A new home automation device looks set to blur the boundaries of real life and the web by performing useful functions when provoked by outside stimuli.
The gadgets, named Ninja Blocks, have the ability to “talk” to web apps and online services, allowing them to receive communications from users connected to the internet. By using a simple, “if this then that” type instruction, Ninja Blocks can carry out a user’s command when they aren’t at home.
An example given on NinjaBlocks.com explains that if a user were to take a picture on an internet-enabled camera, then the Ninja Block could upload that image to Dropbox if it detected movement using its built-in sensors.
In a similar fashion, PCWorld.com says that a user could progam an air freshener to release its smell when a user gets a mention on a social networking site.
Other actions include “display text on an LCD display” and “send an SMS to my phone”, adds ZDNet Australia.
Because each Ninja Block comes equipped with an LED, a temperature sensor, an accelerometer, and various connector ports, they are able to detect a range of stimuli, or “triggers”.
The open source hardware behind the technology is backed by a web service called the “Ninja Cloud” and enables users to create a series of if this then that commands depending on their personal preferences.
Ninja Blocks currently supports actions with a number of popular online services like Dropbox, Twitter, Facebook, Google Docs, SMS, and Xbox Live. However its creators intend to add support for more services later on.
Cash for further development of the project, created by a trio of Australians, is being sought via the crowdsource fundraising site Kickstarter. So far, it has raised $44,780 with donations from 284 users, smashing the initial target of $24,000.