Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The internet of things: convenience at a price

In the first of our series on the IoT we take a look at connected devices that are available today, the privacy and security issues of using them – and how Britain can play a key part in its future.

Chores are boring. Get home from work, let the dog out, put dinner on, start a load of laundry and write a list for your next grocery order. What if rather than doing housework when you get home, you could do it on your commute – or better yet, not at all?

That’s the promise of the internet of things: hand your commute over to a smart car, let your pet out via his web-connected dog door, open up an app to pre-heat the oven and start the laundry, and click to approve the shopping list your smart fridge automatically generated.

This all sounds like a futuristic life, and parts of it do remain years away, but the foundations are being laid now – and much of the work is being done by British firms. We need to decide now what the IoT will look like, how it will protect our privacy, and just how much help we really want from it.

See more at: theguardian.com

IBM Launches Major Internet Of Things Offensive

IBM is wasting little time when it comes to the Internet of Things. The company outlined a major Internet of Things strategy tonight with a series of announcements that included a $3B investment to establish an Internet of Things unit inside of Big Blue along with a partnership with The Weather Company.

The Internet of Things refers to the growing network of sensors on everything from smartphones to jet engines. Instead of an Internet of connected computers, it’s an Internet of connected devices (or things) broadcasting loads of data about the devices.

The intent of the new initiative is to put IBM at the forefront of the Internet of Things and provide a common platform on top of which customers can build useful applications to take advantage of all that data. IBM suggests that partnerships like the one with The Weather Company and the one announced last year with Twitter are the cornerstones of a strategy to put them on the cutting edge of a burgeoning technology.

They are not alone in this endeavor, however. GE has its own Internet of Things platform aimed at the industrial internet, called Predix. The two giants are battling it out for the hearts and minds of developers.

See more at: techcrunch.com

Saturday, 18 April 2015

The Internet of things is great until it blows up your house

A few months ago I had a chat about the Internet of Things with the design head of a well-known home appliance manufacturer. Gartner had just published 2014’s hype chart,, and with the Internet of Things sitting at the very peak of the hype cycle, he reckoned it might be an interesting way to differentiate his firm’s products in a market filled with cheap Chinese appliances.

After our chat, I had a thought: I could teach him about the Internet of Things with some broad-brush product designs. After reviewing the line of products manufactured by his firm, I found two that I could reimagine, using the pixie dust of intelligence and connectivity.

Nearly every home in Australia has a clothes iron. The major difference between models is how much steam they can put out on demand. Every iron has a dial to set its temperature - and if you don’t set it just right, you can damage your clothes.

See more at: theregister.co.uk

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Why The Internet Of Things Will Change Everything

I’ve written about the Internet of Things in several past articles. One explained everything you need to know about IoT along with an infographic and the other provided a simple explanation of IoT. Today I wanted to explore IoT even further in the latest episode of the #futurein5. We’re all familiar with people connecting to the web — we can go online on our phones, computers, etc. But, what happens when devices start to go online? For example, I have a Fitbit Surge, a smart watch that goes online and connects to my scale, my computer, and mobile phone.

Conservative reports estimate around 26 billion devices will be connected by 2020 with some estimates as high as 100 billion to 200 billion devices. What sort of devices are we talking about? Literally, anything — phones, lights, fitness trackers, toasters, toothbrushes, small devices or big devices such as jet engines and turbines.

See more at: forbes.com