Parth Kapadia
Parth Kapadia
Engineer & Entrepreneur

The Internet of Things – a monstrous phenomenon to fathom. Be prepared to have your life disrupted, for the better or the worse… ” 

If you don’t know already, the Internet of Things represents our third industrial revolution that aims to impact everyone on the planet. The first major key to IoT is understanding the fact that your internet connected life is already underway…

Welcome to my blog where I’ll be writing on topics such as IoT, data privacy, consumer electronics, and the future state of your American livelihood.

This radical alteration will impact you and the ones closest to you. Your safety, security, health, and convenience are all at stake. This blog will help you take the rights steps on getting a grip on the things that will eventually only be sold internet enabled.

The positives: imagine, waking up in the morning with your projected phone’s alarm clock that understands your bodies’ vitals and ties them to your daily goals. You get out of bed and approach your magic mirror in your bathroom. It displays your checklist that artificial intelligence made for you last night. You grab your augmented reality glasses before and head down and notifications, news, and videos flood your peripherals. You then LiveTime in 360° (formerly FaceTime) with your great aunt who’s sunbathing in Cyprus.

The negatives: imagine, being hacked of your net worth and all your assets. Your lives wiped clean, leaving you and everything you’ve ever known in the dust. Your identity stolen and your self-esteem demolished in seconds. You can’t just be another victim of history like so many of the people you may know have already done. 

The time is now for you to automate and optimize your life with some of the technologies that are becoming more massively adopted by your friends and neighbors.  Use them to make more money and do more of the things you really enjoy doing.  

Here are the 9 major key s to IoT and a more connected you:

1. Safety and Security

Safety is important for you to keep doing you. You want to make sure your family is intact, healthy, and being taken care of through a string of seamless automations. Staying in constant contact is a large key for safety, or in other words, your well-being.

Being safe during your commutes is often overlooked. Technology in cars has substantially helped driving become safer. Rear-view cameras are now standard in every new car for a reason. Check out GM’s LED rearview camera, which is really only your current reverse camera with a new twist. 

Traditionally, safety IoT has been geared towards maintenance detection for enterprise level operations and applications. Today, a similar M2M architecture can be applied to your home, office space, and your city. Sensors, which are much cheaper these days, can let you know whether or not you need your water pipes are leaking or are about to burst. If you’re on vacation, you can decide whether or not to receive last gasp messages that are deployed prior to failure. Yes, sensors for natural resource management and the future of water, electricity, and gas are key  for a safe environment. WallyHome, a water leak and mold detection system is perfect for families looking to get smart on water, especially after what happened in Flint, Michigan.

Security has been traditionally dominated by companies such as ADT right? Their customers used to pay for 24/7 alarm monitoring back in the 90s. But with today’s array of smart home starter kits available at Home Depot and push towards a modernized DIY market, your grandma can have a level one smart home. Companies like Comcast Xfinity and Vivint also offer these for a monthly cost along with on demand add-ons such as home streaming to solar, all of these modern features are offered today $s/per month.

Anyways, it all depends on what level of security you’re striving for. If you want to be notified every time someone is on your property, or you want to be prompted when someone rings your doorbell, go to Home Depot and get trip sensors and a ring doorbell camera. Although, it may be simply more practical to remotely monitor, open, and close your garage with  My Q by Chamberlin.

Chamberlain_MyQ_Garage_App

Finally, a major security key you will be learning about in future posts include cybersecurity, ethical hacking, and data privacy. 

2. Wellness

Being healthy is a major key. You are what you eat says my dietitian friend who encourages a daily workout and proportioned meals. IoT can help you track your wellness with wearables and smart meal apps.

Fitbit, Apple watch, and Samsung have all created new revenue streams made from giving their users workout analytics and the ability to set daily health goals. When these tools are combined, you can maintain your daily eating habits. Also, connected cups and water bottles can make staying hydrated easy. They provide you nutritional facts and information regarding how you should be eating and drinking everyday. If you’re like me, you usually forget to drink enough water. With push notifications that buzz on your wearable, you’ll never be left thirsty for IoT. 

Mobile apps around wellness have been around for years now – track your sleep, weight, nutrition, and more. Although, the key with wellness IoT, is that software is being combined with tangible hardware equipped with predictive analytics. 

When wellness was previously all based on software, users were forced to manually add their calorie count and more so, what actions they were taking. Today, a lot of the leg work has been automated with the help of motion, temperature, and humidity sensors.

techandall_ios8_health_app_l 

3. On Demand and Streaming Services

Amazon dash is a new service that automates your home’s daily operations. For example, when you place Amazon’s dash button beside your toilet paper roll holder that is connected to the AWS server, you can place an order before you run out. The concept of outsourcing your errands obviously increases your productivity by not attending to toiletries, party needs, and some even food for your pantry.

If you have a baby, ordering diapers becomes easy, since amazon dash, through predictive analytics and self-learning algorithms, can project out how many diapers you’re going to need for the week, month, or year.

Ordering food based on how healthy you want to be becomes a breeze as well. Services like Peapod and blue apron provide you food on demand based on your preferences and body’s needs. You can even set up automated food services for your dog right through Petsmart and Petco.

Imagine never having to run errands again.

4. Augmented and Virtual Reality

AR and VR are ripe for innovation. Many technology venture capitalists are investing in IoT and are looking at these technologies as a new platform for apps, similar to mobile and web. Google glass was the first attempt at AR which displayed the possibilities and capabilities of what the future has to offer you. Google, more recently than glass, also came out with cardboard that is turns any phone into a 3-D one for around $10 and of course, facebook acquired Oculus for a whapping $2 billion.

Real time analytics on your golf stroke can not only improve your game but it can reduce the chance of injury. Having GPS in your motorcycle helmet is also a major key to know where you’re going.

Companies like Microsoft HoloLens are using AR as a new means platform for developers to come and engineer apps using their software development kits. This will give them stronghold on what developers are doing and allow them to leverage an open source platform for new ideas to come in their pipeline.

AR and VR can pretty much be a wearable that is worn at all times or in one distinct location. When you’re at work to when you’re sleeping, enhancements in cognitive abilities can give humans that adopt to the technology an unfair advantage.

IoT-simple-parthkapadia-bg1-2760x3040-heavy

5. Geofencing

Your environment is impacted by your location at all times. A geofence is a virtual barrier in which apps are capable of setting triggers that react depending on your entrance or exit from a vicinity. You define the boundaries as an administrator along with however you’d like to notified and what you’d like to be notified for. 

In the future, geofencing will have a large impact on not only smarthomes, but also the retail industry:

  • Bluetooth connectivity and LIFI – imagine your phone connecting to sensors within a store in real-time while you’re shopping. With geofencing, your shopping experience can be more catered to what you’re looking for. Coupons on demand of what you intend to buy, right from the internet. Imagine how Walmart and Amazon are thinking about these experiences…
    • Check out the Shopkick app that gives you rewards and gift cards for shopping at certain places.
  • Predictive Data Analytics – geofencing gives companies another layer of understanding their customer. Using data analytics, back-end users and administrators can see how often people are using their service, how long they use it, and how well their marketing techniques worked.
    • For example, 1-800-Flowers recently geofenced the area around jewelry stores that were close by their flower shops meaning, if you were shopping for jewelry, you might have as well picked up flowers to make moment you hand your wife or mom your gift, an even more memorable one.
  • Apple’s MFI chip for their Homekit will also be a big player utilizing geofencing. If the bluetooth on your phone is on, sensors around your Apple SmartHome will start to recognize patterns and eventually automate operations like turning on lights, locking doors, and notifying you if your home is operating out of the norm.

Location based services and geofencing will be a big part of improving overall customer experience. 

Pub-EN

6. Old Folks

The elderly are key because you love them. Many times they need assistance living in their own homes or even with you. You need to be confident that they will be safe when you’re not around to take care of them and if an emergency happened, they would be taken care of immediately. 

Lifealert is a remotely connected panic button that has been around for ages. Old people can use it if they have emergencies, like if they fall down in the bathroom or there is a fire in their kitchen that they cannot put out. The device has a built in GPS that relays a SOS message to the nearest authorities in real-time over any existing GSM or CDMA backhaul network. 

Many times, old people can’t enjoy TV as much as they used to because of their inability to hear. GOgroove Bluetooth TV headphones help the elderly with hearing loss to hear the TV clearly without having to turn up the volume.  An ideal solution for the Price is Right and Jeopardy, the RF goes for about 60 sq. ft and is plug-in play for most existing TVs. 

Alarm.com also offers a sensor based service for the elderly called BeClose. Their sensor box consists of devices made for remote monitoring and push notifications including activity patterns, awareness, alerts, security, and when medications should be taken. 

It is important to love and nurture the elderly because they probably took care of you when you were younger. 

7. Entertainment

The biggest key to the Internet of Things revolves around entertainment, comfort, and convenience. Humans yearn the need to be constantly intrigued. Companies like Control 4 have went public with this need in mind. There are an unlimited amount of customizations that can be made in order to fulfill your entertainment needs. 

Value added services on top of security usually tend to be in the realm of entertainment. Entertainment is primarily focused around the TV but can also expand to music and sound, lighting, overall comfort, and utilization of streaming services. 

New formats of delivery are also key. Many new forms must include streaming services of videos, movies, and games. Smart platforms like Amazon Echo and the wink hub can also be at the core of entertainment. They allow you to command and control your IoT devices using voice and pattern recognition as well.

Gaming and content streaming services will be new means for advertising. Since live TV viewing has significantly decreased since the introduction of the DVR. PS Now will also be offered as an app on newer smart TVs.

Parks-Associates-Connected-Entertainment-and-Smart-Home-Adoption

Please share your thoughts on how IoT will impact entertainment and what you would like to see from companies in the future in the comments!

8. Energy

The reason why it is key to touch on energy is because of the recent advances in energy education. Technology has totally transformed a once boring industry to one of the hottest industries in the world that’s built on historical infrastructure deployments. Led by companies like ComEd, distributed energy resources combine modular electricity generation, storage capabilities, and the ability to lower your electric utility bills. When combined with other IoT devices within your smart home or smart building, you can not only live more seamlessly, but can even save or make money by making “gridfriendly” decisions. You can even customize your energy usage by wearing a band that pushes out your GPS within your home. A smart hub connected to your energy IoT devices will adjust according to the real time price of energy – kind of like placing “limit orders” for buying and selling stocks. 

Economically, this could work a concept used in finance called arbitrage through blockchain based financial measurements and smart contracts. Whatever energy you generate during the day is more valuable when your neighbors also want to use it, sort of like bandwdith.  With a storage device in tact, connected to a Emphase Inverter, you can use the energy harvested at the most optimum time or trade it with your neighbors if you’re away. 

Some other takeaways from energy IoT are that hardware costs have been decreasing. This is key when you make a large capital investment in utility scaled critical IoT deployment. key being that hardware and software are treated as investments meaning that they increase value of everyone’s well being within your electricity service provider’s territory.

Electric vehicles and charging stations also play a role in the future of energy since you cannot rely on gas prices staying low forever. Tesla is leading this effort with the announcement of their powerwall even though many other companies had already been in the lithium ion storage manufacturing business. WiTricity also allows you to charge your EV wirelessly for SmartCity applications which we will touch on in a future post.

There has been a big hold up in energy since the transmission and distribution system is only about a million years old. For infrastructure to be changed, there needs to be a series of policies that are planned for the next million plus years. This is a design my team made that was presented to Exelon, a key  company in the midst of changing the world, for what we called at the time, a nano-grid: 

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 4.32.06 PM

***credits to Adara Power

9. Mass Adoption

The only key driver missing from the opportunity of IoT is mass adoption. Many of the technologies mentioned throughout this post are available on the market today for purchase. But why aren’t you rushing over to Amazon or your local hardware store to buy them? Do you think they’re too expensive? Or maybe you don’t like all of the features of the product? What is holding you back from turning your home into a smart home and turning your life into a smarter one?

Barriers that exist today known to man are knowledge and cost. Time is a solution for both of those according to Metcalfe’s law of usersThe positives clearly outweigh the negatives and if you want to advance yourself holistically, you must adopt to a connected livelihood. 

Don’t fall behind…

Conclusion

If you’re an engineer, entrepreneur, or just an enthusiast, IoT is about to change your world by the millions.

Which IoT devices are key to you? Why? 

logo
an IoT blog – for engineers & entrepreneurs