This 'Robotic Finger' Will Push All Your Home’s Buttons for You

Never touch a switch again.

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Nov 3 2015, 8:13pm

The internet of things is growing vast and wide. It's awash with plenty of potentially good ideas, plenty of potentially bizarre and dystopian ideas, and plenty of just bad ideas. Depending on how often you press buttons or like the idea of pressing buttons, this idea could swing either way.

Naran, a South Korean startup, is developing the "Microbot Push," a suite of of low energy Bluetooth devices that will allow you to automate switch-based tasks like turning lights on and off, turning computers on and off, and turning your home audio on and off. You can control the Push through a smartphone app, so odd tasks like turning on a coffee maker can be done while you're on your morning run.

While you might have a fleeting and binary relationship with the switches and utilities in your home, it's always an active one: you have to think to turn off the lights in every room as you're not using them, and think to turn off a fan when it's cool enough.

The Push has a system built around automation. Like IFTTT, an online workflow system that's self-programmable, you can feed instructions to the Push to automate switches whenever it fulfills a set of conditions. So for instance, when you enter a room, bam, the light's on. Forgot you left a slow cooker on? Schedule a time to turn it off.

Nifty? Of course. Futuristic? Definitely—our relationship with switches hasn't changed for years. Those are the two words the internet of things hinges on, and if you can create a workflow where the Microbot works perfectly, consider your home future-forward.