The ever growing array of smart appliances is all very well, but upgrading every piece of technology in the home is an unobtainable luxury for most people, not to mention unsustainable. So it is no wonder we have seen a number of affordable systems — such as an energy monitor that can control an entire house of appliances remotely, and a small device that retrofits old home objects with smart capabilities. The latest such offering is Push — a wifi-enabled microrobot that attaches to regular appliances and pushes their buttons, enabling users to control devices remotely via their smartphone or desktop.
To begin, users attach Push to their desired button or switch using the foam tape provided, and adjust the height of their robot. Then, when requested, the device will push the button just like a human finger. Push can be used to control hard-to-reach appliances or simply make user’s lives more efficient. Alternatively it can be programmed using a system similar to IFTT — if this then that — which enables users to design their own home automation. For example, Push could automatically turn the heating on when the temperature passes below a certain threshold or turn the TV off in the kid’s room after a certain length of time.
Push was created by South Korean tech startup Naran, a second working prototype is currently being tested. Are there other potential shortcuts to smart homes?