internet of things

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    Embrace the incumbents: Zonoff wants to help large companies break into the Internet of Things

    There is no shortage of startups hoping to unify all of the connected devices trying to enter your home. There’s SmartThings, which raised over $1 million on Kickstarter for its connected device hub; Spark Devices, which graduated from the HXLR8R program with plans to introduce micro-chips and cloud services for hardware makers; Berg, which is trying to encourage active sharing between connected devices and the companies that make them with the Berg Cloud Sandbox; and Ninja…
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    The Internet of the Mundane: Smart locks, connected lightbulbs, and learning thermostats

    Your locks are probably the most boring piece of technology in your home. They aren’t connected to the Internet; they don’t tweet; and you can’t play “Angry Birds” on ‘em, unless you count the squawking of your horrible neighbor-ladies as they drunkenly insert the wrong key in the middle of the night (which I do). They’re often an afterthought that only get noticed when they stop working or force you to rummage for your keys while you’re rushing to get…
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    Yves Behar on design and the Internet of Things

    Yves Behar is the high-profile designer behind products like the Jawbone Jambox and the Ouya gaming console. Yesterday, he unveiled his new project, August, at the D11 conference to much fanfare – a “smart lock” that lets a you lock and unlock a door with your smartphone.  Like other Behar designs, the August is simple, effective, and easy-to-use. In addition to the lock not requiring keys, a user can control who can enter his home and keep a log of…
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    Can connected devices change the world?

    There’s been plenty of talk about how connected devices can help each of us individually. Fitness trackers like the Fitbit Flex, Jawbone Up, and Nike+ FuelBand are meant to help you finally get in shape. Nest’s learning thermostat promises to lower your energy bill by up to 20 percent. A connected home might be able to tell you when the laundry is done, can lock the doors and turn off the lights when you go to sleep, or…
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    Is the Internet of Things the future of narcissism?

    I’m surprised that Time didn’t force the selfie-taking millennial on its cover about the “ME ME ME” generation to wear a fitness tracker, the new epitome of data-driven narcissism. The Web has made it easy to quantify attention, whether it’s measured by pageviews, endorsements, or interactions. Now the Internet of Things is making it easy to quantify the social value of the physical world in like manner. We have fitness trackers and motion sensors, devices like Scanadu’s Scout, and smart…
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    Enter the Ninja: A startup attempts world domination on “Internet of Things” from Australia

    You might have heard of Ninja Blocks. The Sydney-based startup first came to the world’s attention last year with one of the most successful pre-Pebble hardware campaigns on Kickstarter. The Ninja Block, a small device with built-in sensors that allowed users to link the Internet to actions in the physical world, raised more than $100,000 in pledges and shipped out to customers only a couple of months after deadline – almost unheard-of in the world of hardware projects on Kickstarter.…

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    For the Internet of things, will it be verticals or horizontals?

    The first step in the adoption of “the Internet of things” – where Web capabilities are implemented into everyday objects – entails making sure there are even products in the first place. But as that ecosystem fills out, one of the next steps is addressing matters of market approach and distribution. During a panel discussion yesterday at a conference hosted by Techonomy, venture capitalists and executives mused about the model the Internet of things would take as the landscape takes…
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    Facebook ponders its place in the Internet of Things

    Amidst all of the buzz surrounding connected devices and ubiquitous computing, there’s Facebook, which wants to move beyond connecting mere humans. Cory Ondrejka, Facebook’s director of mobile engineering, says the social network is in a unique position to tie together all of the disparate devices that make up the Internet of things – the category of everyday objects, like scales, toasters, watches, glasses and whatever else you can think of, having wi-fi and data-collecting capabilities. Along the way a number of questions…
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    Berg Cloud Sandbox: A tool to unite connected devices and the companies that make them

    Berg, a London-based design consultancy that has worked with Nokia, Twitter, and the BBC, among others, is today announcing the Berg Cloud Sandbox, a platform meant to make it easier for companies to experiment with connected devices and services by covering an entire campus to the Berg Cloud platform. Fabrica, an Italy-based communications research center, will be the first company to roll Sandbox out on its campus. Sandbox allows prototype devices to connect to an Arduino —…
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    Twitter: Enabling the Internet of Things-lite

    It’s best not to think about what might happen if everyday objects could Tweet. The few examples that already exist — diapers that Tweet parents when their wearers need to be changed, toilets and toasters that broadcast their use — are horrifying enough without imagining how they might interact with other devices able to share anything at any time. Nobody likes a tattle-tale tabletop. Still, it seems that Twitter is starting to provide the barest of minimums required…
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    Anvil seeks to cure the “Kickstarter hangover” by becoming a one-stop shop for connected devices

    Building a hardware company, or even releasing a single product, takes more than a successful Kickstarter project. While the crowdfunding service allows inventors to raise capital and awareness for their product concept, it’s really only the first step on the long path from ideation to completion. And, given Kickstarter’s insistence that it’s not a store, distribution is one of the hardest problems hardware-focused companies encounter along the way. Some companies, like Brooklyn-based Grand St., have…
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    Privacy and the Internet of things

    What could be worse than a prospective employer seeing your drunken Facebook photos? Maybe the less obvious stuff that big data can tell marketers and other third parties about you, like your driving habits or health condition. That was the topic at a panel today at the Internet of Things Conference in San Francisco. And the consensus was that developers should take those concerns head on, thinking early about how they will disclose privacy issues to users. As the landscape…
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    All the fitness apps in the world won’t make us thin

    Personalized fitness apps and devices just won’t become mainstream. New research from Pew’s Internet & American Life Project backs me up on this concern. It found that 60% of Americans track some aspect of their health. But note what that means: It includes something as simple as regularly weighing yourself and keeping a loose mental tally of how you fluctuate. The flip side of this is that a whopping 40% of Americans don’t even do that. Of that 60%,…
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    A big data, crowdfunded, connected device: Zuvo’s water filter tackles all three buzz words

    Every once in a while, I come back to a famous Bruce Lee quote: “Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless – like water,” the legendary martial artist said. “Be water, my friend,” he concludes. It is about being mighty and adaptable, and probably not about crowdfunding. But I keep thinking about the quote because lately water keeps coming up in my reporting, and in a way that’s not entirely unlike the way Lee mentions it – with a pure, flowing…
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    Missing from the Internet of Things Consortium: Captain America and Iron Man

    The Internet of Things Consortium has gotten a considerable amount of attention during the early goings of CES. The tech and traditional press, like AllThingsDCNET and the Wall Street Journal ate up its launch announcement this week, and PandoDaily has also covered it. The San Francisco-based organization plans to meet periodically with the mission of “facilitating cooperation between hardware, software, and service providers,” according to its website. It’s unclear whether the organization will be more think tank or trade group, but it seems safe…
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    Yes, it does matter that Samsung announced an Evernote-equipped refrigerator

    Gadget reporters are a fickle bunch. The same people who get excited about the Internet of Things and the blurring distinction between the online and offline worlds had a field day with Samsung’s new, Evernote-equipped refrigerator, even going as far as calling it the worst thing ever. That’s something we’re going to have to get over if the bridge between our online gadgets and our offline tools is ever going to be built. Some things, like adding an…

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