Carlos Espinosa, a design professional based in Boulder, Colorado, has a completely decked-out “smart” home – light switches he can control from his mobile phone, a security system, moisture detectors that alert him to leaks and integrated stereo speakers.The most life-changing aspect of this set-up? Espinosa says it is how the porch lights turn on when he rounds the corner to his home late at night, responding to a command from his phone. The front door also unlocks as he approaches.
The concept of a fridge that reads emails and does your shopping has now been around for so long that it has become a running joke in the tech industry. With clockwork-like regularity, prototype designs appear every January at Las Vegas’s CES, the world’s biggest technology show, and this year was no exception. Samsung showed off a design that would beam a camera feed of the refrigerator’s contents to its owner. LG’s version opened itself if you walked near it.Despite their makers’ best efforts, it’s a fairly-safe bet that a ludicrously small number of people will buy one of these things, for the same reasons that nobody bought 1999’s Electrolux Screenfridge (“it will revolutionise daily life”, the press release proclaimed), or LG’s Digital DIOS of the following year (“a quantum leap”). The marginal utility one gets out of a fridge connected to the internet is outweighed many times over by their price tags.
During and leading up to CES, the tech space is abuzz with the latest on all that is new and shiny. Innovative, sleeker-than-ever devices will be unveiled to a hungry crowd, and the hype will be amplified via an explosion of coverage. These cutting-edge gadgets are quite literally on display, and it’s hard not to be dazzled by the user-friendly interfaces, the outstanding resolution, the slim design. But, what about the lesser-told story? Namely, the brains behind these smart devices and the faces behind the scenes: the people that have pushed forward to innovate, to create the tech that captivates us all during CES.
No matter if you’re a realtor or property manager, technology has redefined the real estate business over the past few years. And now the Internet of Things (IoT) is giving the industry a much-needed makeover – and all for the better.One example – modelling. 3D printer technology can replicate models from computer-assisted design (CAD), photo montages and other established design tools. Urban Land, published by the Urban Land Institute, says by using architects and engineers’ original data, “real estate concepts and images can be visualized three-dimensionally for agents use in supporting customers’ reviews and decision making.”
There could be more than a million new embedded IoT device developers in the next five years and they will be relying on new types of design tools which will be easier to use.
This was the startling message from the IoT Design Conference and exhibition, which was organised byElectronics Weekly in London this week.
There is an interesting dichotomy appearing in our attitudes to sharing our personal data. There are those that think that to get the best personal experience, we must accept that companies have access to our everyday routines and the things we like. Then there are those that believe our personal data is ours alone, and that companies can design products and services without the need to know every last detail about what we get up to.
In my wanderings for Forbes.com in the energy start-up world over the past three years, I have had the privilege of conversing with some highly intelligent and out-of-the box thinkers. Ryan Wartena, CEO and Co-Founder of Geli (Growing Energy Labs Inc), a software company in the emerging smart grid space, climbs right up to the top of the list. With a degree in chemical engineering and a post-doctorate at MIT, he may not be your typical CEO. He’s certainly one of only a few who would characterize the emerging internet of energy as “the world’s largest art installation project” or who purposely looks for “elegance” in the design and deployment of renewable and sustainable energy systems.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing in the packaging industry, as companies recognize the ways that it can help track important items such as medications, according to Scott Jost, vice president of innovation and design at Berlin Packaging.Jost said he’s seeing more packaging requirements now where the package has to offer some bi-directional communications, something that you would associate with IoT.
If you are just entering the realm of IoT device design, you might come to realize that you have stepped into familiar territory. When you step back and take an objective look at it, the majority of IoT device design is based on the reuse of existing technology. Ethernet, WiFi, and Bluetooth have been around for a long time, and IoT devices depend heavily on those technologies and their refinements. This dependency is reflected in a new offering from ON Semiconductor aimed at home automation and home security applications.
I’ve gathered together five of my favorite TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks highlighting various aspects of the Internet of Things. The speakers below cover a wide range of topics including how to design clothing and architecture for IoT, exploring IoT’s potential applications while addressing security threats, and providing insight into the exponential advancement of technology and what we can expect from the future of the internet.