March 3, 2015

Internet of Things, a Damn Chaos

Posted by

Brice Le Blévennec

The Internet of Things seen by Brice Le Blévennec, CEO of Emakina.

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For those who follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed that I’ve been collecting connected objects for years (gadgets for the house, the car, smart watches, Quantified Self bits…). Until recently, these technologies were reserved for an elite group of geeks ready to devote time for configuration, with very little added value in return (except from the pleasure gained exploring the features). Nowadays pretty much all houses are equipped with WiFi, most people have a smartphone and everything can be made more intelligent. We are witnessing a popularization of connected objects made for the general public.

So it only natural that in our homes, there are now more and more connected devices , such as kettles, coffee and teapots all programmable through smartphone, cups (Vessyl) or forks analyzing your consumption, scales and bracelets that follow your physical activity, televisions and stereos, toothbrushes, mattresses (Luna) and alarm clocks to track your sleep, weather stations (netamo), bicycles (Cobi), padlocks (bitlock), cars (by OBDII), luggage (BlueSmart) and also a wide range of watches… . You can connect your plants, your pets and even your children to the Internet!

With home automation systems, nowadays almost everything can be controlled by your smartphone. Electrabel and Luminus offer solutions to remotely manage the temperature in your house (Smart Thermostat, Nest), Philips offers a range of lights all connected with each other (Hue), Belkin and Electrabel offer plugs that are connected to any electrical device at your home (Wemo and Smart Plug); cameras and alarms are connected (Dropcam), air conditioning systems (Aros), shutters (Jalousier), garage doors (garage.io), locks (lockitron) and even doorbells (Ring) are connected to the internet.

So it won’t be due to a lack of innovation if we don’t adapt our daily life to the era of the Internet of Things.

Be warned, a great war is coming: many objects will fall by the wayside due to incompatibility. After the current phase, where the abundance of gadgets each use individual applications, there will come a time for consumers to choose. They will have to choose between connected gadgets compatible with Homekit (a platform that is connected with Apple, for which we are still waiting for the first products) and objects connected with the Google platform NEST (of which there are already thirty) or the platform SmartThings, which was recently taken over by Samsung for a miserly 200 million dollars. It’s been predicted that by 2020, 50 to 100 million objects will be connected to the Internet of Things, to give you an idea of the extent of this future market.

Unless the separatists win, the pirates of the IFTTT will operate through the Cloud or multi standard brain of NinjaSphere who’ll coordinate all these connected objects to be mutually incompatible at home. And don’t forget that what made the web so successful is the standardization under the W3C’s iron hand. It is time that one single standard emerges.

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