Knocki believes the ideal smart home is just a tap away

Forget apps and voice control gadgets, Knocki wants you to control your smart home with a simple tap.

Megan Wollerton
Megan Wollerton Senior Writer/Editor

Megan Wollerton covers renewable energy, climate change and other environmental topics for CNET. Before starting at CNET in 2013, she wrote for NBC Universal's DVICE (now SYFY). Megan has a master's degree from the University of Louisville and a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College, both in international relations. She is a board member of the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. When Megan isn't writing, she's planning far-flung adventures.

Expertise Science, Home Credentials Society of Professional Journalists 2022 Louisville Metro Journalism Award for Feature Writing, Society of Professional Journalists 2022 Ohio Journalism Award for Science Writing
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Houston, Texas-based startup Knocki wants to simplify your smart home. Rather than switching feverishly among apps, voice control devices and assorted multifunction buttons to keep your connected home in check, the team of two instead came up with Knocki, available for preorder now on Kickstarter starting at $69/£45/AU$95.

A puck-shaped Wi-Fi gizmo with built-in vibration-sensing tech, Knocki is designed to go pretty much anywhere inside your home. Use the included adhesive tape to stick one under a table, attach one to a wall, hide one inside a cabinet -- or behind a door. I'm a little skeptical about the staying power of an adhesive-mounted product that looks slightly larger than palm-size, but the team also provides mounting hardware for a more permanent installation.

Knocki promises an easy configuration that's as simple as downloading the companion app on your Android or iPhone and entering your Wi-Fi credentials. From there, you're supposed to be able to assign up to 10 custom "gestures" to a single Knocki.

Since the team claims upcoming support with the likes of IFTTT, Nest, Belkin WeMo, SmartThings, Philips Hue and other smart-home brands at launch, one Knocki can seemingly control a whole lot of stuff.

A double tap, for instance, could turn on your LEDs, two taps followed by a triple tap could unlock your integrated deadbolt, and a triple tap could dim your LEDs and turn on your TV. And that's only 3 of the 10 possible gestures you can create per Knocki device.

This quirky gizmo is also supposed to be able to know the difference between a deliberate tap and an accidental tap (I can't wait to test this out). And even if you don't have smart products at home, Knocki should be able to control music or find your phone, too.

Watch this: Our five favorite uses for the Flic smart button

We haven't seen anything quite like Knocki before. Sure, Shortcut Labs' $34 Flic button is similar, but Knocki is using vibrations to determine which device or devices to control rather than Flic's button presses.

The campaign ends on July 2, so there's time to get an early production version of Knocki. The $59 price tier is already sold out, but you can still snag one for $69/£45/AU$95 (the price will jump up to $129 when it officially hits retail). Knocki units will ship worldwide and are slated for delivery this December.

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