Or, Does the IoT Demand a Cloud Platform?
We hereby embark on a reverie that commenced before and continued during the writing of this article. And I’m not quite sure if it’s done yet. The evolution of thought practically happened in real time as I tried to explain… stuff. And to draw said stuff. In the end, perhaps this is an etude in defining the Internet of Things (IoT). As usual, it may raise more questions than it answers.
I can’t believe it’s been almost two years since I made a feeble attempt to put some structure behind this nebulous concept of the IoT. Much of my thinking (not to mention the industry) has progressed since then, but I had a discussion recently that forced me to go back to an image I had put together illustrating how I saw the various pieces of the IoT coming together. To a first order, it still feels more or less relevant (although clearer than ever that it wasn’t put together by a true graphic artist).
Intuition and HMI with eyeSight Technologies
Evolution is the name of the game in this week’s Fish Fry. The way we interact with our machines has changed dramatically in the past decade and will continue to evolve - from buttons and toggles to new, more hands-free forms of human-machine interface (HMI). I chat with Tal Krzypow from eyeSight Technologies about the future of HMI. We look at the growing trend toward hands-free interfaces, the important role intuition plays in the design of HMI, and where HMI is headed in the years to come. Also this week, we check out Element14’s new “DreamBoard vs Battle of the Boards” contest.
Let’s Get Physical with Sensoria
Your heart is pounding. Your iTunes playlist is nearing its end. The final mile is at hand and you couldn’t be happier. What if you could make your morning run smarter? In this week’s Fish Fry, we investigate sensor-enhanced fabrics from IoE (Internet of Everybody) company Sensoria that aims to do just that. Davide Vigano (Co-Founder - Sensoria) and I delve into in the details of Sensoria’s wide range of high tech fitness products, and reveal how Sensoria can help you make your own MEMS-enhanced fabrics. Also this week, we check out a new design competition recently launched by NASA and America Makes where you can help design (and build) a 3-D printed space colony for MARS (and make some serious cash while doing it).
Smarter Power Part One
What has your power supply done for you lately? In this week’s Fish Fry, we take a closer look at a revolutionary new technology that's taking power supplies by storm. My guest is Michael Freeman (CEO/CTO - Semitrex) and he’s here to introduce us to the power of the muxcapacitor and unveil how Semitrex plans to stem the tide of the world’s energy consumption...one power supply at a time. Also this week, we take a closer look at the newest rumors surrounding Intel's buyout of Altera.
Big Ideas, Big Money, and the “Your IoT" Design Competition
You’ve had IoT design swirling around in your head for years. It’s your carpool companion on the way to work, it's your daydream during the day, and it's the buzz that keeps you awake at night. Well folks, it's time to get that IoT dream of yours off the cocktail napkin and into the real world! My guest this week is Kamran Shah (Silicon Labs) and he’s here to introduce us to the “Your IoT" design competition. Kamran breaks down the who, what, when, and where of this new design contest and delivers the goods on how you can enter this competition. Also this week, we look at a groundbreaking new technology called Wi-Fo coming out of Oregon State University that hopes to boost our Wi-Fi signals by 10X!
What Are the Differences?
It started with a review a few weeks back of a few stray new (to me) protocols that I was seeing. I did a cursory review of each one and called it good.
It sparked a long discussion on LinkedIn about various protocol capabilities. That discussion suggested to me that another layer of detail was warranted. At that time, I didn’t know what I was in for, or else I might have found something far more tractable to take on, like, oh, squaring a circle or proving Riemann’s Hypothesis.
But no, I blissfully entered the void. You might expect a void to be empty, but this void is overfull; it’s just devoid of structure and clarity. While it’s often said that the Internet of Things (IoT) is in need of standards, the area we’re visiting suffers from too many standards. Each one solves a slightly different problem, so maybe we do need them all, but man… it can be overwhelming to wade through. That’s frankly the intent of this article: to provide some clarity on the different protocols.
Element14 Raises the Robot Bar
You scream, I scream, we all scream for…ROBOTS! In this week’s Fish Fry, we take a closer look at the GertBOT, a new robotics add-on board for Raspberry Pi recently released by Element 14. I’ve got Sagar Jethani with me to tell you about the powerful capabilities of this new expansion board. Sagar and I also explore the correlation between guitar playing and engineering, and why Eddie Van Halen is called "the Edison of guitar players.” Then, in keeping with our spirit of innovation and musical invention, I explore a new Etsy product that hopes to usher in a new generation of mixtapes.
Two Companies Want You to Wear Their Chips
Ooh, trends. Gotta love ’em. There are trends in music, trends in fashion, trends in politics, trends in economic theory, and trends in our good ol’ electronics business. Fortunately for us, almost all of the trends in the latter category are of the good, healthy, up-and-to-the-right, variety. Chips get faster, power efficiency improves, and software gets better. Well, two out of three.
Another trend is shrinkage, of course. On this, the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law, we’re still seeing our devices get smaller and smaller, to the point that we’re now wearing them. A computer that once took up an entire room in our grandparents’ time now fits on a wrist, in a pocket, or behind an ear.
Synopsys EV Processor for Games, Security, and Everything
Politicians used to argue about “the vision thing,” a borderline unintelligible swipe at opponents who didn’t share their view of the big picture. As a company, Synopsys may not be very political, but it’s definitely on board with the vision thing.
Embedded vision – that is, adding real-time image recognition to embedded systems – used to be a high-end, pie-in-the-sky kind of feature. Cheap systems couldn’t do image recognition, could they? They don’t have the processing power. And anyway, what would you do with it? Why does a thermostat need to recognize my face?
Even More Interesting Than Apple Watch
The 9 March event provided color on the Apple Watch; it revealed the future of Apple the company.
Well that was interesting; at times, downright fascinating. I refer to the big Apple event last month. We learned more about Apple Watch—not a great deal more about the product itself, given that the functionality was detailed in the September 2014 event—and got multiple lessons in metallurgy. The fascinating bits were pricing and the implications therein for Apple corporate positioning moving forward.
Let’s begin with some honest scoring: how did I do with my observations in my column written last fall? Bear with me, this will necessitate skimming over some of the most fascinating bits; we’ll circle back around to those after we peek at my prognostications.