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Let's Not Talk: Why our devices should be as smart as a starfish

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In a world of smart connected devices what is 'smart'? 

If your phone has to download an app to make it work, that is not smart.

If you have to turn on Bluetooth or enter a password, that is not smart. 

If you have to replace the existing infrastructure, that is not smart.

Predicting the future is smart. Sensing what is going on and taking action is smart. Adapting to new and different situations is smart. But, we don't need to wait for human AI to be useful. Imagine if we gave even a simple object - your front door for example- real smarts.

CONCEPT SKETCH - OCTOBER STARFISH LOCK

Soft Robot via Havard

Soft Robot via Havard

October Star Fish Lock (OSFL) takes its design cue from Fuse projects August, but rather than relying on bluetooth and an app, it uses a simple set of universal sensors to determine if you are in fact you. No phone required. The somewhat creepy futuristic soft robot depicted above is only a prototype, we expect later models would be cute and yet still benefit from the robust nature of soft robotics in both skills and durability. This means you don't need to replace your lock system, the arms work on almost every door type known.

OSFL doesn't just borrow from star-fish smarts, it also has hacked the same similar tricks a crow uses to distinguish between people. It recognizes faces better than people, and also watches body language and expressions to determine intent. It can let in folks it knows, and keep out those looking suspicious.

OSFL  knows when you leave and come home. It can see you walking toward the door, and unlock it for you. It knows your kids from your neighbors kids. It can tell if the ups guy is the same one or a new addition to the delivery service. Just like Amazon's voice service Alexa, it is a part of your home that you can talk to in order for it be more effective when needed except it never talks back. OSFL can be unobtrusive, but also knows when to step in. You can set OSFL to allow family members access by introducing them. OSFL can hear them talk, and also see their face. No password or bluetooth required, just show up at the door, now that's smart.

Are you as interested in soft robotics and biologically inspired intelligence as we are? Let's connect.

Timothy McGeeComment