Tag Archives: accelerometer

Knocki lets you turn any surface into a remote control

Knocki is a smart device that gives you control of your favorite functions through the surfaces around you.

As the world around us becomes increasingly more connected, shouldn’t the way in which we interact with our devices become easier and more intuitive as well? That’s the idea behind Knocki, a simple solution that can turn any solid surface into a remote control. This enables you to send a text, order takeout, change the channel, start a timer, activate a security system, snooze an alarm and lock the house — all with a quick tap of the table, wall, door or countertop.


Developed by Houston, Texas startup Swan Solutions, the disc-shaped gadget affixes to metal, granite, marble, drywall, wood or stone, and will operate as long as it remains within range of your home or office’s Wi-Fi network. The Knocki can recognize up to 10 unique patterns of knock and taps, each of which can be configured to trigger specific actions through its accompanying iOS and Android app. For example, two knocks on the nightstand starts your morning pot of coffee while three taps of the wall can adjust the lighting.


Knocki is able to control any connected device or software with an open platform, as well as sync to a variety of automation platforms including IFTTT, WeMo and Nest. The puck-like unit is comprised of an accelerometer-based system that senses vibrational patterns on any surface and runs for a year on ordinary AA batteries. Since Knocki doesn’t rely on microphones or audio sensors, it is able to decode vibrations using motion algorithms. In other words, it won’t be affected by music, clapping or any other environmental sounds.

Managed remotely through its companion app, multiple Knockis can be programmed to carry out various functions depending on the surfaces to which they are attached. Once stuck to a solid facade, the range that a Knocki detects tap patterns depends on the material and its thickness. Company co-founder Jake Boshernitzan tells Gizmag that wooden tables and cabinetry, along with drywall, allow for a distance of approximately six feet, while only three to four feet for stone countertops.


Get ready to say goodbye to having to search around the sofa for a TV clicker, groggily reach for your phone to hit the snooze button, get out of bed to hit the light switch, or enter a code to activate an alarm when leaving the house. Instead, just knock and voilà! Pre-order your Knocki today.

[h/t Gizmag]

CMYK 4.0 is a smart, foldable electric bike for your morning commute

This smart electronic bike will let you know the fastest, easiest and safest way to work.

Are you among the millions of city dwellers that ride a bike to work in the morning? If you’re looking to make your commute from home to the office a bit more efficient, then CMYK 4.0 may be for you. Created by New York City-based startup Brooklyness, the foldable electronic bike will automatically reroute you should there be any construction, traffic jams or pothole-filled streets in your way.


The smart bike is packed with several features including advanced hardware and mobile integration. CYMK 4.0 is equipped with a gyroscope and an accelerometer to analyze the terrain and map the road, a cadence sensor to determine how fast you are pedaling and to adjust parameters for a smooth ride, a built-in heart rate monitor on its grips to track performance, and an Atmel MCU to process the information gathered by each of its sensors.

An accompanying app is tasked with crunching the collected data and displaying it on your smartphone over Bluetooth. What’s more, the e-bike boasts a phone charger directly on its handlebar so you can power your mobile device on-the-go, a 24V lithium battery, and a 250W motor that allows for 30 miles of assisted riding on a single charge.


Not only does the e-bike’s embedded sensors determine the condition of the road as you ride it, upon getting to their destination, the app will prompt you to answer a few questions about the traveled course. The more people riding, the more data that can be garnered to generate a map of the best routes to take. This can help you decide which way to go in order to avoid Greenwich Village’s cobblestones, for example.

Its app also enables you keep tabs on performance by measuring things like calories burned, average heart rate, and peaks and lows so you can target which areas of your daily commute to increase speed. Aside from your smartphone, a web-based dashboard lets you take a closer look at battery rate of discharge, charging time and how power consumption changes along your route. You can even plan your commute and socialize with other cyclists to organize a group ride or to receive helpful advice.


Designed with safety and security in mind, the CMYK 4.0 includes an electronic lock that will sound if the bike is ever moved, an RFID tag for easy locating, app-controlled headlights for visibility, and laser beams that project a virtual lane on the road. Beyond that, the two-wheeler is super portable, weighing just 25 pounds and can be folded up to make for easily carrying on public transit or stowing away at work.

Looking for a new means of transportation to work? Hurry over to CMYK’s Indiegogo page, where the Brooklyness team is currently seeking $30,000. However, you’ll have to wait until March 2016 for delivery.

Hackaball is a smart ball that children can program to invent and play games

Make it. Hack it. Play it. 

Nowadays, it seems like kids are more apt to be fixated on the screen of their mobile gadgets than playing outside with one another. Cognizant of this, a new London-based collaborative is looking to converge both modern-day technology with old-school fun to develop what they’re calling Hackaball.


Launched on Kickstarter by innovation startup Made by Many and design company Map, the teched-out ball is packed with a number of electronic components including a gyroscope, an accelerometer, a vibration motor, nine LEDs, a speaker, a microphone, a rechargeable battery, and an Arduino.

“Our early versions of the ball worked with the Arduino Uno (ATmega328) board, progressing to a breadboard Arduino and then making our own SMD designs with the Uno. In the latest prototypes, we used the Arduino Leonardo (ATmega32U4) and our current version runs on the Arduino Mega (ATmega2560). Our production version will run on an ARM chip,” the team revealed.


In an effort to let “kids be kids,” the hardware is housed in a pair of rubber and silicone membraned halves that serve as a shock absorber to protect it from bounces, throws, drops and other harsh elements it will inevitably be put through.

Using its companion mobile app, the ball allows kids to imagine and create their own games in an IFTTT-like system. The Hackaball can be programmed to illuminate lighting effects, emit sounds and make rumble patterns in response to various actions like shaking, dropping and bouncing.


The Hackaball is geared towards the six to 10-year-old demographic and grows the more they play, rewarding kids with unlockable features and challenges them with broken games to fix. In fact, the spherical device arrives “broken,” encouraging its users to get it working through the accompanying iPad app.


Hackaball provides kids with a wide range of uses, whether that’s appearing as a prop in plays, serving as a magic 8-ball, waking them up as an alarm clock in the morning, or even pranking parents by making it a whoopee cushion. What’s more, the device offers users the ability to learn the basics of programming and how technology works in a much more interactive, engaging manner.

“We wanted to make Hackaball tough and beautiful at the same time. We’ve built many prototypes and tested them with the toughest audience – children – to get this right, designing a form that’s robust and tactile but flexible and responsive too,” the team writes. “Hackaball started as an intern project with the simple brief — play! We wanted to give children a new way to understand technology and put them in control.”


Interested in one of your own? Then head over to its official Kickstarter page, where Hackaball is currently seeking has successfully garnered well over $100,000. After having surpassed several of its stretch goals, the team revealed that the gadget will come in two differently colored jackets, soon be hackable through Arduino, and will be available on iOS — meaning users can invent on their iPad or Macs. In the coming months, they also hope to unveil an Android app as well. The product is expected to ship in December 2015 — just in time for the holidays!

Creating a Dr. Who Handles replica

John F. has created a slick replica of Handles from Doctor Who that was recently featured on the official Adafruit blog.

The build uses an Atmel-based Arduino Uno (ATmega328 MCU), Wave Shield, Proto-Screw shield, triple axis accelerometer and a class D stereo amplifier. All of the components were purchased directly from Adafruit.

In related news, YouTube user Jamison Go is constructing an impressive Mercury Hammer that Debonair Jayce of League of Legends would be proud of! The cosplay hammer even transforms into a Mercury Canon – complete with lighting effects and moving parts.

According to the official Adafruit blog, Go’s iteration of the Mercury Hammer is packed with an RGB LED to change the prop’s colors between yellow and cyan, a servo to power the wings on the sides, solenoid valve to activate the extending rods and an Atmel-based Arduino board.

Interested in learning more? You can check out John F’s Handles replica here and Go’s Mercury Hammer here.