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.
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.”
It’s that time of the week. Check out this week’s most popular posts below.
Read about Mother, a smart object that has a place in every home. Learn about it here.
Black Friday Picks
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.
Would you let the entire internet control your lights? One brave individual has relinquished the control of his office lighting and put it at the mercy of internet users everywhere in a prime example of the Internet of Things.
Take your turn and watch the live stream here.
Oftentimes when we think of connected security devices we think of Dropcam, motion sensors and other similar devices. A new Kickstarter product called Point, hopes to take the complexity out of home security by “Listening” to your house. Point is a small subtle device which finds its roots in Scandinavian design. The unobtrusive device listens to the environmental sounds of its location and pairs with an IOS or Android App. Through it’s internet connection Point can listen for things like windows breaking, smoke alarms, or other unusual sounds. It then can notify users via its app. The device costs $59 to early backers and has already exceeded it’s $50,000 Kickstarter goal by over $100,000. Learn more about Point or even back the project by visiting it’s Kickstarter page.