We’re just two days away from wishing each other a happy and prosperous New Year. We’ve reached the close of 2016 and are ready for the birth of 2017. However, we’re still not done talking about everything that 2016 gave us. From astonishing moments at the Rio Olympics in August to the news-making election of Donald Trump as the President of the US, and the very recent and sad passing of George Michael – 2016 took us up and brought us down. The same pattern is visible in the year’s tech releases too. However, for IoT, 2016 was a stunning year. So, in our seventh ‘2016’s Top Tech 10s’ list, we look at 10 of the year’s most glorious achievements in IoT – the devices that made us thank God for technology!
Starting out our list is a little device that wants to completely connect your car with the Internet of Things. ‘Zubie’ is a nifty toy that sends a report of each of your journeys to a spreadsheet in Google Drive. The device also tracks information like start and stop locations, how long each trip takes and the cost of fuel used per trip. Working also as a Wi-Fi hotspot, the talented Zubie even tracks and rates your driving habits!
Welcome to the clock that tells you more than just the time. The ‘Glance Clock’ is so extraordinary, that it’s almost as magical as the clock in Ron Weasley’s home. This futuristic time-teller can display information from your wearables, smart home devices, third party apps and more. The device is so incredible, it will even make you put aside your phone, since it comes with a high-quality speaker, letting you set various alerts. It will even inform you about calls, messages and Uber rides!
If there were one tech segment that made amazing progress in the past year, it was robotics. And of course, we can trust Samsung to marry robotics and IoT in the best way possible, giving us its adorable ‘Otto’ robot. This little Amazon Echo clone is even cuter since it has microphones and speakers that let it answer questions. Though cute, the bot is also rather powerful, letting you control light switches and refrigerators. Otto even boasts a security camera and a tiny screen!
A hearing aid that can connect to your doorbell, smoke detector and baby alarm? Sounds like fiction, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not fiction, it’s the amazing ‘Opn’ hearing aid by Oticon. Compatible with the web-based service IFTTT (If This Then That) for communicating with other IoT devices, this hearable has been named the first-ever IoT hearing aid. According to Oticon, the Opn can even manage multiple speakers and noisy environments, helping you locate speech from any direction!
Ever been in the middle of a crucial WhatsApp conversation and wanted to drive to work at the same time? If you thought doing both is impossible, think again. Meet the ‘06 Controller’ – a little device that clips onto your steering wheel so you can enjoy eyes-free smartphone control while driving. The clip uses touch, voice and gesture input to control apps and listen/respond to messages – again, completely eyes-free. It even flaunts Bluetooth 4.0 LE connectivity, and can work with iOS and Android devices.
After witnessing a woman and her unborn baby die because of the lack of a sonogram, one Benjamin Jeongwon Ryu and his company developed the ‘Sonon 300C.’ This handheld sonogram can be synced with tablets/smartphones, and can instantly display results. The portable sonogram boasts Wi-Fi and a 3G/LTE connection, along with an app that supports both iOS and Android. The device’s parent company, Healcerion can even improve the chances of a precise diagnosis, by sending comparative sonogram images to the Sonon 300C.
Wilson X Connected Football
We’ve heard of an IoT sonogram, robot, clock and hearing aid. But, have you heard of an IoT football? Meet the ‘Wilson X Connected Football’ – a standard ball with sensors to enhance your football experience. Working with an accompanying app, this smart football has on-board electronics that record football-throwing metrics such as distance, velocity, spin rate, and how well players hold on to it. It then sends this data to your device via Bluetooth. However, the connected football’s true gamification kicks in with its app.
Intel IA-32 Mote
Ever had a delicate object shipped to your place? Then, you know how worried you can get thinking about whether the object will get to you in one piece. Aiming to solve that is Intel’s ‘IA-32 Mote.’ This tiny little processor could enable tags that report on shipping conditions in real time, sans a battery, while also being disposable after a package is delivered. Although not yet a device, the IoT chip could facilitate a tag that could incorporate motion, temperature and other sensors too.
Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator
Wouldn’t you love to know what’s in your fridge while you’re at the store? Think this is impossible? With Samsung’s Family Hub Refrigerator, this and a lot more is possible. The insane appliance is Wi-Fi connected, and has cameras that will record what’s in your fridge, while the fridge itself sends this data to you. The fridge also coordinates everyone’s schedules, leave notes and reminders, further letting you connect to multiple apps, and play your favourite tracks as well. A futuristic fridge for the whole family!
Honda EV-Neo Scooters
IoT isn’t new to cars and scooters. However, Honda is using the tech in its ‘EV-Neo Scooters’ in a rather unique way. These IoT-connected scooters are solving the transportation issue in Japan’s beautiful island, Teshima. The electric, rechargeable bikes have an IoT system that boasts two-way communication that connects with them every few seconds. So, if your battery is running low, the bike will inform you of the same. You will even be informed of your location or if a much-needed ferry is close to departure!