If your Alarm had often failed you at your neediest, then you would be probably open to the idea of this product called “Wake up Light” from Philips. What makes this product more compelling is the ability to simulate sunrise like environment by gradually increasing its brightness which- by the time your alarm goes off, would have brought you out of your REM sleep mode. It is almost like telling your brain that it is time for you to wake up but in a more classy way, that you can’t cheat by snoozing it.
Now imagine if, immediately after this light had woke you up, it tells your electronic kettle to heat up for your morning drink and probably tell your toaster to make you a breakfast. How can these machines talk to each other and get these things done? If it is possible to make a lamp, a kettle and a toaster to talk to each other, to make your mornings more mindful then why restrict the scope to just household activities? With Kettles and toasters crossed off the list, the potential of smart cars and smart cities comes into the play. What if our cars could talk to each other avoiding any possibility of traffics and accident? Your smart car would basically assess your start time and your office time to pick the fastest route and therefore inform your “level above” that you might be late. So what exactly is all this called? This, my millenials, is the Internet of Things (IoT).
Trends in Internet of Things
What seemed like science fiction back then is now starting to look like possibility, especially with the advent of IoT. Towards the close of 2015, technology witnessed IoT opportunities becoming reality.
- Cisco systems predict that by 2020, more than 5 billion people and about 50 billion things would be connected. With increasing number of smart metering equipment and increasingly digitized automobiles, there will be a vast amount of data providing information on user’s personal use of devices that will give rise to privacy breach if not secured. Gartner acknowledges that this will be a challenge as the information generated by IoT is the key to bringing better services and device management.
- Blockchain sets the precedent for a digital economy as the information architecture inherent to Bitcoin provides a powerful precedent for the decentralization, contextualization, exchange, and security of data needed for IoT. Blockchain technology is the missing link to settle scalability, privacy, and reliability concerns in the Internet of Things.
From our perspective, 2016 is ripe for continued evolution around the application of sensors on ‘things’ and is the new era of Consumer technology.
Let’s take a quick peek at some of the coolest products in the world of Internet of Things.
Amazon Echo is a virtual assistant by definition, but much cooler than Siri or Cortana. It is actually a “smart speaker” which helps you out with your everyday routine. What distinguishes Alexa (as they call it) from the rest of digital assistants is that ‘she’ is a good listener with seven noise cancelling microphones that uses far-field voice recognition technology. This simply means that even when you are several feet away from this likable smart speaker, Alexa would still be able to listen to your voice commands, even if you have got your television on.
So what exactly can Alexa do when it hears your command. As a part of your routine, you may choose to control your treadmill’s speed or inclination; play your favorite podcast during workout; setting up timer while heating food; adjust your air con temperature; switch off light in your bathroom and so on.
How lengthy is the process of “Waking up Alexa” going to take? Fairly a couple of minutes! Once you plug in the speaker, you’ll hear a sound indicating that she is awake. You’ll connect to the speaker’s Wi-Fi network on your phone or tablet, then sync things back up with your home network in the Alexa app. Within a minute, you’ll be up and running.
Kevo Smart Lock
Almost 1 out of 5 times we are used to double checking if we had really locked up our home or not, while leaving for office or practically anywhere. Kevo Smart Lock is one of the trending IoT products in 2016. What it basically does is to turn your smartphone into a portable electronic key for your homes. Kevo Smart Lock connects to a companion mobile app from which users can set up or delete their eKeys! These eKeys are encrypted electronic keys residing on smartphones that unlock Kevo. For scenarios when your friends visit your home or a technician or a carpenter tends to your appliances, this smart lock can also be functioned in such a way that users can send their eKeys to other users temporarily.
So the biggest concern for this amazing idea is security itself. But no worries- Kevo tracks user activity in its system which means basically your master device will receive notification every time the eKeys have been locked / unlocked or sent out or accepted.
Lively Medical Alert Watch
As the name describes, this alert watch helps you track your kids’ or elderly relatives’ (who may or not live far away from you) health. It is a smartwatch that allows remote health monitoring of your beloved. What exactly does it track? The parameters vary and are sure to evolve in due course of time; but for now this tracks different kinds of daily activities, and provides an emergency assist button that alerts Lively to call in and check that everything is alright with them.
For all you fitness freaks out there, we introduce you to the world’s first intelligent footwear. If you are looking for a shoe that tightens automatically around your foot, laces itself up and even warms your foot, the Digitsole SmartShoe is the perfect match. The designs of these shoes include heaters and sensors in the sole that are controlled by a companion app and come with a self-fastening mechanism, so users won’t have to bend down to lace up their own shoes. In addition to self-lacing features, the SmartShoe can be controlled by the app to heat feet up to 100 degrees.
Eventually for the IoT to invade its way into all of our lives it requires a certain level of disruption which will continue to define how Internet of Things is adopted in the subsequent future.