The Most Interesting New iOT Devices

iOT: A New Field of Technology

iOT or ‘internet-of-things’ is a new field of technology that is making huge waves in both the consumer and industrial markets. iOT refers to the introduction of internet connectivity into everyday physical objects. These new gadgets integrate online connections in unique and practical ways. Many people are already familiar with the most common iOT devices such as home voice-controllers like Amazon’s Alexa, or Google’s Nest smart thermostat; but let’s take a look at a few of the newest and most interesting consumer iOT devices, listed in no particular order of importance.

5. Eversense XL

The Eversense XL is a continuous glucose monitoring system aimed at simplifying and streamlining glucose and insulin management in type 1 and type 2 diabetics. The Eversense XL is a system consisting of an implantable sensor, a transmitter, and a mobile app. The sensor is implanted just under the skin and is worn for up to 6 months before needing replacement. A small transmitter is worn on the skin just above the sensor and receives data on glucose levels, which it then sends to a mobile app on the user’s cell phone. It takes readings at continuous intervals and provides real-time data that can be tracked, saved, and shared for remote monitoring by family members or medical professionals. The transmitter is water-resistant up to one meter and can vibrate to alert you if your blood sugar is spiking or crashing- even if the phone isn’t nearby. As the transmitter tracks your data it even begins to create predictive trends based on your behavior and glucose levels, allowing it to alert you in advance via the mobile app if it thinks a diabetic episode is on the way. This nifty technology can help sufferers of type 1 or 2 diabetes to free themselves from continuously having to stick their fingers for blood tests and also helps alleviate much of the stress and anxiety that comes with the condition.

4. Lüa Smart Planter

The Lüa Smart Planter is a practical and cute way to take care of your plants at home. This smart pot comes equipped with five built-in sensors- moisture, sun exposure, temperature, movement, and a QR code reader. The mobile app allows you to browse for your plant’s category and type, then generates a QR code that the Lüa may then scan. From there, a small screen on the planter displays a cute little face that indicates the current status of your plant. It has animations to display thirst, over-watering, too much or not enough sun, or if your plant is too hot or cold. It even features a small motion tracker so the face follows any passersby. Small touches such as the face sneezing on cold days or looking grumpy on rainy days give this little planter a lot of personality. It’s perfect for even the most inexperienced gardeners who benefit from the real-time updates on the plants status, or even the most seasoned horticulturist who just wants to turn their plants into virtual pets. The Lüa planter well exceeded its crowdfunding goal of $33,000 by raising an astonishing $100,000 and is expected to ship by December of this year.

3. SmartMat

The SmartMat is a high-tech upgrade to the standard yoga mat. The idea behind the SmartMat is to link the typical yoga mat to a smartphone or tablet, where it may then guide the user through a yoga routine with a personalized touch. Sensors built into the mat can sense which pose you are in while picking up on weight distribution and balance. This information is relayed to your device which can then offer micro-corrections to your alignment. The app tracks your stats so you can see how your routines improve over time and can even be used to teach completely new poses accurately and safely. The SmartMat has three different modes depending on the user’s needs; there is the ‘in-home private’ mode which uses all of these features to bring you your own personalized yoga class, with various options such as 15 minute express or core-strength focused classes to name a few. There’s also the ‘in-class assist’ mode in which the SmartMat senses what poses you take, allowing you to receive real-time feedback silently on your device as you follow the instructor. Finally, there is the ‘zen mode’ in which the mat silently records your pose sequence and stores all of the information for later review. The SmartMat has raised approximately $400,000 from crowdfunding on a 2014 Indiegogo campaign while also securing private financial backers, and although it has had a rocky development thus far, supporters have their fingers crossed that it will be out by the holidays this year.

2. Withings Sleep

The Withings Sleep is a unique device that slips under the mattress and tracks various metrics on the user’s sleep. Upon waking in the morning, the user is greeted with a full report on their previous night’s rest. The Sleep tracks breathing, heart rate, and movement has snore detection and even offers a full in-depth analysis of the various sleep cycles. By measuring the frequency and severity of interruptions in breathing patterns the Withings Sleep can even detect signs of sleep apnea, a potentially fatal sleep disorder in which breathing stops and starts fitfully. With built-in IFTTT (if-this-then-that) integration, the Sleep can detect when the user goes to bed or wakes in the morning and seamlessly shut off the lights or change the thermostat depending on preferences. There is a lot of function packed into what is essentially the Fitbit of the sleeping world, and surprisingly it will only set you back about $100.

1. Lattis Ellipse

The Lattis Ellipse packs a ton of functionality and security into the small frame of a bicycle lock. This electronic smart bike lock connects to your phone and allows keyless entry, theft detection, bike sharing, crash alerts, secure back-up access, and is even self-charging to boot. It features a 17mm thick steel shackle that locks on both sides, meaning a thief would have to cut through the lock twice to successfully steal a bike. This is backed up by bank-level encryption on the lock’s electronic components, deterring any would-be hackers. The whole kit is powered by a small and secure solar panel built into the lock itself, so even if your phone dies you can easily disengage the lock via the built-in keypad. You can grant access to friends and family via the Lattis app allowing them to ride and share your bike while you aren’t using it, and even have the app send out instant push notifications if the lock detects you’ve been in a serious crash. It is clear that a lot of thought went into designing this lock from start to finish, and the amount of features it packs into a single package is impressive. The Lattis Ellipse is priced at $200 which may seem outrageously extravagant for a lock, but if you already have an expensive bike it may be worth investing in an equally expensive lock.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to iOT devices, and their functionality and integration into everyday life will only increase as the technology evolves. iOT is interesting in that it takes an ordinary functional object and increases and diversifies its effectiveness in new and unique ways. It is hard to predict just how integrated these devices will become, but it is easy to imagine this sort of tech making cities ‘smarter’ and more efficient. This sort of ‘smart’ technology has massive implications in automation and is already starting to take over the automotive industry. Additionally, these sorts of devices help enable machine learning without anyone actually needing to program them. As they record and store data on user’s habits and patterns of usage, appliances can share and exchange this data to learn and become more efficient in their functions. It seems as if the current generation of iOT devices could possibly even be laying the foundation for a new generation of artificial intelligence.

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At Lithios we value outside opinions. This blog was written by one of our guest bloggers.

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