Smartphones changed more than the cellphone, it redefined what internet connectivity can do for an industry
I stopped for gas recently and noticed an old payphone booth on the corner. The phone had long since been removed and the cord that once held the phone book swayed in the wind, connecting to nothing. I tried to remember the last time I’d used a payphone (or a phone book), but I couldn’t.
Cell Phones all but rendered payphones obsolete in just a few years’ time and that was astonishing enough, but when, in 2007, Apple introduced the first iPhone, we had no idea how archaic the basic cell phone would become in less than a decade. Today, interacting with our smartphones via the apps we download has become second nature.
And now everything is getting smart.
With sensor systems sending information over existing communication networks, we’re now able to actively interact with and manipulate machines and environments, to avoid costly mistakes, and to live life a little more fully without having to always be present at work to keep an eye on the important things. Heck, with Apple Pay and Google Wallet, we don’t even need to keep cash or our credit cards with us, we can now do it all with our smartphones.
Despite the fact that connected technology on this level is fairly new, we’re already seeing creative and useful applications that are transforming industries.
1. Consumer Electronics
From the huge line of GE connected home appliances, all the way down to the newly released digital drink shaker the B4RM4N, the wave of connected devices is growing astoundingly fast. The sensors used here are many, especially in GE’s product line, but they all hinge on making your stuff sexier and more intuitive.
What do these three sous vide products have in common beyond temperature control? They all raised north of $300,000 (Anova hit $1.8 million), on Kickstarter in 30 days.
2. Environment Management
With the success of the Nest Thermostat Philips Smart LEDs. Home and business owners can improve experience and efficiency by watching environmental conditions such as temperature, pressure, energy use, air quality, and automatic light activation.
3. Health Care
Doctors can see health data beyond the examination room with Samsung’s Gear tech, FitBit, and the new Apple Watch. Constant monitoring of pulse, body temperature, activity level, and many more, will begin to fill a picture of health never accessible before.
The new Pulse O2 is a fitness tracker that costs a mere $20
The much hyped Lockitron unlocks your door with your phone and allows you to send temporary passcodes to guests – ideal for AirBNBs or realtors. Piper security system (not Pied Piper) are two examples of how businesses and homes are improving security. Intelligent alarm systems can incorporate sensors for motion, sound, smoke, light, and many others. These triggers can dispatch security, lock doors, begin video cameras, and send alerts to your phone or important personnel.
5. Transport & Logistics
Transportation companies are already years ahead of other industries, with UPS and many of their can receive real-time information about vehicle location, distance driven, fuel usage, driver speeds, automated form entry, and more.
This is just the beginning. We’re watching M2M and IoT trends closely and can’t wait to see the new applications people are coming up with to harness this exciting use of technology.