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Amsterdam’s Frolic Studio has created a new gadget that can make dumb objects smart, says Fast Company writer Adele Peters.

Smartians, as the devices are called, are a "kit of cloud-connected motors and attachments that let you give your old products some of the same functionality as expensive new ones, by performing simple mechanical functions like pushing a button or flipping a switch."

Stick a motor next to your apartment’s old thermostat, for example, and you can use the kit’s mobile app to program it to turn the heat on an hour before you wake up in the morning, or connect it to a Google Home or Amazon Echo to turn it on and off based on the current temperature. One attachment for the motor turns knobs. Another attachment presses buttons: You could set it up next to your laundry machine so you can start a load of laundry before you leave work, or next to a coffee maker for the morning. Another attachment can pull blinds open in the morning or closed at night.

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