The web of things
What is it?
The internet is no longer a network of computers only. Smartphones, tables and more and more devices are connected to that same internet: security cameras, lights, domotica in your house, … and are exchanging information. A security camera can send you and sms if something is happening, but can at the same time switch on the lights, start the alarm, close the windows, etc. And while driving home you can start the heating and fill your bath with an app on your smartphone.
One of the examples is a new Miele washing machine that is under test at this moment. It monitors if everything is still working as expected and automatically asks for maintenance if needed.
But the central hub of the internet of things will probably be our smartphone. Most of the new products all have an app to control or communicate with them. If you want to have a quick overview of some of those new upcoming devices, you should definitely take a look at kickstarter.com. It’s a website were product designers (but also writers, musicians, film makers, …) can present their project to the public and ask for funding. Depending on your budget and believe in the project, you can donate an amount in return of a first version of the product, your name somewhere on the website of the developer, a day at the factory where they will make the product, etc. etc.
For products such a crowd funding website is ideal to transform a proof of concept into a production ready thing. With the money collected, the complete production process can be set up and the first series is already sold even before they start producing.
A lot of the technology projects on the Kickstarter site are about products for the web of things:
Christiestreet is an other crowd-funding website:“Supporting Inventors. Protecting Buyers. Christie Street is a funding platform for inventors, by inventors.”
An other interesting “webthing” is the Nest Learning Thermostat. It’s designed by ex-Apple employees who turned something frustrating (it’s always to hold or cold in house at the wrong moment) into a smart self-learning and beautiful device.
Until a few years ago people were talking about the intelligent fridge as one of the major “web of things” products. This fridge would tell you what was missing for your dinner and send you a shopping list when you were in the shop. But has anyone seen a fridge like that already? So there also seems to be a big problem too with all devices which connect. They don’t speek the same language!
Whoever can define and force his communication method to use on all devices will become extremely rich… So give me some time, I have to start developing something ;-)