifications in people’s lives. It may make make the most sense to place a device like the Notti somewhere where there aren’t other gadgets; a place where it’s the only notification you’re going to be receiving. Along those lines perhaps it might be good in the kitchen or family room or someplace other than an office unless you really want to get a buzz on your wrist, a beep on your phone, a growl on your Mac AND a flash of light every time you get a text message.

Personally I’m going to keep the Notti around but customize it a bit. I’ll probably end up setting it up to only show me a red flash when I get a certain type of message (like when my website is down) or something similar. I think that will be more useful to me than using the Notti to get ALL types of notifications. And now that I think of it, I think that is what the Notti will really excel at: telling people about the notifications that absolutely matter most and probably things related to IFTTT actions rather than communication alerts.

The Notti is great at what it does. Notifications seem to work consistently well. It’s a bright light (although that is adjustable if you don’t want something quite so jarring) that will absolutely get your attention if that’s what you’re after.

Buy the Notti if you’re obsessed with notifications or would enjoy having something colorful and interactive around. Don’t buy the Notti if you can’t stand clutter.