In 2008 the number of “things” connected to the internet exceeded the world’s population. Since then this number has been growing continuously. It has been predicted that the number of connected devices will reach 50 billion by 2020.
This means that the average household (in USA, this is 2,54 people) will use over 20 IoT devices. We are incredibly close to this number even now with smartwatches, fitness trackers, thermostats with remote controls, smart locks, adjustable light bulbs and pet feeding stations. Have you counted how many devices you own that you can access or control with your smartphone?
The market of consumer IoT is booming. Startups continue to invent new connected devices and it seems like the demand for them will only grow with time.
Below, we introduce you to some mind-blowing devices, which will soon, if they haven’t already, land in your household.
Home security and surveillance systems
We pay close attention to the security of our families and our properties. Just a few years ago, we had to rely on high-quality locks and alarms. Today though, surveillance has become smarter and more reliable.
Modern IoT systems include sets of sensors for doors and windows, surveillance cameras and motion sensors. Even better, that they’re all connected to your smartphone. What does this mean?
When motion is detected in or near your home - you are notified. When a window or front door is opened - you are notified. When an alarm goes on - you are notified. You can access the cameras and watch what’s happening in your home in real time.
No matter where you are, you have constant access to the entire monitoring system.
Many startups are struggling to make smart home security more reliable. SimpliSafe, Nest Secure, Abode, and Ring Alarm are the current market leaders. However, young companies are ready to compete. We will likely see smart home security booming in the coming years.
Thermostats are used to control room temperatures. Smart thermostats allow you to do this remotely. A user can simply set the desired temperature when leaving the office and let the house heat (or cool) while on the way home.
Besides enabling such flexibility, smart thermostats adjust to your schedule and help you save energy.
For example, these systems can detect when a room is empty adjust the temperature settings to save energy. You can also set your thermostats to automatically change the temperature during certain hours, for example, lowering it at night during winter to save energy and returning it to comfortable temperatures before your family wakes up.
Smart thermostats can be controlled remotely from smartphones, tablets, PCs, and via compatible smart speakers, which will be described later.
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Similar to the previous example, you can control lightning in a room or in your yard remotely by using an IoT application. You can also do more than just switch lights on or off. Modern bulbs enable you to adjust the lighting temperature and even completely change the lighting color.
Further, special sensors can recognize when the room is empty and turn off or minimize the intensity of the lighting.
Along with the obvious comfort that IoT lighting provides, it also helps you reduce your bills!
Smart lighting is the easiest way to enjoy the benefits of IoT. All you have to do is to install a smart bulb, download the application and voila! - your home just became a little bit smarter.
MiPow, Eufy, LIFX and many other companies already offer connected lightbulbs worldwide. However, there is still space for creativity. IoT startups are continuing to work towards providing better user experiences.
Unfortunately, we can’t completely get rid of cooking yet. However, technologies are evolving with an incredible speed. Ordinary kitchen devices have become smarter and can now take over some of the work.
A garbage bin that helps you with shopping? GeniCan comes with a built in barcode scanner that recognizes the packaging you are about to throw away and automatically adds this product to your shopping list. GeniCan can even reorder products you run out of on Amazon.
A fork that controls your eating habits and helps you lose weight? HAPIfork tracks your fork servings, measuring how much, how often and for how long you eat your meal. It reminds you to eat slower, which is important to avoid digestive problems and maintain a healthy weight.
A plate that counts your calories? SmartPlate has built-in scales to help you maintain a healthy diet. All you have to do is take a picture of your meal. The AI algorithm recognizes the dish and calculates the amount of protein, fat, carbs and calories on your plate.
Additionally, there are smart refrigerators, dishwashers, scales, meat thermometers, coffee machines and frying pans. And with the rise of IoT, we will see even more connected devices in our kitchens in the coming years.
Thanks to the internet of things, even our cars are becoming smarter, more secure and less expensive.
Connected sensors are able to monitor your engine condition and notify you about any changes. As a result, you can fix tiny issues before they become major issues. In the near future, cars will be able to use internet connections to automatically book a slot in a repair shop when needed.
Sensors are also an essential element of the autonomous car concept. Despite the fact that this technology isn’t ready to hit the market, smart sensors are already widely used. They are able to analyze traffic and adjust the driving style to make it more secure.
Both described user cases make the roads and highways more secure.
Implementing speech recognition and artificial intelligence, smart speakers are becoming personal assistants that everyone can afford. These small devices can listen and respond to your questions, execute your tasks and help you around the house. One of the great features of smart speakers is their ability to manage almost all of the previously mentioned IoT devices in your house. You can ask your tiny helper to turn off the light in the living room, adjust the heating, and even turn on the coffee machine to prepare your morning drink while you are taking shower.
A smart speaker can also help with your everyday tasks. For example, it can play your favourite music while you’re cooking, tell a fairy-tale to your child, call Uber or order pizza.
Wearables are a big breakthrough in technology. We spend most of our time with these devices and receive many benefits from them.
Fitness trackers include smart bracelets or watches that measure and notify you about your activity during the day. Some of them act as pedometers, counting steps, while others are more sophisticated, such as Fitbit trackers, and count the calories burned from activity and also enable you to answer phone calls!
Smart clothing is one step further in activity tracking. A T-Shirt can measure your heart rate and sport shoes can track your running. There are even smart underwear with built-in sensors that track patient health when outside of the hospital.
Head-mounted displays immerse you in virtual worlds or augment the real world with some additional information. The pioneer of virtual reality is Oculus Rift, with HTC Vive and Samsung Gear VR close behind. The market leaders of augmented reality are Microsoft Hololens and Glass, however, a number of promising startups are struggling to beat the giants.
IoT is now everywhere. It is spreading all around the world with impressive speed and there is one simple reason for that: smart devices make our lives easier.
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We at Clockwise Software have extensive experience in cooperating with IoT startups. Whether you need help with business consulting, development or marketing - don’t hesitate to contact us.