Lots of Dissenters

Technology Industry Trend

Here’s an interesting thought: what if we’re wrong about the internet of things actually being a big thing? It’s certainly possible, and although the industry is boom there are also many hurdles that it will need to overcome to achieve its projected 15 trillion dollar market capitalization. According to one study, executives are split over whether or not industry will take off like it is projected to do. Some executives seem to think the barriers to entry are too great, while others simply think that humans won’t find utility in the internet of things. The second notion is more interesting to me. All new tech trends have barriers to entry that can end them, but the hype cycle is something that has taken priority over our collective consciousness. Is the internet of things happening just because industry executives want it to? It’s a skeptical way to look at it, but while researching smart objects for this blog I have found myself thinking on numerous occasions that some of these startups simply don’t need to exist. There are some wonderful products being made, but this article does have me wondering if we’re experience the dotcom bubble 2.0. The underlying principle that will determine the movement’s success is how much utility a device being connected with the internet can truly provide a person.

 

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Wariness

Technology Industry Trend

A large portion of the products that we have posted on this blog have been funded through Kickstarter projects. It should be known by all consumers that a Kickstarter marketing video and page, while impressive, do not always guarantee a satisfactory product. Let’s let the Ring by Logbar be a warning to all consumers and enthusiasts of smart products. In the video posted above, the reviewer calls customer support and reports that his product only works as desired 5-10% of the time. That is a ridiculously low percentage for functionality. And what does he hear from support? That is the average functionality of the product that consumers are experiencing. Outraged, the reviewer continues to illuminate the rest of the product’s bugs. The simple light to indicate that the product is even on does not even work most of the time. Also, the application has to be open on the phone for the finger gestures to even work. This is all in addition to the clunky design of the ring that is highly uncomfortable. The kicker? The Ring is a $260 product. Clearly, there is some risk in the enthusiasm that Kickstarter can bring to developers that aren’t capable of delivering. To sum it up, /u/kingofeggsandwiches puts it very eloquently why this whole business is risky

 

“Wish people would be realistic with crowd funding. It’s gone to the dogs completely because all you have to do is make some graphics and a cgi design video of some completely unrealistic product and boom cue nerds handing over a million dollars for your pipe dream. I wish people would think “is this the type of thing a small tech start up can realistically produce”, hell I see stuff on their all the time that would take multinationals like Sony or Samsung with a nigh bottomless money pit a few years of development to get right, do you think a small crew working out a garage space in San Francisco is going to do a better job?

People have become suckers for the idea that a few guys with a dream can have a bigger impact and produce something better than a billion dollar company, it’s romanticism at its worst. Crowd funding is is great for quirky small to mid level projects that naturally have a hard time getting funded for being outside the box and frankly not worth the risk from big companies. It’s not a place were serious high level projects go instead of proper investment, the people who want to do that go to real investors and get investment because their ideas are not only good but also feasible. Just look at /r/shittykickstarters to see how ridiculous it’s become.”

Friday Rundown

Technology Industry Trend

It’s that time of the week. Check out this week’s most popular posts below.


Mother

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Read about Mother, a smart object that has a place in every home. Learn about it here.


Black Friday Picks

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Check out our Black Friday Smart Object picks for 2014 here.


New York City’s Smart Payphones 

Learn about New York City’s ambitious plans to reinvent the payphone here.

5 of the Top 2014 Tech Gifts

Smart Objects

Once again it’s that time of year!

Check out a few of the Future of Smart’s picks of some of the hottest 2014 gifts.


The 2014 Fitbit Line

With over 65% of the fitness tracker market, Fitbit is the must have tracker for both exercise novices and diehard athletes. Their new line includes exciting products like Charge, their update to last year’s Force. In addition some models include call notifications, heart rate monitoring and GPS tracking. Their flagship model, Fitbit Surge will also include Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant. Read our post about the new Charge here and check out Fitbit’s newest line here.


Chromecast

Despite new entrants into the TV dongle arena like the Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast is still the undisputed king. Between it’s ease of use, Android and IOS integration, and frugal price point, Chomecast is the perfect addition to any entertainment system. With the addition of new games like Dance Dance Revolution and Monopoly, Chromecast keeps delivering. Purchase Chromecast here.


DropCam Pro

Dropcam, now owned by Nest, is a Wi-Fi based cloud recording video monitoring service that makes it easy for anyone to install and implement a live video monitoring system. And with features like smartphone control and scheduling, Dropcam won’t bore even the more experienced techies. Check it out here.


Belkin WeMo Smart LED Lightbulb

Who would have thought a light bulb could be so cool. Besides being much more environmentally friendly, Belkin’s WeMo bulbs are enabled with a plethora of neat features like smartphone control and scheduling. Features coming in 2015 even include the ability to flicker your lights as a notification too. Check out the starter pack here.


Adidas MiCoach Smart Soccer Ball

It’s not often that smart objects are meant to be kicked as hard as you can. Adidas’s new Smart Soccer ball however is meant just for that. Using several sensors as well as a Bluetooth connection and paired app, Adidas’s new ball promises to train you to kick farther, more accurately, and give you on the go coaching. Learn more about it here.

Orbduino: An Internet Connected Robot

Smart Objects

With the interest we’ve seen with our post about the man who allows the internet to control his lights we thought it was only fair to include another cool interactive internet toy, Orbduino!

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Orbduino is an internet connected robot which has been online for over 4 years. As the site describes:

Virtual reality just isn’t as exciting as it once was. I wanted to use technology to allow people to interact with the real world, so I’ve created a way to experience Remote Reality through Orbduino.

Orbduino allows the user to interact with objects over the web. No matter where you are in the world, you’re making real stuff happen in another place. Sure, it’s just small stuff- but still pretty cool, huh?

 

Just make sure to give the site a try before it goes offline for the indefinite future this Saturday November 29th. Control the robot here.