Tag Archives: Smart Button

This smart robotic finger will push your buttons, literally

Microbot Push lets you control buttons in your home remotely using a smartphone or computer.

The hottest topic in tech right now is undoubtedly the Internet of Things, a broad term that refers to devices and consumer products connected to the Internet and outfitted with expanded digital features — emphasis on connected. So what about our gizmos and gadgets that aren’t web-enabled? In an effort towards a more inclusive IoT, one South Korean startup has developed a product capable of making ordinary things smart.


Meet Microbot Push, a wireless robotic finger that can literally push analog buttons, just like a human finger does. It’s the latest suite of devices by Naran, a company that aims to “break barriers by technology innovations.” You’re probably wondering, if it performs such a simple task, what makes this button-pushing unit so innovative?

The novelty behind Microbot Push is its technology — Prota, which is Naran’s hardware and software ecosystem that brings users’ home to life. With Prota, Microbot Push works similar to IFTTT, where you can apply a set of instructions on the mobile app, and Microbot will automate buttons and switches whenever it fulfills your set of conditions.


For instance, you want coffee to be made as soon as you wake up. You can set a time for the Microbot to turn your coffee maker on. Now you can connect your ordinary appliances to the Internet, and it doesn’t require much brain power to set up. You simply adhere and adjust the Microbot to where you need a button or switch pushed, and then you can control it from your smartphone or computer. These robotic fingers can be activated from its accompanying app, or automated from the Prota system platform. It also allows for manual activation through Microbot’s capacitive touch button, so you can always push it yourself whenever it’s within reach.


Microbot Push measures at 2.46″ x 1.06″ x  1.25″, a compact size that can fit on pretty much any appliance. Aside from that, it boasts Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity, a max torque of 1.6kgf, and a battery that can last for about six months until it has to be recharged via microUSB.

Are you looking for a simple way to make ‘dumb’ things smart? Microbot Push may be the solution. Naran is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo, with delivery slated for April 2016.

Pebblebee Stone is a shortcut button for your everyday life

The Stone is a two-in-one device, combining the possibilities of a multi-function button with the helpfulness of a tracker.

No matter how efficiently a person may think they manage their daily lives, it is inevitable that at some point they will find an item to be out of place — whether that’s forgetting where they put their keys, leaving a backpack behind at the coffee shop, or learning that their pet has wandered away from home. Fortunately, one Seattle-based startup has devised a simple Bluetooth tracker that’ll come to the rescue when such scenarios should arise. What’s more, the device not only tags things to be found later, but helps simplify everyday tasks.


With a motion sensor and range finder incorporated into the Stone, a user will have a peace of mind knowing that their beloved things are safe and sound, just where they left them. Aside from its location-based capabilities, the pocket-sized gizmo packs a temperature sensor for measuring ambient temperatures, which can warn a user of things like whether their car is too hot in the morning or if the wine cellar isn’t at the appropriate climate. Beyond that, the gadget can be employed to receive real-time, localized weather information — since apps are typically generalized by city.

“We have tens of thousands of active Pebblebee users growing on a daily basis. The best part is now you don’t need our app running in order to locate your lost items! Anytime someone with the app just installed on their phone passes within range of your Pebblebee, you’ll get notified with the location pinned on your map. This essentially expands your reach to anywhere in the world,” its creators explain.


However, what truly sets this tracker apart from countless others on the market is an integrated button that serves as a shortcut for anything a smartphone app would typically do. This can be initiating a call, sending a text while driving, taking a selfie with friends, sending an alert when in danger, ordering a pizza, or triggering an IFTTT recipe such as locking the front door and turning on the outside lights. Users easily create these recipes using the incredibly popular online platform and the accompanying Pebblebee Stone app.

With regards to the “Einstein of all buttons,” the app can be configured in one of three different ways. Users can either manually select actions whenever the button is pressed, preset it to automatically change based on the time of day, or activate the so-called ‘smart mode’ that learns a user’s preferences and habits over time, then adapts accordingly.


“Choose from thousands of button recipes, or craft your own. Launch your GPS app and send a pinned location. Control your Spotify playlist. Send a text when you’re running late. The recipe possibilities are endless,” the team adds.

As for its hardware, the Stone is equipped with a Bluetooth Low Energy module, a motion and an on-chip diode temperature sensor, a momentary push button, a 3V Li-ion battery, and of course, an Atmel AT24C512C to handle its memory. These electronics are all housed inside a rugged, water resistant ABS shell. Meanwhile, the unit is powered by iBeacon, which allows your smartphone to detect your Stone and automatically interact with it regardless of whether the Pebblebee app is running.


Are you prone to losing things or merely a worrywart? The Stone, which is currently live on Kickstarter, comes in three colors: glacier white, cascade grey and onyx black. Those interested can head over to its official campaign page here.

Droplet is a wireless button that helps you remember important things

Recently launched on Kickstarter, Droplet is a smart reminder that tracks activities you don’t want to forget.

By now, most of us have all heard about Amazon Dash. We know it works: You push a branded button, an order for that particular product is ordered and delivered to your front door moments later. As to whether or not it will be successfully adopted, only time will tell. However, one thing is for certain: Companies will continue to find new ways to bridge the gap between our digital and physical worlds through the use of innovative interfaces.


Unlike constant reminders on a smartphone that can easily be dismissed with the swipe of a finger to ignore or the press of a button to snooze, Droplet is a bit harder to disregard. Instead, the Bluetooth-enabled button requires a user to physically tap the object to dismiss.

Whether it’s remembering to take medicine, feed a pet or take out the trash, the wireless, teardrop-shaped button can be attached to anything that requires a mental note. Simply affix the quarter-sized Droplet (26 mm x 21 mm x 7mm) to an object and tap it when you finish its coinciding task. Once completed, the device will record the action through its accompanying app, allowing you to track your activities and goals.


The mobile app also enables you to customize a Droplet to better fit your personal needs. For instance, you can use the app to configure new buttons and set email push notifications, as well as phone call reminders. What’s more, Droplet can be set to only remind you if you’ve forgotten a to-do and won’t bombard you with unnecessary alerts.

Beyond that, Droplet can be employed to initiate online actions, such as sending texts or ordering products. Stick one in the laundry room next to where you stock the detergent and tap it when you’ve poured the last of it out. Same goes for paper towel. Place one inside the closet and after taking out the last roll, hit it.

Aside from the button and app, the system consists of a physical hub, which plugs directly into your home’s Wi-Fi, and pings information stored on the cloud to the Droplet. One hub can manage multiple units.


What’s nice is that Droplet can be configured to share with friends and family, too. For example, you can alert someone if a chore is forgotten or simply notify a workout buddy to help you stay on track with your fitness goals. Designed with the older crowd in mind, the Droplet can also be used to help a family member track their medication or to send you reminders when they need refills. Since a majority of elders may not own a cell phone, let alone a smartphone, Droplets can send data to the smart hub so no smartphone is necessary.

Need a smart reminder in your life? Head over to Droplet’s official Kickstarter page, where the team is currently seeking $80,000. Shipment is slated for January 2016.

Qmote is a one-click remote for your smartphone

Qmote is an intuitive, single-button remote control which lets you perform actions on your phone, even when it’s out of reach.

From your television to your fireplace, it seems like just about everything is remote-controlled in today’s constantly-connected world. So why not your smartphone, too? That’s what this guitar pick-like product is aspiring to do. Created by the Qblinks crew, Qmote is a single-button control to help users perform a variety of actions on their mobile device, particularly when it’s out of reach.


Think of when you’re driving and need to start navigation, or when your alarm sounds in the morning and you don’t want to fumble around for your phone to shut it off. Now, Qmote is giving users quick and easy access to the most common functions they perform daily.

“It is estimated that in today’s society, each person pulls their phone out of their pocket at least 150 times per day. We use so many apps and are always digging around for when we need to just do one simple thing like make a phone call,” explained Qblinks Co-Founder Samson Chen. “With Qmote, you can create your own sequence that makes interactions with your smartphone and smart home more convenient, ensuring that you’re easily accessing what matters the most to you.”


The smart remote connects to your mobile device through an app via Bluetooth Smart. You can program Qmote with up to 10 different actions for specific click patterns, something that can come in handy for smart home applications, including Nest, WeMo and Hue. For instance, one click to turn your lights on, or two clicks to play a file from your music library. Needless to say, the multifunctional Qmote will remove the hassle of having to look for a phone and search through a myriad of apps.

Designed with mobility in mind, Qmote can link to keychains to use on-the-go or affix to flat surfaces for more permanent access. With a brushed metal exterior that is water-resistant, the tiny yet sleek device maintains functionality in any environment — whether indoors or out in the rain.


As seen with a number of other smart gadgets, Qmote integrates entirely with IFTTT. What this means is that users can now access an assortment of channels and set up various actions based purely on their own desires and routines. Firmware updates for the all-in-one button will be sent over-the-air to compatible with smartphones including iPhone 4S or later, iPad 3 or later, and Android devices on 4.4 and above.

What’s more, Qblinks designed their gadget with Makers in mind. “As such, we want to equip you with the capability to explore what you can do with it. The Qmote Maker’s Module has all the functionality of a standard Qmote device, with the added feature of enhanced control input via UART with AT commands. The Maker’s Module works with the same app and is also fully integrated with IFTTT,” the company writes. “With UART, Qmote functions easily in conjunction with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, or any other development board. Without any knowledge of Firmware or app programming, you can easily send messages regarding your project to any IFTTT-enabled Internet platform.”


Interested in learning more? You can head over to its Kickstarter page, where the team is currently seeking $20,000. looking to raise $20,000 USD for production on Kickstarter. If all goes to plan, shipping is slated for May 2015.