Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How Smart is a Smart Building? (Hint: It's a Trick Question)

Everyday I spend something like 8 hours in a building I've been told is "smart." I've been told this by the maintenance staff after they had to be called to the room to turn the lights back on (they shut off by themselves and wouldn't respond to the switches). I've been told this by other members of the maintenance staff after they had to come adjust the airflow in the room which had started blasting at airport-level noise (there isn't even a switch on the wall for that one). I've even been told the building is smart by the Dean of my business school as the lights came down midway through a start-of-term presentation.

Clearly I've been misinformed. My question is, had they?

As you'll see in this video, what most people call a smart building isn't really a smart building at all. It's just a building with a few automated processes (most of which only kind of work). 

I for one am looking forward to the day I'm not lulled to sleep by dimming lights and rudely awoken by blaring fans (brought to me by the IoT).

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The IoT toilet for the Practical Joker in your life

I'm not sure why you'd want to be able to control this remotely. Unless, of course, you are hysterical.

Thanks JMT for making my day.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The IoTea?

I love the IoT. I really do. I truly believe that the world is going to be better off the more connected it becomes. But sometimes digital is just plain unnecessary. Say, boiling water, for instance.

This little gem is a great example of overcomplicating a simple process for no reason at all. Why do I need a Wifi enabled kettle? Even this incredibly enlightening promo didn't really clear it up…


Seriously? €121.79? For hot water? Can anyone anywhere explain to me why this is useful for anyone anywhere?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Thinking of Launching an IoT Business?

Google up "IoT" and you can see it's already everywhere: from fridges to drones, and whatever you read about the IoT, it will say that the number of devices connected to the Internet is increasing at an alarmingly rapid rate.

When those with an entrepreneurial spirit come across this information, the question probably is: "where is the money?" If you happen to be one of those, check out UK accelerator Springboard, which is betting big time on the IoT by focusing exclusively on the businesses related to the hardware and sensors that connect our everyday Things to the Internet:

So build your team, come up with a cool business idea, polish your pitch and apply to Springboard

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Droning Rockstars

Just another reason to be excited for and terrified of the future. Brought to you by your nearly sentient garage door opener...

Check out KMel Robotics for more impossibly cool demos.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Is the internet of things going to steal your money?

It’s not unreasonable to say that the IoT is going to change most of our lives (and probably for the better). It’s also not unreasonable to say there is probably a lot of money to be made in this market. Which got me thinking, is the IoT going to make my life easier while it slims my wallet?

Luckily I think the answer is no. As long as I’m willing to make some small changes, which are probably for the best anyway, I may actually end up saving money.

Take, for example, this amazing new bulb from Philips.

Now imagine that bulb not only connects to your smartphone or tablet, but to the grid; reacting to peak energy usage hours by automatically dimming lights and saving you money while simultaneously reducing overall stress on the grid. As long as you don’t mind losing a few lumens, your bill goes down while your community benefits.

In fact, any kind of resource management will probably receive an overall benefit from the IoT. Waste, water, gas, electricity, and traffic will be among the first management systems revamped by the IoT. And the cost to you and me? Nothing, really. Assuming we play by the new rules that will come with the new systems. Heck, we’re more likely to save money than to lose it. I know that if I have to pay per pound of garbage in the future, I’m going to be a lot more careful about the things I throw away. Not only that, my refrigerator will be in charge of the just-in-time ordering of all my groceries, so there will likely be less waste anyway.

Of course, the interconnectedness of all things will help advertisers and marketers in a number of ways. Imagine your fuel band knows exactly how many miles you’ve run since your last purchase of $99.99 at the Nike store, and it knows those shoes have a life of 400 miles. How far do you think you’ll have run before you start getting notifications that it’s time for a new pair? The good news is your stuff probably won’t be able to spend your money without your okay. The bad news is that the world of advertising just weaseled its way into your entire connected life.

If you’re keen to know which companies are making strides in the IoT, check out this list.