Thoughts

Real Time Data & The Internet of Things

By Benjamin Pearson29th April 2014
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I've spoken about real time data before, but I really do believe it's the next evolution of the web. As The Internet of Things begins to gather momentum, and the tagging of real world objects becomes even more feasible with the development of technology such as Apple's iBeacon, we can start to get immediate analysis of real world interactions between people and objects. This opens up a whole new world of business applications, such as proximity based advertising, home automation and real world analytics, just to name a few.

Smartphone Activated Lighting

I'm also excited to start seeing more and more connected devices come into play. What were once disconnected objects such as your car, house, oven, fridge and washing machine will start to integrate with the cloud and essentially become ‘smart devices'. We've already been playing around with a wifi enabled, energy efficient lightbulb called LIFX that you can control with your smartphone. LIFX debuted on crowdfunding site Kickstarter in September 2012 with backers pledging a total of $1.3m in just six days.

In future, devices like the LIFX will be able to respond to everyday events such as arriving home, changing rooms, or even social media interactions with friends.

New Keyless Entry

With a growing number of employees joining the Inlight team, we've recently discovered a need for keyless entry in our workplace, and smart lock Lockitron delivers on this and more. It enables you to lock your door from anywhere in the world using your smartphone, as well as share access with family, friends, and more importantly, employees.

Application Controlled Washing Machine

If you're looking for a company leading the way in development of connected devices, look no further than UK company Berg. Berg uses web based API's to help hardware manufacturers build innovative products. Their latest protype is called Cloudwash: the connected washing machine. Using a web API Berg was able to listen for wash instructions from the machine, and send commands to trigger washes and update the website from a website or iOS app.

As you can imagine, real time connectivity changes objects like appliances in far-reaching ways. It's still early days for the Internet of Things, but I'm excited about it's potential and am looking forward to exploring and iterating with clients who are willing to innovate and lead the way.

It's worth noting at this point that developing connected devices is a time consuming and expensive process. Until connected devices become cost-effective, it's difficult for developers to fully embrace the technologies and create value for all users. The reason I'm excited about cheap, low-spec hardware such as Bluetooth Low Energy beacons is because we can build real time applications that seamlessly integrate with real world environments, today. They enable us to build applications that provide actual value to advertisers, retailers, and most importantly, consumers.

Contact us at Inlight to discuss partnerships, new and emerging technology ideas, and projects to benefit your business.

Ben Pearson is Head of Mobile Development at Inlight Media – a leading digital agency based in Melbourne.