The Internet of Things — like true mobile wallets or Internet-connected coffee makers — is on the horizon. It awaits us, a world where all of our devices are connected and communicate with each other in some sort of futuristic circle of life.
But as with any major shift in technology, we’re certainly not there yet. For those of us who are growing impatient, might I introduce you to the Gecko, a new Indiegogo project that’s meant to “make your smartphone smarter.”
The idea here is that the accelerometer-equipped Gecko connects to your smartphone via low energy Bluetooth to help you monitor the various things in your life, as well as bring gesture controls and triggers to your smartphone.
With Gecko, the connectedness isn’t built into the devices themselves but can rather be applied to objects in the home through these accelerometer- and Bluetooth-based tags.
The device itself is packed with a TI CC2541 SoC, removable coin cell battery with a year’s worth of juice (depending on usage), as well as a buzzer and LED light for alerts.
So, to start, you can use a hand-held Gecko to control the music on your phone, or to trigger the camera to snap a picture or shoot a video. With the accompanying Gecko app, you can even trigger multiple photos taken at set intervals. The Gecko comes with four available gestures, including turning it to the left and right and shaking it once or twice.
Meanwhile, the Gecko can also be used as a tracking or monitoring device. Tag your front door to get alerts when it’s opened or closed. Tag a pillbox to get a reminder when you or a loved one hasn’t taken their medication at the scheduled time that day. Tag your pet to get an alert when it leaves a 100-foot radius. Hell, tag your kid to make sure they don’t wander off, either.
You can even find your phone if it’s paired with a Gecko, as long as you haven’t lost the Gecko. (But in that case, you should really work on being more organized.)
The project just recently went up on Indiegogo and has about 40 days to reach its $50,000 funding goal. That’s plenty of time for this well-designed, clever little venture, and a hat-tip from the Woz doesn’t hurt either.
Steps are taken every day bringing us closer to the Internet of Things. We’ve seen this with Samsung’s TecTiles and NFC-friendly tags that trigger reactions in your phone, but even more so with devices like the Nest learning thermostat and the Lockitron smart lock.
If you’re interested in backing the project, head on over to Indiegogo and lay down $20.