Sometimes I think about how society needs to bring back The Clapper. But how could we make it cool again, or better yet, how can we make The Clapper an Internet of Things device? Knocki is my answer. The device makes any surface interactive by pairing with connected devices and then instructing them to do things based off of knock patterns.
It's similar to a Clapper but relies on an accelerometer as opposed to sound detection. It picks up on rhythms, so erratic knocks shouldn't unlock your smart lock or trigger your fire alarm. You can see Knocki in action in the video above. Note that while I used quite a bit of force to show off its features, Knocki also responds to lighter taps. The device launched on Kickstarter yesterday and is available for preorder. An early bird rate prices it at $69, but it'll eventually retail for $100.
So what can Knocki do exactly? It works with IFTTT, so it can be included in recipes that include other smart devices. The coolest thing to me, though, is how creative users can get when it comes to programming. Jake Boshernitzan, CEO and co-founder of Knocki, told me he sees his product as especially useful for young kids or elderly family members. Kids can knock on a table or wall to turn on a TV or to text their parents that they're home. His most appealing and realistic suggestion was to put Knocki behind a headboard and have a knock turn the lights off and set an alarm. A separate pattern could turn the lights on and tell the coffee pot to start brewing a fresh pot.
The Knocki is programmed through its companion iOS and Android app. It just requires a Wi-Fi connection and four AAA batteries. Maybe the Knocki will be the 21st century Clapper we knew we wanted.