This app lets you program your home by drawing lines on your smartphone

Think connect the dots.

There’s a new app available in the Apple store that will let you connect and manipulate the functionality of physical objects just by pointing your smartphone at it and drawing some lines.


The Reality Editor was developed by Valentin Heun in MIT’s Fluid Interfaces Lab over the past three years. The app lets you point your phone’s camera at an object, watch its invisible capabilities comes to life, and then allows you to edit them by dragging virtual lines from one object to another in order to create a new relationship between the objects.
So, for example, let’s say there’s a light switch in your bedroom that you need to stand up in order to turn off. If you point the Reality Editor at an object next to your bed and draw a line to the light, suddenly you can turn off the light from the object next to your bed.  If you want a timer linked to the light, just borrow the functionality of an object with a timer, such as a TV, by drawing a line from it to the light. Another example Heun uses on his website is the interior of a car.

Reality Editor app can be downloaded to your smartphone. (Image Credit: Reality Editor)
                         Reality Editor app can be downloaded to your smartphone. (Image Credit: Reality Editor)

If it’s too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter, he suggests pointing the Reality Editor at your bed and connecting it to the temperature system in your car so that when you wake up, the car sets the correct temperature for you to drive to work.

According to the Reality Editor website:

We also have build the Reality Editor with the most open, resistant and commonly known standards. Every visual interface is based on Html5 and therefore leverages the full creative power of the web. This means that the Reality Editor transforms the identical web browsing technologies used for presenting you this article into an interface for the physical space. In addition, connection between objects uses the most open and stable internet standards.

If you’re skeptical, some of the research is publicly available and you can download the Reality Editor in the App Store and use the open source platform called Open Hybrid to build your own hybrid objects.

Sounds complicated? Watch the video below to see how it works.

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