Korea-based Microbot, a wireless robotic finger, has almost doubled its Indiegogo goal with $45,483 USD pledged of a $25,000 goal with two weeks left to go.
Microbot Push lets the user press any button remotely using a smartphone, tablet or computer just like a human finger does. Along with the robotic finger, the company also introduces Prota automation platform that can automate the ‘pushing the button’ process based on contextual data from other connected devices or popular web services. A single Microbot Push retails for $49 USD on their Indiegogo campaign.
The company got the idea from smart electric sockets. “They were useless in many situations as they could not trigger a specific function on an appliance. We thought it would be cool to do something about it,” says Martynas Kiskis, marketing manager of Naran Inc. in an interview with TechNode.
The market has seen a boom in IoT and smart home devices that sweeping the market this year. IoT management software is still in its infancy however, an shelling out for top-tier smart fridges could deter consumers.
“Many consumers will be reluctant to spend thousands of dollars on early concepts of smart fridges and coffee makers, especially if their existing appliances are work perfectly well,” he points out. “If we can bring them the perks of connected home at a fraction of the cost building upon their existing devices, we are confident that more people will be willing to experiment.”
Since finding global attention due to their crowdfunding campaign, Microbot Push has seen multiple types of uses across different cultures.
“Some of our Japanese supporters will use Microbots to heat up bathrooms before they wake up, whereas the supporters in Sweden will pre-heat their cars in winter,” he says.
The company emphasizes that Microbot Push is not a lazy button. They say they were welcomed by the disabled community when they launched on Indiegogo. The company just partnered with a National Rehabilitation Center in Korea.
There are many big players in connected device and IoT market, including Xiaomi, Alibaba, and Haier in China and Apple and Google in the U.S. However Naran Inc. is optimistic about the possibility of future innovation coming from small companies in the IoT arena.
“With new Raspberry Pi’s price getting as low as $5 USD, chips getting a lot smaller, and WiFi internet technologies getting faster and more reliable, we will see a lot of IoT innovation going on in this market from now on,” Mr. Kiskis said.
Naran Inc’s next vision for the product is to become ‘add-on automation’ provider. One of their upcoming projects is Microbot Twist, which can twist knobs remotely.
Image Credit: Naran Inc.