CES 2015: The Internet of Things game-changers
The Internet of Things is not merely a hype anymore. Comparing with the last year’s CES, it can be firmly stated – the Internet of Things has gone mainstream. Great indication of that may be the fact that even car manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes were showcasing their achievements in the field of device connectivity. At CES, we got totally lost among thousands of different gadgets, like TVs, smart phones, washing machines and other consumer electronics, so we decided to dedicate this blog post to those examples of the Internet of Things innovations which go beyond the mass market gadgets and show really big promises.
LG Web OS: Smart Watch Wearable
Source: The Verge
At CES, LG unveiled a number of great products, among which new TVs and smart phones with curved screens and screens on the sides, alike Samsung Edge, but what really caught our attention is their new smart watch. In addition to its very appealing look and a sleek screen, it also runs WebOS designed by LG themselves. UI is very much polished and has great smooth animations implying that it’s far from being in an early development cycle; however, the watch itself is still a prototype. Besides traditional smart watch features, the watch from LG boasts a number of revolutionary ones which resulted from the joint work with Audi.
First of all, you can use this smart watch to control your self-driving car (assuming you have one) as much as even make it drive from point A to point B, as was shown in a real-life demo at CES. Another handy feature, the watch is capable of authenticating you as you open and start the car.
We found the idea of using wearable devices for person authentication really promising and hope to see further developments in the vehicle-to-device integrations soon.
Source: NBC News
Creating smart devices with sensors, screens, processors and keeping the device as small as a bracelet or a ring at the same time is still quite a challenge for manufacturers. Intel seems to have been working on that issue for awhile and now is planning to invade the wearables market with its new Curie processor. In spite of this processor being impressively tiny (only 18mm in diameter), it has commendable 80kB of SRAM and 384kB of flash memory. It also has a 6 axis combo sensor with an accelerometer, gyroscope, and bluetooth, all of which, as promised by Intel, should be low powered.
Once Curie is launched in the second half of 2015, Intel will be sure to increase its market share in the wearables segment and open new horizons for manufacturers of wearable devices.
Self-Driving Connected Vehicles
Before recent times, all self-driving vehicle prototypes featured a hefty amount of hardware mounted on their body panels to scan surroundings. To our pleasant surprise, at CES we saw Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen, Toyota, and others showing self-driving car concepts which looked very similar to the original models they are based on.
Moreover, Audi executives claimed that their A7 actually drove itself from San Francisco to Las Vegas without a single incident. That’s quite impressive, if true. But is it on any nearest agenda that intelligent, self-driving cars travel safely on major highways or even city streets?
The whole story is that connected vehicles rely not only on their own road computation but in a large part on the data received in a real-time manner from other vehicles and road infrastructure sensors. Obviously, comprehensive IoT solutions for efficient road infrastructure are not here yet, thus holding back the advent of intelligent, self-managed transportation akin to that in sci-fi movies.
Anyhow, connected self-driving vehicles are sure to become much better in the next 2-3 years and boost the development of smart houses and smart cities along the way. Considering how huge and resourceful the automotive industry is, it might provide necessary momentum for a rapid IoT adoption worldwide.
Healthcare at CES
Nowadays consumers are more aware of their health metrics than any time before due to a rapid popularization of wearable health tech devices over the past few years. Sensoria footwear informs you about your ground landing technique while jogging, a Jawbone band provides accurate information about your sleep cycles, while a FitBit tracker displays your heart rate and blood pressure figures. Those gadgets are totally cool but we were curious to see whether anyone went one step further than that.
Among those who did were Vigilant with their Bee smart diabetes tracker, Quardio with their QardioCore portable EKG/ECG (Electrocardiogram) monitor, and Marc Pro with the same-name muscle conditioning device.
Bee smart diabetes tracker stores insulin injection and blood sugar data to your smartphone via bluetooth which is very handy for keeping track of that data over the time and sending it to the doctor online.
QardioCore, named as the best health gadget by PCMag, is actually portable unlike the other ones which require you to attach tens of sensors to your body. Even with the price of $449, it’s still cheaper than regular ones, by far. In addition, it also monitors body temperature, stress levels and activity trends. All the data is stored in the cloud and can be shared with doctors and relatives.
Marc Pro was a real eye-opener for us at CES. Not only does it monitor your body condition, but takes necessary action to let you recover and feel better after a strenuous activity. Marc Pro is intended for muscle stimulation use so that you can recover faster and perform better. All you need to revitalize your muscles is stick Marc Pro to a target part of the body and connect it to a control unit, which is as small as an mp3 player.
Healthcare technology advancements seem to have played a positive role in building better awareness of how human body works among regular folks, as well as simplifying daily health care. It has never been so easy to monitor your vitals and take corrective actions in a timely manner. We expect healthcare technologies to flourish on as new helpful gadgets are continuously brought in, ever more intelligent, effective and convenient. It’s great to see technology having such a beneficial impact on our health.
Nest products have already become a byword for a quality smart house appliance. However, there are many other excellent smart house products on the market: smart security, smart lighting, smart air conditioning, smart TV – you name it. So what’s happening now – and it’s a praiseworthy trend – is gadget manufacturers are working together to bridge communication gaps between their devices.
As an illustration of that trend, Nest has joined forces with its partners to come up with a more comprehensive smart house solution, which includes the following new elements:
August Smart Lock – August Smart Lock can set your Nest Thermostat to Home when you unlock your door and immediately start warming or cooling the house. Lock your door on the way out and it will set your Nest Thermostat to Away to help you save energy.
Chargepoint – If you’re signed up for Nest Rush Hour Rewards, your thermostat can let your charging station know when energy is in high demand so you can avoid charging your car when electricity is most expensive.
Kwikset Kevo – Kevo Smart Lock tells your Nest Thermostat who’s at home and what temperatures they like. It also helps Nest know when no one’s at home so your thermostat doesn’t waste energy.
For the full list please visit Nest Blog.
We are glad about the fact that manufacturers are coming together as we believe that the smart house industry is moving towards the concept when you can just “bring and drop” any device and it will work smoothly within your existing smart house environment.