The State Of The Internet Of Things

The State Of The Internet Of Things

The world of technology is constantly changing, ever more frequently common place devices are being made compatible with the Internet of Things, and advances in the field and large investments from technologies largest players are causing a rapid expansion in an area you might not be aware is here.

Tech giant IBM has invested $10 billion in research into the field so far and plans to invest a further $3 billion and hire an additional 2000 employees. Which, according to analyst firm Strategy Analytics, has solidified their place as a significant driving force behind IoT adoption. The company currently has 13 research centers around the world and with the money they are throwing at the concept we could see some major leaps forward.

Google refuses to be left out from the field as well, the company announced at I/O 2015Onhub their new project Brillo. Brillo is a simple operating system running a communications layer called Weave and is intended to be used onboard IoT devices due to its low system requirements. This should work hand-in-hand with Google’s latest product the OnHub. A $199 router that can connect up to 128 devices and is fully controllable from an Android device. Of course, the company has had its eyes set on the IoT long before this move, such as the acquisition of Nest Labs in 2014. Nest Labs produce several internet connected devices for the home including smart thermostats, security cameras and CO and smoke alarms. 

Philips has also chosen to focus on these devices as well, with a more consumer-orientated approach. After speaking to their customers, they discovered that people around the world had specific requirements for their devices, and in doing so, they were able to adapt them to meet their needs. They found the residents of cities like Shanghai and Berlin wanted the ability to control the air quality in their home whilst being able to understand what it was doing better. To meet these needs they developed a smart Air Purifier that provides real-time data on indoor air quality direct to a smartphone. Likewise, parents wanted the technology to serve their family’s needs as they change over time, to which they developed a smart baby monitor and Hue lightbulbs to keep parents connected to their children and allow an improved ambience for bedtime, waking and feeding.

The ‘Internet of Things’ puts the consumer in the driving seat and allows us at Philips to ensure our products are more personal, relevant and impactful than ever before – Pieter Nota, Executive Vice President of Philips

Samsung are also firmly underway with their development of IoT products. At the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) CEO of Samsung Electronics, BK Yoon, pleaded for greater collaboration between companies in expanding the IoT industry saying:

“The Internet of Things has the potential to transform our society, economy and how we live our lives,” said Mr. Yoon. “It is our job to pull together — as an industry, and across different sectors — to make true on the promise of the Internet of Things.”

He stated that these devices must focus on the users and their lifestyles, and he stated that “The Internet of Things is not about ‘things.’ Instead, it is about people. Each person is at the centre of their own technology universe, and the IoT universe will constantly adapt and change shape as people move through their world.” Samsung hopes that by 2017, all their televisions will be IoT compatible, and by 2020 all Samsung hardware will be compatible.

 

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As with all upcoming technologies there are lessons to be learned, Cognosec recently revealed that by making it easier for devices to communicate with each other Zigbee had inadvertently made it possible for people to take control of other people’s smart home devices. A fact made all the more alarming in that among these smart devices were door locks. Zigbee is a standard developed by an alliance including companies such as Samsung, Motorola, Texas Instruments and the aforementioned Philips. These companies aimed to provide a cheap, low powered standard for the IoT. When Cognosec analysed these devices they discovered that because they are easy to set up and use, they lack configuration for security and therefore, allow external users to sniff the exchanged network key.

Over the coming years these technologies will surely see massive uptake, it is expected that in the not too distant future the vast majority of our electronics will become connected. With the ability to control your surrounding devices from your phone or wearable device, many companies think our lives could be tailored to our individual needs. If you are interested in expanding your devices into the world of the IOo there are many popular products that can start you on your journey:

Philips Hue,
Google OnHub,
Nest Thermostat,
Samsung Smart Locks

 

Which devices would you like to see connected to the IoT? Leave a comment below!

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