What is “smart” technology?
We have smart phones, smart watches, smart glasses, smart clothing, smart homes, and smart cities. But it’s not always clear what “smart” really means. Today, designers and developers are beginning to rethink what “smart” could or should mean in the evolving Internet of Things, or IoT.
Smart technology started by giving objects computing power, and making them interactive. The excitement was in the sheer connectivity and control. Smart tech automated or controlled systems utilizing trigger-action programming, also know as “if this, then that.” Success was measured by producing greater efficiencies.
The Future Conscious Home
With advances in artificial intelligence, voice recognition software, wearable tech and mobile ubiquity, smart technologies are now also learning technologies. Smart things are not just connected objects, but becoming “sensing and adaptive.” At this year’s SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, a panel for “The Future Conscious Home” included Liat Ben-Zur from Philips and Mike Soucie from Google’s Nest who discussed not just smart home automation, but what the home of tomorrow could be like.
— Philips at SXSW 2015 (@PhilipsLiveFrom) March 17, 2015
Adaptive home environments will become increasingly important as the population ages, and more seniors age at home.
‘Works with Nest’
Nest is a smart, learning thermostat recently acquired by Google. A new program, “Works with Nest”, already has 16 partnerships with manufacturers, including Misfit Ventures. For example, Misfit integration will enable customers to connect its sleep tracker and smart alarm to the Nest learning thermostat, and awaken to their ideal temperature.
Connecting All the Things
The above video, by creative agency Sid Lee Paris, demonstrates all the ways data is collected by connected objects in their office – from the number of coffee cups poured to the number of times toilets are flushed. This continuously updated, real-time dashboard is a provocative look at the meaning of data – what we already collect and quantify, and what we will be collecting in the future.
Have You Heard of Arduino?
To connect its office objects, Sid Lee utilized Arduino, an open source electronics platform of hardware and software popular in the Maker Movement. Arduino is described as “easy-to-use,” and enables anyone to start connecting objects to the Internet of Things.
Temboo just announced “Conditions,” a new way to visually specify IoT sensor and action workflows for Arduino without having to write code.
The Open Source Connected Casa
At the closing keynote of SXSW, writer Bruce Sterling announced a two-year project designed to explore what it will mean to live in an open source connected home. The project, CasaJasmina, will be located in Turin, Italy, and the raw space is featured in the video below. In a separate video, Sterling recorded his conversation with Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi about the project and the future of the Internet of Things.
Arduino in Healthcare
Arduino is also currently growing in importance in biotech research. Less than two years ago, there was no mention of Arduino in scientific papers. Today, more than 150 mentions of Arduino can be found in high-profile science and engineering journals. You can learn about all the Arduino projects around the world on Arduino Day 2015 coming up on on March 28th.
Arduino at HIMSS 2015
Charles Webster M.D. is looking for fellow healthcare makers to coordinate at HIMSS 2015, and is suggesting a new hashtag: #HIMSSmakers on Twitter. If you would be interested in a fun and casual tweet-up at the HIMSS conference, please add your name or twitter handle to the comments at the end of this post!
— Charles Webster MD (@wareFLO) March 11, 2015
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