The Knocki Turns Flat Surfaces Into Remote Controls That Control Smart Devices Through Your Taps

The Knocki Turns Flat Surfaces Into Remote Controls That Control Smart Devices Through Your Taps

The Knocki turns any flat surface into a smart remote control.


“I was at your place ten minutes before the game, man. I near knocked down your door. You really should get a doorbell.”

“Honey, did you see the remote for the TV? I can’t find it!”

“How many times do I have to tell you to switch off the lights? We need to conserve energy!”

“It’s freezing in here! Honey, please turn up the heat! What? Oh no! The remote’s missing again? I placed it on the coffee table!”

“Have you seen my phone? I’m sure I left it in the kitchen when I made coffee earlier. I can’t seem to find it!”

“Ugh, must I really get up now??? I can’t reach my phone. Snooze, you elusive devil. Noooo… Move closer, phone!”

Those are familiar scenarios in modern households. It’s in these cases the Knocki comes in handy.

Let’s take a look…

What is the Knocki?

The Knocki is a round device that fits in your hand. You stick it to a wall or place it on a flat surface, which the Knocki turns into a touch surface interface.

From a user perspective it’s similar to clap switches. But it doesn’t work with sound; it works with vibration.

How does it work?

Pair the Knocki with a number of apps, or with other smart devices in your home.

Then you install it on a flat surface.

If it’s a horizontal surface, you put the Knocki down and leave it there.

If it’s a vertical surface, like a wall, you stick it to the wall.

When you tap on that surface, the Knocki communicates with the apps or devices you paired with it.

The Knocki does not need your phone to be on, to work. It connects to your Wi-Fi network, and is active if your Wi-Fi network is active.

Your Knocki handles up to ten simple knocking commands.

For instance, a single knock instructs the Knocki to switch on the stove (if it’s a smart stove) so you can start your delicious gnocchi dish.

A double knock combination instructs your Knocki to switch on your smart kettle, because you need an AeroPress coffee.

That leaves you with room for eight more knocking combinations.

How to set it up

Follow these steps to set up your Knocki:

  1. Connect your Knocki to your Wi-Fi network.
  2. Use the free Knocki app to link your smart devices and accounts.
  3. Mount your Knocki to a surface of your choice.
    • It must be a flat surface.
  4. Define the gestures that trigger the Knocki.
    • Each Knocki handles up to ten gestures.

One per surface

Although you can use more than one Knocki per room, you can use only one Knocki per surface.

If you use more than one on a single surface, you confuse them. A confused Knocki’s performance is rocky.

How does it mount to a wall?

The Knocki comes with a piece of 3M removable tape, as well as screws.

Make sure of where you mount your Knocki. You won’t want to move it often.

Does the surface need to pick up vibration?

Yes.

The Knocki uses non-acoustic sensor tech. It picks up vibrations from the surface it’s mounted to or placed on.

How far does it pick up?

Knocki mentions two distances on their Indiegogo campaign.

One is, “even a distance away,” the other, “many feet away from where Knocki is attached.”

That means nothing.

One knock, many actions

One of the more standout features is that you can set a knock, or a multiple knock command, to take more than one action.

For instance, you set your Knocki to switch off the lights, lock the doors and arm the security system with a single knock.

That sounds impressive.

How does it charge?

The Knocki uses AAA batteries.

They don’t say how many it takes.

How often must you charge it?

Knocki claims that the device keeps a charge for 12 months, with the help of advanced power budgeting.

Are the batteries replaceable?

Yes.

Knocki suggests you use rechargeable batteries, to help save the planet.

Apps supported by Knocki

Knocki’s list of supported apps:

  • D-Link Smart Plug
  • Emberlight
  • Facebook
  • Gmail
  • Google Calendar
  • IFTTT
  • LIFX
  • Nest Cam
  • Nest Protect
  • Nest Thermostat
  • Philips Hue
  • SmartThings
  • SMS Messaging
  • Spotify
  • Twitter
  • WeMo
  • WeMo Coffeemaker
  • WeMo Lighting
  • WeMo Switch

…and hundreds more.

They keep their list updated, always striving to expand the Knocki’s compatibility.

Concerns

This sort of product unsettles me.

It’s high tech stuff. There’s plenty of room for mistakes, from the creator’s side and on the user’s side.

Here are a few concerns.

Distance of pick up

Knocki does not define the usage distance of their product.

If you stick a Knocki onto one end of a wall in your 20 metre corridor, will it pick it up knocks from the other end?

I put down my cup of coffee near the hifi and “Shape Of You” started murdering my ears

If the Knocki is mounted to your coffee table, and you put down your cup of AeroPress coffee, will the Knocki interpret it as a command?

If so, you need to be careful where you stick this thing.

You don’t want to activate your smart sprinklers while your mother-in-law is taking a walk in the garden.

(Mmmm…)

They claim this won’t happen:

Knocki also has the intelligence to filter out random vibrations. Therefore, Knocki works under busy breakfast tables and other “high-activity” surfaces.

That’s good to know.

Remains to be seen if it works.

Price & availability

Crowdfunding prices for the Knocki remote control.
PackagePriceDescription
Early Bird$891 x Knocki.
Knocki: Black Edition$991 x Knocki, Black Edition.
Early Bird - triple pack$2293 x Knocki devices.
Early Bird - five pack$3495 x Knocki devices.
Knocki - powerpack x 10$59910 x Knocki devices.

Final thoughts

I’m not one for these types of gadgets, but it’ll appeal to the tech-conscious person. If you like the smart home, Internet of Things type vibe, you’ll like the Knocki.

If you own a smart home you’ll up its IQ by at least ten points if you throw a Knocki into the mix.

But you don’t need a smart home to use the Knocki. Even if your home is the dumbest in the world, the Knocki offers useful functions like finding a missing phone or controlling your smart phone (for alarms, text messages, etc).

The fact that the Knocki exceeded its monetary goal by 3000 percent proves that there are people who’d love the Knocki in their home.

Check it out. You might fall in love with the Knocki.

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