internet of things

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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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    Modernizing Bailment: Coatchex’s POS system works on more than just coats

    It started simply enough. Frustrated over a lost coat at a nightclub, Derek Pacqué began to notice that very few bars and clubs in his college town (Bloomington, Indiana) offered a coat check. His friends had had their coats lost or stolen, too. Feeling entrepreneurial, he started a coat checking service at a few local venues. He’d set up shop at no cost to the venue, and split the revenue 50/50 with them. The first season he made $50,000, a…
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    IFTTT gets a gift: A $7 million Series A

    Yesterday, I wrote about companies that are reinventing the mundane household products we see around us every day, namely things like Nest’s learning thermostat and the Kickstarter runaway Soma. But another company is also laying the groundwork for this new, software-drenched household. The company IFTTT (pronounced like “gift” without the G) today announced a $7 million Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz, with NEA and Lerer Ventures participating as well. John O’Farrell, an investing partner…
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    Shedding some light on Internet-connected bulbs

    Clap on. Used to market The Clapper in the late 80s and early 90s, this phrase exemplifies most “connected home” companies. Whether it’s using light bulbs as an alarm clock, transforming a “connected” light into a one-off notification system, or dissuading would-be criminals so Macaulay Culkin can spend the holidays forgotten in his home in peace, a significant amount of effort has gone into recreating the functionality of that decades-old device. While I admit that there’s something appealing about being…
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    SmartThings Raises $85K in One Day to Combine Mundane Objects with the Cloud

    It’s amazing how ubiquitous an Internet connection has become. Wireless coverage is available almost anywhere you go, and our devices have evolved to take advantage of this always-on connection to the cloud. Yet, many objects remain offline, separate from the digital world we’ve created for ourselves. SmartThings is a platform developed to serve as a bridge between the physical and digital, bringing objects that haven’t yet been connected to the cloud into the modern technological fold. A consumer product, development…

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