Knocki

  • iReviews
  • October 04,2016
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Knocki

Imagine this: you’re hosting a dinner party with old friends and there’s a fierce exchange about which Beatles album is the best. With everyone circled around the kitchen island defending their position, you interject by advocating for Abbey Road and with a simple, well-timed double tap on your kitchen counter, voila – your Beatles Spotify playlist turns on “Come Together” from Abbey Road and provides instant entertainment for your guests. No better way to wow your guests and at the same time, win an argument with conviction. This is the magic of a smart home device.

 

Knocki is a vibration-sensing tech gadget that can easily transform your home into an intelligent one. The Knocki is a gesture-controlled smart home automation device turning surfaces to life. Puck-shaped with easy-to-connect Wi-Fi, this device can go anywhere inside your home and talks to these popular smart home technologies: IFTTT, Nest, Belkin WeMo, SmartThings, Philips Hue. The end result: a device that simplifies life and is just cool to use.

 

With close to $1.2 Million raised from its Indiegogo crowd funding campaign, Co-founders Jake Bashernitzan and Ohad Nezer invented a seamless way for users to add “smarts” to their existing home. Armed with the company’s patent-pending SurfaceLink technology, Knocki’s gesture-controlled wireless device transforms ordinary surfaces (walls, tables, doors, furniture, countertops, etc.) into touch services.

 

By performing a sequence of knocks (one tap followed by two knocks), you instantly have a surface that communicates with your smart devices. Interested in “hitting the snooze button” while activating the coffee maker? Just fasten the Knocki to the back of your nightstand, connect to the WemoCoffeemaker app and tap your way to another 10 minutes of sleep in the morning.

 

Best part about the Knocki: you can instantly transform your entire house, in the most discrete way possible, into a smart home. Ordinary surfaces, like the kitchen table, turn into a touch interface automating daily tasks such as finding your iPhone, dimming lights, raising and lowering blinds, turning on the AC, etc.

 

Interested in more complex gesture sequences to control smart locks or trigger security systems? The Knocki is fully programmable. Its non-acoustic sensor technology can easily decipher deliberate taps and knocks from random vibrations in the environment to “minimize false positives.” So what does that mean? You can trigger the desired action, like “play music” from one Knocki, without setting off an orchestra of actions from other Knockis positioned throughout your home. If you’re concerned about activating, through accidental tapping, some of the more important household devices (like your thermostat), the user can easily program a more complicated sequence of tapping. Almost like the secret knock to gain access to the tree for when you were a kid.

 

Compatible with a growing list of smart home applications (Wemo, Nest, Smarthings, Spotify, Sonos, etc.), the Knocki connects by Wi-Fi and controls a wide variety of devices. Facebook and Twitter are standards, of course. Knocki is simply a hub for household automation. Beautifully designed in both white and the stealthier black version, the device is designed to blend seamlessly into the home, whether it’s being fastened to behind furniture or stuck below the coffee table. It blends perfectly into any environment.

 

According to Co-founder Jake Bashernitzan, the Knocki is not just for people with smart homes or high-tech offices. “If you purchase Knocki and don’t have a Nest thermostat and you don’t have all these different smart devices, there’s a lot of capability even if you just have a Wi-Fi network at home and a smartphone.”

 

With an estimated ship date of February 2017, there is no question that these devices will be installed under counter tops and behind couches homes across the U.S. The only real drawback happens to be the Knocki’s inability to pick up voice commands. Knocki’s vibration sensing technology and voice recognition, like oil and water, don’t mix too well, whether it’s Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. The moment a new smart surface device enters the market with both gesture as well as voice recognition, Knocki may be in trouble. Hopefully, they’re patent-pending SurfaceLink technology includes voice recognition. If so, they’ve got a rather groundbreaking smart device that may be a fixture in the modern home.

PROS
  • Compatible with most smart home apps
  • Useful even without smart home apps
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Black and white color options (elegant design)
  • Early bird price
CONS
  • Does not work well with voice recognition (Siri/Alexa)
  • February 2017 ESD