By Chuck Martin
Wandering the massive halls of CES International, the annual Las Vegas mega-show for all things consumer electronics two years ago, there were countless startups showcasing all variations of IoT technology.
Some had promise and some were obviously destined for oblivion.
At CES earlier this year, most of those oblivion companies were gone.
But the technological capabilities of the Internet of Things continue to drive people to innovate to see what may stick.
Since I’ve been tracking IoT for some time now, I come across all types of novel IoT introductions.
For example, a Taiwanese startup is trying to launch a “smart umbrella,” which will open and close automatically within a couple of seconds, thanks to a high precision motor. It has Bluetooth Low Energy technology to alert the owner that the umbrella was left behind and let them know via location-tracking weather forecast reminder that bad weather is incoming.
(I got an umbrella that does all of that automatic, one-button open and close from Weather.com at a MediaPost event some time back. But it’s not Bluetooth enabled. So pre-IoT, but it still keeps me dry.)
On the sensor front, Samsung just got a patent to use a smartphone to measure body fat. The idea is that a person would grip something near the phone, like a phone case, and four sensors would measure and analyze body fat.
A California company is creating a ‘connected room’ platform for children built around sensors, monitors and cloud services. The idea is to provide parents with information like how well babies are sleeping, if a child wanders from a room or how often a diaper is changed.
There are countless other innovations people are coming up with, some silly, some potentially transformational.
The good news is that no matter the innovation, the market ultimately will pick the winners.
And that’s a good thing.