There is a lot of hype around the Internet of Things. Different industry analysts imagine different numbers of connected devices by the end of this decade. Though, all predictions have a thing in common – the figures are staggering. In 5 years from now Cisco estimates 50 billion, while Morgan Stanley foresees this number as high as 75 billion of things ready to be connected. Can it be justified? Well, analyst’s job is to make predictions, while real adoption curves depend on us, consumers.
Can you guess how many devices are now connected? Earlier Cisco study estimated about 8.7 billion, which is roughly 1 device per every of the 8 billion people living on this planet. Given that today most IoT devices are smarter versions of their previously dumb cousins, for this number to ninefold we would need to replace a lot of existing equipment. And here is a problem – will people be willing to replace perfectly working hardware?
Connecting stuff to the Internet is valuable. It helps to save time, energy and it unlocks new features. Also it feels futuristic, most of us want to live in the future, right? This is where we thought different :). What if we could help people to upgrade their existing household appliances at a fraction of replacement cost?
To do so we made Push. The first in a series of Microbots that are exactly meant for this. Push is a wireless robotic finger that can push most ordinary buttons and switches just like a human finger does. While voice control is getting traction, normally we are used to interact with our household interfaces using our fingers – from light switches to knobs and buttons on our washing and espresso machines. Most smart devices are smart because they duplicate old good physical controls for remote access and automation. Push does the same. When it is mounted above a physical button, it makes it remotely pressable via the app. Then Prota OS does the rest.
Apart from being always remotely accessible, users can program Push to press buttons automatically. It can be used to start an espresso maker in the morning or to start a washing machine at night, when the electricity cost is lowest. Additionally, the Internet can provide a lot of contextual data for Push. For example, this means you can instruct Push to turn off all of your electronic equipment if thunderstorm hits your area or many other things that require higher level of context.
Since pushing buttons is not the sole way of controlling one’s equipment, Push for us is just the beginning. We are exploring new Microbot designs and and we’d love to get our input. Feel free to comment or drop us a line.