IoT

Wearables + Virtual Reality = Very Cool

In this video Mickey Ferri, one of the Enflux Smart Clothing founders, gives an awesome demo. If you’re a fan of the Village People and dancing to YMCA, this is for you.
They have a kit for developers.  Check it out on the Enflux website.
 
One thing I mention in the video that I want to point out here is that by combining a wearable shirt/pant with sensors with the wearable VR headset, Enflux is creating Wearable Alpha, additional value from more than one wearable interacting (the shirt/pant and VR headset). This ties in with my third wearable prediction, you can read more about Wearable Alpha here.
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Nonda ZUS, Grush & Tianya Zorpia at SVIEF

Check out these interviews from SVIEF:

Nonda

Ever lose your car parked somewhere? I actually did for the first time a few weeks ago in San Francisco (hilly neighborhood too so it wasn’t exactly fun when my car was on the other block). I met the Nonda team at the SVIEF expo and their CEO Nick Staubach explained how the Nonda ZUS product works. It’s pretty sleek and a cool concept. Even if you never lose your car you still get two powerful USB charging spots.

Apple released a new feature in iOS 10 if your car already has Bluetooth it will keep track of it, but most of the cars on the road today don’t have Bluetooth and not everyone has an iPhone w/the latest OS so ZUS still has a niche. Perhaps it belongs in the stocking of your prone-to-lose-their-car friend or family member?

You can check out more about ZUS at http://www.nonda.co/products/zus-smart-car-charger

 

Grush

For parents who want to encourage their kids to do better at brushing their teeth, what do you think about a smart toothbrush? Check out this video with Ethan Schur from Grush The Gaming Toothbrush for Kids. It turns brushing teeth into a video game for kids by integrating sensor technology in the battery part that does the vibrating. I’m going to see how this does with my kids, there are three heads for the toothbrush in the box so it works out for my IoT loving kids.

In the video Ethan gives a discount code GRUSHBUDDY for 20% off at www.GrushGamer.com. (I tested the code and you enter the coupon code right before payment and it works).

 

Tianya Zorpia

Silicon Valley is about innovative ideas, and they come from all over the world. This is a short conversation with Frank Zheng from Tianya Zorpia where he explains a bit about how he helps with the bridge between China and Silicon Valley.

 

 

 

 

Smart Clock for Smart Home: Glance Clock

Fans of tech meet fans of Harry Potter. This clock is the closest thing to the Weasley clock technology can provide. I just signed up as a backer on Indegogo and so should you! Click here to go to their Indegogo page.

In this video Anton Zriashchev, CEO at Glance Clock gives a demo and I even ask him about the Weasley clock so you can hear what he has to say.

#smarthome #smartclock #iot #harrypotter #indegogo

iDevices Switch – Best Connected Home Unboxing Yet

Good news everybody, the smart home is getting easier! Last week I became the proud owner of an iDevices smart switch thanks to having been one of the first listeners to the Home:On podcast to respond to a giveaway. The setup of that switch was so easy I had to show you and in this video I do just that.

First I demo the switch I already have, then setup of the new switch begins at minute 1:20 and finishes at minute 6:25. I did run into a little bit of confusion when I added the new switch when it didn’t immediately asked me to scan the HomeKit code. I eventually figured that out but I don’t know exactly if that was my problem or the iDevices app. It doesn’t matter though, because it was less than 5 minutes which is WONDERFUL.

I’m heavily UX/UI driven and the unbox/setup process is crucial to success in non-early adopter markets. This is by far the easiest un-boxing of a consumer Internet of things product for the connected home for any product I have brought home to date.
You can find out more about iDevices and their other products on their website. This switch is $49. No one paid me to do this video so I guess they’re getting some free advertising in return for the free switch!

If you are into the smart home, I recommend listening to Home:On podcast.

Tesla, Solar Impulse, SRI, Comfy & More in this ControlTrends Interview

Emerging technologies, including Internet of Things technologies, are enabling building owners, operators and managers to leverage technology to impact asset NOI.  This weekend I was a guest on the ControlTrends videocast and podcast with hosts Kenneth Smyers and Eric Stromquist.  ControlTrends is a weekly show exploring the future of HVAC and building system controls, including emerging technologies.

In the podcast we talk about

You can listen to the ControlTrends ControlTalk NOW podcast here:

http://controltrends.org/?powerpress_embed=21194-podcast&powerpress_player=mediaelement-audio

 

You can watch the ControlTrends ControlTalk NOW videocast here:

Note: I’m the second interview so in this link I’ve queued up my conversation with Kenny and Eric but I’d recommend you back up and watch the whole thing.

 

 

RealComm/IBcon 2016 Summary & Videos

JoshJimHoward.jpgThose of you familiar with my background know that it is in real estate technology. Those of you that understand my present passion know that it is in disruptive technologies, most of them enabled by the Internet of things.

June 21-24, 2016 I attended RealComm/IBCon 2016, the world’s largest real estate technology conference.  During the conference I had the opportunity to meet and talk to the most brilliant thought leaders in real estate.  A few of them stepped in front of the lens to share their views and the videos were posted on my Facebook page. Here they are for you to browse.

If you like a video, click through to the clip on Facebook and let me know via the comments on the video. Enjoy!


In this clip I talk with Jim Young, Co-Founder and CEO of Realcomm following the Realcomm 2016 opening session. Topics covered in the opening session included robots, drones, wearable technology, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, Internet of things, big data, intelligent building solutions, the shared economy and much more.

This is a quick peak at the #SmartBuildingshowcase at Realcomm/IBcon 2016. Real value generation. Real ROI. Real impact on asset NOI. All the big names are in this game. Companies represented in the case studies include Intel, Google, Microsoft, Cisco, Stanford University, and that’s just the ones with space here in Silicon Valley. Shanghai Tower, multiple buildings in Australia including Barangaroo South in Sydney, are some international buildings. The world is on board with IoT solutions for the building. Are you in the game?

Check out this demo of Microsoft HoloLens by Jordan Lawver from Trimble at RealComm. The future is here: #augmentedreality that creates real value.

The tours following RealComm/IBCon 2016 both impressed and inspired.  I toured the new Stanford University Central Energy Facility and interviewed Gerry Hamilton, Director of Facilities Energy Management at Stanford University’s Department of Sustainability & Energy Management. This is the place that provides the hot and cold water pumped all over campus to heat and cool buildings, labs and the new hospital. Everything is state of the art.  I invite you all to learn more at https://sustainable.stanford.edu/

In this interview I speak with Cityzenith CEO Michael Jansen at Realcomm 2016. The Cityzenith solution provides what they call ‘Big data for the built environment’ and Michael and his team won one of this year’s Digie awards. Note: The video got cut, so it jumps from talking about the property to the individual sensor, but you can look at floors too.

In this video I catch up with Eric Stromquist and Kenneth Smyers, the hosts of the ControlTalk podcast and show. It’s the place to hear about the latest in #cretech #smartbuilding and many other related topics in the real estate industry. Check it out at www.controltrends.org

Will 2016 be the Year of the Wearable? A look at Wearables Trends & Predictions

 

2014 is the year of the wearable. 

No, wait.  Scratch that; it didn’t happen.

2015 is the year of the wearable.

No, wait.  Scratch that; it didn’t happen.

2016 is the year of the wearable.

No, wait.  Scratch that; it won’t happen either!

What?  Aren’t you the guy who wears two smart watches?  Isn’t this your annual wearable technology predictions update? Yes, I am and yes, it is.  But I’m also not lulled in by the seductions of wearable hype.  The wearables market is experiencing a fun and interesting journey; it is a market going places, although there are a few areas where it seems to be pulling in two directions and I’ll mention three of them.

There are things happening really fast that are awesome.  But at the same time there are also things happening slower than eager technologists and early adopters would like (generic, yes, but I’ll get there don’t worry).

There are experiences that are being delivered that are wonderful.  But at the same time there are also some questionable experiences.

There are richer wearables use cases, user interfaces and user experiences.  But at the same time there are also still a few folks out there disconnected from markets producing irrelevant use cases (their strategic marketing content also may not be market relevant) and the UI and UX may also be lagging behind.

Three is enough to demonstrate; each of these could merit its own blog post.  Let’s take a look at the 10 predictions and see where we are today with some of the companies in the 2014 Industry Watch.  Note, I said some.  I heard you after last year’s lengthy update, Wearables Dirty Laundry.  This update is half the size even though there is probably twice as much that should be covered.  Please enjoy this summary and highlights with a few deeper embellishments where some real battles are being won and/or lessons being learned.

Prediction #1

Wearables of the future will be more than fad devices; they will satisfy customer needs. (click to view original 2014 Industry Watch)

Status

We are getting closer!  As time is going on, the fad devices are fading.  Consumers are becoming more aware of wearable tech.

In the buy sell arrangement of retail, consumers have all of the power.  What is that power?  Purchasing power.  They will not exercise it unless they perceive that a product is relevant and creates sufficient value for them.

Early adopters have a different value equation than later stage adopters.  Entrepreneurs as well as large corporates are taking the lessons learned from early adopters and applying them to satisfy more needs. Some are doing this faster than others. This prediction applies generally to the general market trend so for it I have laid out several company/product examples.

Misfit

Misfit announced Misfit Ray and Specter since the 2015 update (Wearables Dirty Laundry).  Ray is a wrist worn wearable, it fits the traditional mold Misfit became famous for.  It is a sleek and beautiful wearable.

But, just like when they introduced a light bulb, I have questions about Misfit’s strategy with Spector, which is due out some time in 2016.  Specter is a set of “wireless” ear headphones that also track activity (note the air quotes, they’re important later).  So far so good and not far off the beaten path, right?  I’m not so sure.

Misfit claims Spector also tracks sleep duration and quality.  Yes. Sleep.  They expect you to wear your earphones when you sleep.  Now I don’t want to be biased because I personally don’t want to sleep with earphones.  Why don’t you have a look at this image and decide if you want to sleep with it.

MisfitWirelessHeadphonesWithWires

 

Now back to those air quotes.  This doesn’t look exactly wireless to me.  Redefining wireless to mean something with wires that doesn’t use wires to talk to your phone is a bit of a stretch.  Mix in sleep with these wires and my gut tells me this may not be the best idea.  Perhaps they have some strategic insight into their customers and target market that indicates that the product should be used in sleep situations.  But if they don’t have the qual or quant, then the function is not relevant and should be removed from the advertising content.

Google Glass

Google Glass is evolving.  It is becoming an enterprise solution with an enterprise grade experience.  There is little solid info I can write here because my sources all can’t speak publicly on this.  But what is public is the message on the Glass homepage, “Thanks for exploring with us.  The journey doesn’t end here.”

Glass

APX Labs

APX Labs is still kicking it in an awesome way.  Anyone who has met Brian Ballard, Founder & CEO, knows why.  The leadership in the space is getting noticed and the messaging resonates.  How so?  Let’s look at their home page.

APXLabs

What do you notice?  I notice strategic relevance to the market.  “A new way to work” catches the eye and is then backed up with “We help your employees where it matters the most.”  That is powerful relevance.  That is showcasing that wearables satisfy customer needs.

Epson

Epson is now taking pre-orders for its new Moverio BT-300 glasses, which launched at #MWC16.  The BT-200 is still available for $699.99.  The enterprise BT-2000 headset is also available for $2,999.99. What do all of these do?  They create real value by satisfying consumer needs, thus the quick mention here.

Note that Epson is one of many large corporates delivering real value in enterprise wearable tech.

Samsung

Samsung announced their seventh watch during the year that has passed since the last wearables review, the Samsung Gear S2.  I can’t really judge it because I haven’t used it, but the features list is impressive.  If you’re not in the Apple ecosystem for your mobile device, this may be a good choice for you.

Prediction #2

Where wearables are silo solutions now, in the future they will be better integrated with other wearables and the wider Internet of Things. Click to view original 2014 Industry Watch)

Status

Device silo barriers are still a challenge; however, progress is being made as the market shifts toward an ecosystem that is more open and interoperable.  This is happening far quicker than other industries, such as IoT enabled intelligent buildings, where incumbent solutions were designed and built to last 30 years in many cases.

An obvious leader in this space that was not included in the research on this particular prediction in the past is Apple and the Apple Watch.  The release of OS2 for Apple Watch enabled growth in the ecosystem of apps that link the watch to other devices.  Moreover, Siri is capable of controlling HomeKit compatible devices.  I see a lot of promise in this area in the future both with Apple as well as other key players, even if tech analyst and insiders wish the watch did more.

Prediction #3

Companies that combine the information of multiple sensors in multiple wearable devices will create more value for their consumers than producers of single wearable devices. (Click to view original 2014 Industry Watch).

Status

This is still one of the more interesting predictions and it is still a challenge to see it clearly happen.  Here are three examples.

Sensum

My most favorite company in this by far is still Sensum. Since discovering them and meeting Gawain Morrison, Sensum’s CEO, a couple years ago, I’ve grown fond of the product, the solution and the people.  But don’t take my word for it, Morrison explains it best in this clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZws5GUD6SI

Apple Watch

Apple Watch leverages sensor data in itself and another device (the mobile phone’s GPS). But this isn’t the same scale this prediction is really referring to.  Yes, it creates more value, but at the same time many people want a watch with a GPS in it.  I anticipate we’ll see more wrist worn devices in the future with both GPS and GSM, but I’m not adding that as prediction #11, just saying this is where it is going.

Wearable Textiles

Wearable textiles have advanced tremendously in the past year.  Those in the space, especially those providing precision clothing solutions for athletes, are extremely bullish on the sensor and data fusion that will occur.  I’ve compared wearables to zippers that were also cost prohibitive and the market didn’t imagine the ubiquity of zippers in pants today.

 Prediction #4

Wearables will become more intelligent because of developments in sensor technology and the ability to translate data from these sensors into insight via analytics. (Click to view original 2014 Industry Watch).

Status

I still think we’re on track with this prediction but will only talk about a solution from one company, Apple.  Rumors of a new version of the Apple Watch that include more advanced sensors that were pulled from the first version because of accuracy issues are becoming more prevalent.  I don’t think that this is because of people repeating what they’ve heard and putting their own spin on it.  My sources lead me to believe there will be more sensors.  My hope is that they’re consistently more accurate than what is experienced with the heart rate in the current version of the Apple Watch.

Prediction 5

The cost of sensors will continue to go down, thus enabling more uses and innovation with sensors in wearable devices. (Click to view original 2014 Industry Watch).

Status

This is happening and we’re also beginning to see the prices of wearable types that have been on the market drop.  For example, you can get a Phyle Phrm38bk Heart Rate Monitor Watch for only $22.13 at WalMart.  Obviously this is not a brand people are familiar with, or an experience most people would be satisfied with, but the fact of the matter is that the sensors inside it are going down in cost.  For devices where prices have not yet gone down as sensor costs have gone down, there is a different value equation where the data and insight are being leveraged to improve the product, so we can’t expect the prices of everything to go down.

Prediction #6

Wearable devices will need less frequent charging because of better energy storage and lower energy consumption. (Click to view original 2014 Industry Watch).

Status

I started off last year’s update with this, “The battery technology in use in most wearables today is about 20 years old.”  One year later we haven’t seen any new miracle batteries come to market.  I wish I had more to say here.  A lot of people were tossing around a lot of fluff this time of the year last year about the Apple Watch.  Most people who purchased it in 2015, including myself, have no issue with charging it every night.  Yea, it would be nice, but we’re not there yet so we’ll get by charging frequently.

Prediction #7

People are going to use wearable technology to make a statement about who they are. (Click to view original 2014 Industry Watch).

Status

This is by far one of the best winners in the past 12 months.  So many people are finally on board with designing wearables that actually fit the user expectations for beauty.  My favorite is WiseWear.  Jerry Wilmink, WiseWear’s Founder & CEO, has a team and a strategy no one is going to be able to beat.  He started with beautiful womens bracelets with simple functionality built in and has secured the mentorship and endorsement of fashion legend Iris Apfel.

IMG_9654

At #CES16 WiseWear announced their men’s belt and buckle.  It’s a statement.  The design is impeccable throughout, including the special clasp with the WiseWear brand’s W built right into it (see more on that here). Thank you Jerry for leading the world in this area!

Prediction #8

People are going to use undetectable wearable technology by using wearable ultra-sensitive micro sensors, sensors smaller and more sensitive than the innovative seat belt microphone in Audi’s R8 Spyder that enables clear cell phone conversation with the top down at lightning speeds. (Click to view original 2014 Industry Watch).

Status

This is where the world is getting more technical and more amazing.  Last fall mCube, announced the world’s smallest 3 axis accelerometer.  At only 1x1mm and 75% smaller than the 2x2mm accelerometers on the market before its announcement, this sensor is a welcome addition to the wearable producer’s toolkit.

mCube isn’t alone in developing smaller sensors that will enable wearables to fit seamlessly in our lives but they’re the only ones included here not because of time constraints but because they’re approachable.  They’ve welcomed me to their office multiple times and we’ve enjoyed conversations about the status of the market and the future, whisperings of which they love to hint at (no big secret, they are great with monolithic MEMS and things are getting smaller).  I am bullish that sensor tech will get small enough to be seamlessly integrated in our wearable tech infused lives. It will be due, in large part, to great leadership in this space by mCube.

Prediction #9

The debate around ownership of wearables-generated data will continue. (Click to view original 2014 Industry Watch).

Status

The hottest story on privacy right now is Apple vs FBI.  Of course this is not related directly to wearables but the outcome of this case and the debate will have ramifications in the wearable space, especially since Apple produces the most popular wrist worn computing wearable the world is aware of.  Ponder this comment by US President Barak Obama at SXSW earlier this week, “I am of the view that there are very real reasons why we want to make sure the government cannot just wily-nilly get into everyone’s iPhones or smartphones that are full of very personal information or very personal data.”

I won’t be surprised to see stories in the future where wearable data is hacked and data is used to expose things like health information and physical activity, including sexual activity, of celebrities or public figures. Society as a whole, though, won’t care about this a few months after the story breaks, as is the case today with the Ashley Maddison hack last summer.

Prediction #10

Contextual awareness will be enabled by wearable device adoption and become the next big thing in marketing and customer experience. (Click to view original 2014 Industry Watch).

Status

The topic of contextually appropriate wearables is not ever going to be the topic of conversation at parties; however, the magic contextually aware wearables will make most certainly will be when the wearables enable experiences that are context appropriate.  Disney is the leader in contextual experiences; the Magic Band is magic because of context. Dig in on the Magic Band if you’re learning about it for the first time here.

When it comes to context I could go on and on on this topic, but will only point at some of the trends enabling context and  enabling technologies such as BTLE.