Internet of Things (IoT) specialist Adaprox has unveiled a next-generation switch-bot, the Fingerbot Sense — boasting Zigbee or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity and touchless manual control.
"Almost all appliances in our lives are designed to be controlled by our fingers. But the physical distance is sometimes inconvenient," Adaprox's Chen Wang explains. "Ever thought of letting someone else push a button for you? Let Fingerbot help! Extend your reach with our newest version of Fingerbot to turn all of your traditional appliances into smart devices, just like turning stone into gold."
Fingerbot Sense is the company's third-generation switch-pusher, following the launch of the original Fingerbot in 2020. Its last model, Fingerbot Plus, added a touchpad interface to allow the device to be triggered locally as well as remotely — and Fingerbot Sense builds on that with a contactless sensor, allowing the connected switch to be flipped on and off with a wave of a hand as well as via smartphone app, physical remote, or integration into a home automation system.
Like its predecessors and rivals, the Fingerbot Sense is designed to integrate devices with physical switches — from PCs and air purifiers to lights and ventilation systems — into a home automation environment by physically pushing the switch for you. For compatibility, Adaprox offers three main arm types: A straight arm, a rocker arm, and a toggle arm, with a 3D model provided for those who need to print their own for more unusual switch types.
To go with the arms, the Fingerbot Sense includes four activation modes: Click, which pushes a button in and holds it for a configurable length of time; switch, designed for use with the rocker arm; program mode, which acts like a macro for repeated key-presses in a given pattern; and multi-state mode, which can handle three-way toggles and other more advanced switch types.
The units themselves, meanwhile, come in two flavors: The Fingerbot Sense BLE connects over Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to a smartphone for app control, or can be combined with an optional hub for more advanced functionality including integration with voice activation systems; the Fingerbot Sense Zigbee, meanwhile, uses an 802.15.4 connection to a mandatory hub and offers group control missing from the BLE variant along with the promise of dramatically reduced latency.
The Fingerbot Sense is now funding on Kickstarter, with physical rewards starting at $25 for a single unit with no hub; hardware is expected to be delivered starting in December this year.