The World of Internet of Things and Modern Living
Smart home and smart tech are still in their infancy but heralded by many experts to be the ‘next big thing’ in the field of technology with the potential to revolutionise our daily lives and bring us one step closer to an ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT). It has been predicted that this year we will see around 50m IoT devices sold worldwide, and estimated that as soon as 2020 that figure will have risen to 13bn new devices annually. And with Google’s recent acquisition of Nest (an established manufacturer of IoT devices) for $3.2 billion, this speculation seems to be right on the money.
So what will a future filled with Internet of Things enabled devices look like?
Picture yourself in the year 2020, the time is 7.00am and you are asleep in bed. All of a sudden, the alarm on your mobile goes off, but it doesn’t sound from your handset; instead it is projected seamlessly from the wireless speakers in your room; playing a favourite song, a sound, or radio station (intuitively selected by your Smartphone to wake you up on the right side of the bed) as the smart blinds to your bedroom window open by themselves.
Bleary eyed, you grab your mobile from the bedside table and switch off the alarm, open the app for your blinds so you can close them again – not yet ready to face the day. From the comfort and warmth of your bed, you switch on the coffee machine in your kitchen, adjust the thermostat (so that it’s warm when you finally venture out from under the covers), switch on the TV to catch the morning news, and set the toaster to have your toast ready in 5 minutes (all from apps on your phone).
Relevant: Hot and Cold: The Best Smart Thermostats
Instead of a watch, you slip on a smart wristband and step out of bed. You start to walk and by raising your arm as you approach the door, the electrical activity in your muscles is converted into outputs which open the door in front of you like you have powers of telekinesis. The lights switch off in the room you’ve left and magically come on in the room you’ve just entered.
Following breakfast, you step into a shower set to the perfect temperature, dry yourself with a perfectly warm towel (that notifies you if you forget to hang it up), and brush your teeth with a toothbrush that tells you how long to brush your teeth for and monitors your dental health. And when it’s time to leave, there will be no last minute searching for keys or wallets, handbags or purses; you simply need to check your phone to find out where they are….
What Smart Home Devices are available now?
Obviously, we’re not quite at that stage but a quick look at some of the latest and greatest smart home devices currently available are an indication that of the direction we are headed:
1. BT Smart Audio Baby Monitor
2. Philips Hue Lighting
Philips Hue allows you to take full control of your lighting via iPod and/or iPad.
3. Sonos Wireless Speakers
Sonos allows you to control music from any room in your house via their stylish speakers and free app.
4. Golfsense Golf Swing Analyser
5. FitBit Flex
The FitBit Flex tracks steps, distance, and calories burned during the day and monitors your sleep cycle to help you get better quality sleep.
6. Wahoo Fitness Blue SC Bluetooth Speed and Cadence Sensor
The Wahoo Fitness Blue sensor and App combination transforms your iPhone into a powerful cycling compute, tracking your cycling speed, peddling cadence, and distance.
Sphero is a smart toy that is essentially a miniature robot that interacts with apps on your phone for fun and intuitive gameplay.
8. Griffin Helo TC Helicopter
The Griffin Helo TC is a remote controlled helicopter operated by an app on your iphone.
A new era of connectivity
With the percentage of adults using the internet everyday increasing year on year, and the pervasiveness of Apps into our everyday lives (as of September 2013 there were on average 727 million daily active Facebook users; and the number of apps on both Apple’s App store and Androids Google Play breaking the 1 million mark) there can be no doubt that we are entering a new era of connectivity and it would “app-ear” that Smart Home and Internet of Things devices are leading the way when it comes to innovation. So watch this space….