CES 2016

IoT is Transforming Our World

The Internet of Things is growing by huge leaps as we approach a day when connectivity is considered standard in most products. More consumer and commercial products are connected than ever before and there are many more on the horizon.

The trend was never more evident for me than when I attended CES in Las Vegas where exhibitors from around the globe came together to show their new products to the 170K attendees and the world. Gadgets ranging from small, wearable tech to drones, 3D printers, smart appliances and also next generation connected automobiles. After seeing so many different connected devices and supporting services on display, it's very clear that i3's new IoT Lab opening up in March will be well received by our clients – current and future.

From time to time, I read an article written by someone going against the popular ideas surrounding IoT. These articles refute the benefit of connected products saying that IoT is overblown and connected products won't create the mass scale foreseen value for consumers and businesses long term. Doubts regarding revenue models, security and maintenance among other things are used as arguments to say that the IoT boom will not be as big as some would think.

From my perspective in my IoT focused role at i3, there is no doubt that consumer and commercial products are trending quickly toward more connectivity and cloud integration. Our clients are asking for this capability in their products, they see the benefit and have business models that support the efforts. I do not think IoT is going to transform the world overnight – it's going to take a while. i3 is in a unique position to see these new products coming to life and it is very clear to us that IoT is every bit as big as most industry experts think.

After seeing so many promising connected products at CES 2016, I'd like to highlight a couple of my favorites.

Xensr

Xensr is a small sensor device that you attach to a bicycle, snowboard, skis, surfboard, etc. that collects data that can measure location and performance during activities. The device pairs with your mobile device to pull the data for visualization later, but you can collect and visualize data in real-time as well.

What makes this device so powerful is its variety of sensing technology that makes it an extremely helpful device when people are trying to measure performance during an activity. The ability for this sensor to measure GPS location, altitude, speed and G-forces makes it invaluable in certain sporting activities like windsurfing and kiteboarding.

Nobo

Nobo is a wearable device that measures hydration. The difference with this device is that it measures levels of hydration, not simply whether or not a person is dehydrated. By monitoring both dehydration and over-hydration, this device makes it possible to discover new insights into health. A user of this device can monitor the level of hydration that provides optimal performance both physically and cognitively.

Nobo points out a few use cases that include Firefighter and Military personnel that have a lot of potential to save the lives of the men and women that protect us by making sure they stay hydrated in harsh environments.

Blossom

Blossom smart watering controller uses real-time local weather data and satellites to automatically personalize your watering plan. The device connects directly to WiFi and the internet, but there is a companion app and website to configure the device and schedule watering. If WiFi isn’t accessible, the device uses Powerline technology to access the internet through the electrical lines.

The device can save water and money so it grades high in the usefulness category.

These products are just a small sampling of the many products that were on display at CES this year. So many products are in the development stage and many already exist for purchase in the home automation, fitness and medical device market spaces. IoT is just starting to transform the world – be patient because there is a lot of development underway and much more to come.

James J. Grogan
Director of Software Development