It uses capacitive sensing technology similar to smartphone screens, except they made the sensitivity just a tad stronger. Instead of having to touch the switch, you simply need to wave in front of it to activate the action. That means, you can turn the lights on or off by passing your hand over the switch -- no touching necessary.
More than just a replacement for regular switches, iOn can also take the place of dimmer switches. All you have to do is keep your hand in front of the switch to make the lights dim or brighten, then remove your hand once the desired illumination is reached (we're guessing the same trick can work if you're going to use it for the Tiger Shark Warplane Ceiling Fan). Like conventional switches, it can be installed flush on a wall. Unlike them, you can also hide it behind the wall, cover it with a Star Trek Fine Art Print, or obscure it in some other form, confusing your mother in law when she visits and pulls her hair out trying to find the switch in the bathroom.
Even better, you can use any conductive object in the vicinity to extend the capacitive switching field. Like, put a metal sculpture in front and all you have to do is wave your hand at it to activate the switch. The switch is also wirelessly connected to your home network, so you can toggle the switches directly from a smartphone if you'd rather not get up and walk over to the wall.
iOn is currently raising funds for a production run on Kickstarter. Pledges to reserve a unit starts at $40.
According to coolthings.