Knocki turns any surface into a switch

What happens when you mix two software dudes, a little kid, and a light switch? You get the Knocki, a clever little device that connects to a wall or under a table. You can tap the surface to trigger events – turning on a light, muting speakers, etc. – and it is surprisingly small and easily-hidden. The founders are Ohad Nezer and Jake Boshernitzan, both of Houston, Texas.

“We created Knocki at a family gathering. One of the kids there wanted to turn off the lights and he stacked up a bunch of boxes but still couldn’t hit the button,” said Boshernitzan. “We asked ‘What if the entire wall was a button?’ That was the a-ha moment.”

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The goal for Knocki is to simplify our lives. Boshernitzan notes that Knocki is great for people with accents and limited mobility who might not be able to use voice controls. “Why does controlling technology always feel so complicated?” he asked.

Knocki works with almost all smartphone devices. You can set up different taps – double taps, etc. – to trigger different things. For example, you could tap four times for Knocki to call your phone if you’ve lost it.

They’re offering pre-orders now and will ship in Q2 2017. The Indiegogo price is $79 and they already have 20,000 pre-orders.

They were chosen as our audience Wildcard at Hardware Battlefield at CES.