There is so much cool tech coming out of this year’s Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas ranging from a wearable ring that controls your cell phone to self-driving cars and modular LG washing machines – its all there.
Its all exciting, but I am on the look out for Internet of Things products.
We have been hearing about the theory of how everything of the future will be connected to everything else to make intelligent decisions on our behalf and yet translating this theory into practice has been very low key. So that is the one trend I am looking – real products that tie into the Internet of Things (IoT).
I divide the IoT into two categories. The first category is IoT for a mass scale, city-wide, government type of sensors that collect data and feed it to a central location. The second IoT category are devices and sensors that are used by anyone for personal usage to improve our lives.
I am glad to see that companies are finally starting to produce real tangible products that people can use. Here are some products that caught my eye from CES and I will keep a look out for more and update this post.
Samsung chief executive Boo-Keun Yoon announced that “in 5 years” every single one of Samsung’s products will be an Internet of Things device. Yoon pointed to EarlySense which connect hospital beds to monitoring station in order to automatically monitor patients whilst they sleep and diagnosing any problems without the patients being hooked up to machines. Yoon announced that it is this kind of connected system that will change the world and therefore Samsung are investing $100 million into the “Internet of Things apps” to encourage the developer community to get behind the rends and build meaningful IoT applications.
Furthermore, in August, Samsung purchased SmarThings which is a hub that connects and controls various sensors around the home via an app and thereby making any home a smart-home. During CES it was announced that the hub and coupled sensors have been updated to include “a more powerful processor and local app engine, built-in backup battery power, and expanded cellular connectivity” This innovation essentially means that even if the there is a power outage , the smart home will continue to operate.
The Internet of Things is not confined to inside the home only. One of the cool products that caught my eye from CES is a smart watering system. Recognising that water is an essential commodity which not only cost but also has a lot of wastage, Blossom was developed. This is a first-of-its-kind smart sprinkler system that conserves water by connecting to weather systems to determine exact amount of water the garden needs.The home owner can connect to the system from the smart phone and set parameters to optimise water usage and reduce wastage.
Whilst connected sprinkler systems is no new, where Blossom is different, is that it uses the HomePlug Green PHY powerline technology to connect over the home’s existing electrical system to the sprinkler system. This is significant as other systems connect to the sprinklers via WiFi however this has a severe range limitation. Using the electrical system, enabled Blossom to cover much greater ground making it much more practical.
As an added coolness factor, the system was initially a kickstarter project that instead of raising $30 000 they raised $100 000.
*image from Shutterstock.com