Category: Internet of Things

Augment Me: Marketing Strategies for a Post-Social Media World

msi augment meThe digital augmentation of people, products, and places suggests new marketing strategies that go beyond Facebook and other social media platforms. In this video produced by the Marketing Science Institute, I discuss several key marketing trends, including gamification, digital signage, and augmented retailing. (2:28 min.)

 

The World Wide Web Turns 25!

140225-world-wide-web-1701_c7bc30e96e964948d7df61682b0790b9.nbcnews-fp-1520-600It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years since the Web went commercial. And look where we are.  The Pew Research Internet Project has released an interesting report about summarizing the growth and impact of the Internet in the last 25 years – worth a read.

Now we’re about to embark on a new revolution led by the Internet of Things. Get ready for the next generation of the revolution!

Impressions from #CES2014 day 1

We spent most of the day in South Hall, visiting booths for smart home, sensors, wearables, 3D printing, drones and smart objects. Belkin’s wemo exhibit was impressive – they seem the farthest along in offering a well organized set of connected devices for home applications. Word is Lowe’s and Staples have impressive set-ups so we’ll check those out tomorrow.

The Parrot drones were delightful – one type is like a cute little bug and the other is like a futuristic little plane. I bet these become wildly popular.

The most interesting development had to be represented by the 3D printing tech zone. Two years ago, 3D was a few booths hidden in the back and Maker Bot’s printer looked pretty bootleg, and was glitchy, to boot. Fast forward a mere two years and there are too many manufacturers and related suppliers to count and Maker Bot is now the slick grand daddy. Plus, the tech works and it’s now affordable for the home market. Great ready for 3D printed everything.

I shot the picture below at the beam exhibit – they have a really interesting product for telecommuters. Fans of the Good Wife will recognize it from one of the episodes. Through the device, I had a nice conversation with a beam staffer in Palo Alto – the tech really works!

The wearables were pretty much what you’d expect. Dozens and dozens of smart watches, some pretty nice and others pretty ugly. I kept thinking, where are you, Apple iWatch?

The fitness and digital health wearables are impressive, especially when the tech is paired in the context of a larger ecosystem – like a hospital room.

At the Piston console booth I had fun playing with the Oculus Rift headset until I got shot or zapped in the game and it really freaked me out. See my Facebook page for Tom’s Vine of the episode.

There were lots of sensor OEMs. If it has a physical presence, we can stick a sensor on it. Imagine the possibilities…

Tomorrow we hit Central Hall. Meanwhile, thanks to #SamsungCES for the invitation to rest our feet, snack, and blog in the comfort of their swank Samsung SMART Lounge. We’ll be back tomorrow. 🙂

Smart Home interesting but lacks integration

The Zigbee home automation booth had an interesting prototype hub about 6-12 months away. The challenge is to deliver simplicity and ease of use to the mass consumer market.

Z-Wave, a competitor, told us that one strategy is for alliance partners to lead with retail customers and hope
those pull in the end-user consumer interested in the “smart home.”

Wheels up tomorrow a.m. for #CES 2014

CES 2014

CES 2014

Follow my adventures in consumer connectivity at profhoff.com or @profhoff. For the first time, even our badges will be connected with NFC technology.

There will be almost 400 3D printer exhibits, and dozens and dozens of exhibits featuring wearables, not to mention smart cars, smart drones, and smart homes!

Of course, the TVs will be huge and hi-res, and the screens will be bendable and self-repairing, but I think the real action will be in connected devices that make life easier and more interesting for consumers.

Can’t wait – Vegas, baby!

WristRevolution at #CES2014

pebble-black_thumb[2]It was only a few years ago that Tom and I wandered around the fitness tech zone at CES. It was sparse, it was lonely, and people looked confused. CEOs worked hard to explain how a band you could wear on your arm, your pants, your bra, or your wrist could do some simple tracking and maybe improve your fitness level.

Fast forward to CES 2014, opening next week in Vegas, baby!, and now there’s a new TechZone just for that – WristRevolution – devoted entirely to nextgen wearables. Sensors! Apps! Internet connected!

This – and the “smart home” almost certainly mark the start of the consumer Internet of Things.

“Weaponizing your coffee pot:” The risks of our connected household appliances

At this year’s CES, LG and Samsung showed off their “smart refrigerators” that use WiFi, apps and touch screens to purportedly make the consumer’s life easier.  Grocery lists help you keep track of when the milk will expire, apps display coupons, and even suggest recipes. The fridges look cool, but it’s hard to get that excited since the fridge isn’t smart enough to know when you are running low on something and give you a coupon to replace it – yet anyway.

But  now that the Internet of Things is really picking up steam, some are wondering whether your Internet-connected espresso maker could be hacked and turned against you. Sounds wacky? Since these devices are not always that secure, it wouldn’t be that hard to infect a household connected device with a virus and then use that device as a “man in the middle” to attack your PC.  Daniel Buentello suggests that “multistage” malware could even jump from your PC to your smart thermostat to your smart light bulb.

daniel buentello

During his “Weaponizing Your Coffee Pot” talk, Buentello gives an interesting example of a potentially lethal attack on connected household devices by exploiting the Belkin WeMo smart light switch. Yeah, potentially lethal, as in someone could get hurt.

So while it definitely sounds cool to have my iPhone alert me when my coffee is ready, it is less cool if my coffee maker also show up on a connections available WiFI list. Sounds wacky? How about the Nest thermostat, which does its auto-updates over WifI?

As the Internet of Things continues to explode  – estimates are that in less than 7 years, more than 50 billion mobile devices will be connected to the Internet – the privacy and security considerations should be paramount.  Devices need protection baked in from the start.