So here we are at my second blog post.
Today I thought I’d start you off with a short challenge.
Go ahead and name an IoT Device or brand that is not google or amazon.
Second challenge, try to name more than two things those devices actually do for you other than respond when called and turn on netflix for you.
So with that, you will understand why I decided for this post it might be nice to tackle two birds with one stone and do some research for both of our sakes into the IoT world.
I’ll try and avoid the typical blog list-to-get-hits kind of feeling and get quickly into taking strong and relatively uneducated layman’s opinions that you can agree with or not. Really, we’ll just learn a bit more about what’s out there without marketing being forced onto us.
First and foremost is August.
August seems to have taken careful note of two specific aspects of our modern society.
1. Google and Amazon have the interior taken care of.
2. We seem to order everything we could ever need to our doorstep now. Leading to theft of what is left on our doorstep.
So they came in and decided to claim the front door as their land, with a 24 hour camera and then a smart lock system. They seem to advertise the ease of installation and use everywhere on their website – and honestly, who does know how to install a new lock on their front door?
It is definitely an important issue to address with delivery culture, but is a $220 smart lock the key, pun intended? Then again, locksmiths have kept their jobs surprisingly far into the digital era, and virtual keys might be calling many of our names. As for the camera, is there any imaginable application besides warding off theft? And if these thieves were to, as in the good old days, wear a mask, does this camera provide anything other than a $230 sense of security to us?
Secondly, this is the Foobot.
It monitors the air quality in whatever space you put it in. This will tell you how clean the air is in your house for a meagre $200.
Jokes aside, this obviously has lots of applications for other spaces besides a private closed room. As they say, it’s not their hardware, but their data processing through machine learning that makes Foobot stand out. So for those already in the market for improving their spaces’ air quality, this is great. Not only is it high (and always improving) quality, but it’s apparently cheaper than any competition, as well as being an IoT device and thus compatible with your smart phone.
Is it something everyone needs? No, but maybe it doesn’t have to be. And it’s good at what it does.
Next we’ll talk about Kuri.
This video does a good job of summing it up: “Kuri’s biggest strength is just how cute she is.”
The makers of Kuri, 2018 founded Mayfield Robotics, went into this searching less for a niche market with high profit, and more with passion and a goal for making a home robot, and one that can keep you and your family company. So while qualifying as an IoT Device by pairing with your devices and all that, it’s goal is to be fun and simply make you smile. And when you look at any toy you’ve spent money on, what other goal is there to be desired? You might think of it as a Google Home whose presence you can actually feel and interact with. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vplb_Ra5WN8&t=5m10s
And we’ll finish today up with the Belkin Wemo Light Switch.
It won’t take a long introduction. It does what a stak Light Mod does (minus the light itself), but it replaces a light switch in your home. Then you can connect it to a Google Home or Alexa. This is standard connected stuff.
I’ve come into this IoT scene with just about no knowledge of the breadth of IoT technology already out there. Also when I joined stak, I had never really had much interest in the things, always thinking these kind of devices are pretty much a waste of time.
But the more I’ve looked into it, the more I’ve come to think that that’s just like calling computers a waste of time. Yes, you can live without them. However, they are an integral part of this world, and as such it can only be a good thing to cultivate not only knowledge, but a sense of joy.
Something doesn’t have to be necessary for it to bring people happiness, nor to be very important to people. While some devices may be made only to cater to what seems to be an excess of convenience, the perspective that they are creations of playful inventors helps weather those misgivings.
Just like drones, and indeed the current coronavirus, thinking about it in terms of your immediate sphere of society does not seem life-changing. But thinking about all of these things as they impact massive overarching systems, societies – as they enter hospitals and the industrial setting and the service industry – the effect is exponential.
The reason perhaps to make new and better IoT devices is because making new and better tools allows us to use them to a greater potential. Seeing the toy-like joy of Kuri, the specific utility of Foobot, and the actual problem-solving of August’s products shows me that these are the very kinds of things stak can impact. That not only gives me a sense of satisfaction with the direction we’re headed here at stak, but with a sense of hope for humanity in general.