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.


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.


Google vs. Cancer

Smart Objects
Google won’t stop at just being a search engine giant, it also wants to tackle down one of our biggest deadly enemies, cancer. After working with Novartis to come up the “smart” contact lens that can help us fight diabetes by detecting the glucose level in our body, the secret Google [X] lab is also exploring the possibilities to send “smart” nanoparticles into our bloodstream to sniff out the early signs of disease. Cancer won’t be fatal if they are caught early.
Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 12.31.53 PM
However, there still aren’t good enough diagnostics to help doctors catch them in their earliest state, when they are most treatable. Google scientists hope to catch the signal given off by cells when they become cancerous. Could we tell that we are at the blink of having cancer when we see a continuous subtle change in the chemistry of our blood? How do Google nanoparticles work? Just click to look at this infographic for a brief review.
Google Nanoparticle infographic
Google is getting more and more information from us, even our health condition. What does that mean for the future of the data security of our personal health information?

Octoblu : The future of IoT standards?

Technology Industry Trend

One of the most challenging aspects of a technology gaining widespread acceptance is the emergence of standards for the industry. The smart objects market and IoT will be no different as companies like Google and Apple seek to establish industry standards for things like home automation and smart object controls.

One new company hopes to be a part of this conversation, this company is Octoblu The organization hopes to standardize the application across the IoT and their interaction protocols.  As their site explains:

Octoblu mediates the connections between devices, allowing you to link devices across protocols and platforms to let them communicate.

Only time will tell which standard gains traction, but with companies like Google and Apple in the mix, the battle will be uphill for companies like Octoblu.

Want to find out more about interesting industry trend and cool new IoT? Follow us on Twitter @futureofsmart!

Throwback: User Resistance to Google’s Nest Acquisition

Smart Objects
Image via Nest Inc

Image via Nest Inc

An interesting topic to revisit that sums up a lot of privacy concerns related to smart objects is when Google acquired Nest. This acquisition led to a lot of users concerned about how the Nest’s data would be used.

As many consumers know, Google’s primary business is advertising. Almost every application, business, or feature they roll out has some kind of purpose to feed into this information collection. The user info is what has made them one of the most successful advertising companies to date.  As a result, users took to the internet to voice their concern following the acquisition.

Nest Comment1

Nest Comment2

Despite Google’s unofficial motto, “Do no Evil,” many users are still unsettled. Matt Rodgers, co founder of Nest and now Google employee did comment on the issue. As he explained “Our privacy policy clearly limits the use of customer information to providing and improving Nest’s products and services. We’ve always taken privacy seriously and this will not change.”