The dominance of gadgets in our tech-centric world was supposed to make our lives easier. But what happened on the way to that life of leisure? The master became the slave as we struggle to manage all the devices that we count on, entangling ourselves in a maze of mobile apps, smart switches and other interfaces. Shouldn’t there be a simpler way to manage? The good news is that your enslavement to your devices has a liberator! That’s where Knocki, a smart device that lets you control basic household functions using the surfaces that are all around you, enters the scene. Make no mistake, Knocki has world dominance in mind, but it’s a world where people control the devices they use and not the other way around. Knocki can be placed underneath, behind, or on top of your everyday surfaces to invisibly provide remote access. With Knocki, you have the power to turn doors, walls, tables, countertops and furniture into easy-access remote control providers for your software and devices. The level of support that this Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign has inspired demonstrates the wish that people have to live a simplified life where technology serves and doesn’t master. The original goal of $35,000, with its July 2 deadline, has long since been met and exceeded as more than $780,000 has been contributed to this crowdfunding campaign.
Even if you don’t have a smart home, you can take advantage of Knocki’s abilities. All you need is a WiFi Internet connection so that Knocki allows you to tap into a number of powerful functions. Never mind the wiring, installation and expense of a typical smart-home control system. When you have Knocki, you can:
- Turn your lights on and off
- Find your lost phone
- Set the temperature of your house
- Alert you when there’s a knock at your door (even if you’re not home)
- Activate your home’s security alarm
- Notify you when an email message arrives
- Dim the lights
- Turn on favorite music
- Set a pattern for phone and key access
- Set your alarm
- Start your coffeemaker
- Text your arrival or departure
It’s easy to see that Knocki is capable of making life easier for the typical user, but what’s particularly remarkable is the way that the device can provide help for people who are dealing with impaired vision or mobility, or for the elderly who may have limited physical abilities. Traditional switches and buttons have to be within reach in order to be used, but Knocki can turn the complete surface into a remote control that’s activated by your gestures.
If you are already the owner of different smart devices, you can give your home an IQ boost by building on what Knocki can do so that your ordinary household surfaces are transformed into smart interfaces. All you have to do to make it work is tap simple gestures on a Knocki-enabled surface and presto—a range of useful functions becomes automated.
Set-up of the Knocki is easy and quick. After you connect Knocki to your WiFi network, you can use the free companion app that is provided to link all of your devices and accounts together. After you’ve mounted Knocki to a chosen surface, you will determine the unique gestures—you can create up to ten gestures–that will trigger your actions and create a smart surface. Knocki has an enormous advantage over traditional wall switches and buttons. For one thing, it can be concealed if you don’t want it to be visible. But rest assured, you can mount it so that it can be seen and it will blend with your surfaces.
This might sound like some kind of Star-Trek, futuristic gimmick, but Knocki is for real. Knocki, a company based in Houston, Texas, is a start-up that brings a full-time crew, a production-ready working prototype, seed-funding, and momentum to their manufacturing prowess. The company is proud of the way in which its patent-pending technology provides a natural, accessible way for people to control their environments by making technology work for them. The designs have been finalized and a reliable domestic manufacturer lined up. Seed Sumo and TechrloT have also offered their help as Knocki has been able to reduce many of the risks that a typical start-up would face.
Knocki has been publicized on various media including the following:
gizmag: Knocki is “an easy, natural way to control without the hassle of buttons and switches.”
CNBC: “Meet the smart home device that’s blowing up Kickstarter.”
Wired: “Knocki is immediately accessible by way of its simplicity.”
Knocki advisor Ian Bernstein recalls that when he was first approached by the creative team, he knew they were onto something big. Since then, he says, “The product has evolved into something that’s not just novel, but a very useful and fun device.”
Your house is feeling smarter already.