Droning About Drones

drone

Something that was in huge supply at CES were drones – little itty-bitty drones which can fit in the palm of your hand (the Nixie and the ZANO) all the way to huge drones which could deliver packages (I wonder if Amazon will be shipping via drone anyways, even though they said they weren’t – its super efficient) While I can’t compare it to previous years, its seemed that they are finally coming into their own as “gotta have” devices. Which is great.

Do you remember a few years ago when there was a company in San Francisco who wanted to deliver Mexican food via drone (Tacocopter, of course)? I think that the moment they announced that burritos were going to be flying over the heads of the fair citizens of the city, the government immediately banned (or actually, it had already been banned) drone food delivery, thus stopping them in their tracks before they even launched. I think that they did the same thing when the Segway was launched, they may have bent the rules a bit in order to allow for a few people to have them, including tour groups etc, but the issue is the same: every time some cool new innovation comes along to make our lives better, someone else freaks out and tries to shut it down.

Same for Uber, etc. The best, most interesting innovations, are dangerous to the status quo, which is why someone is always desperate to shut them down. If you think about it, most of the innovations are not just threats to the current status quo, but in reality liberate customers. For example, just like using Uber or Lyft liberate you from using taxi services, drones give typical human beings the ability to expand their sphere of influence.

And of course for some, this is bad. God forbid we let people have the tools to take pictures of themselves from further away than a selfie stick can do. Of course, you can use drones to fly over and spy on your neighbors too, but why go there first and shut them down? Let’s let the drones fly and see what we can do with them.

Of course, there could be an issue if they are too successful, imagine thousands and thousands of drones out there performing different tasks for different people, will even the smallest and cheapest drones be intelligent enough not to bump into each other? They will have to be.

Also, there’s another issue which all of these devices still have – and if you ask me this is a huge issue even outside the drone space but for everything kind of internet of things and wearable device, its battery life. That a topic for another post, but battery life is really holding us back as well.

At some point, I can see drones as our personal helpers, floating by our heads and helping us out when we need them. Kind of like Navi from Ocarina of Time, but less annoying. Imagine being in a store and asking your drone to check on which checkout line in the shortest. Or sending our drone to watch your kids walk home from school. Or when you are stuck in traffic, you open your window and send your drone on ahead to check out why there’s so much traffic, when it is clears up, or even get an even higher view to let you know which route is better.

Drones will make our lives better, if you ask me. I wonder if they will get the chance?

photo credit – don mcullough – flickr

 

Big Brothering Ourselves At CES

bigbrother

Specifically looking for interesting examples of internet of things (IoT) implementations at CES, I was struck by all of the devices that basically allow to us watch ourselves, take pictures of ourselves and video ourselves.

Ultimate donut selfie, anyone?

There seemed to be a huge undertone of “security” all over the place – there were plenty of crowd-funded devices (like Homeboy) that we could use to feel more secure by watching over our homes (higher tech versions of the camera in the teddy bear which people used to use to watch over their nannies to make sure that they were treating their kids properly).

Some didn’t look like cameras, but most did, so we are now seemingly perfectly comfortable with cameras sitting on our bookshelves, keeping an eye on our living rooms, whether we are there or not. In comparison, I saw maybe two or three companies who were interested in allowing less of this – seems that being watched is now part of life. Personal surveillance might be the correct term for this one.

Even most of the drones I saw – and there are plenty of them – from tiny little drone implementations that you can launch off of your wrist (cool tech from my friends over at Nixie Labs) to delivery drones and everything in between, pretty much all of these things are cameras on our lives.

On the home automation side – tons of virtual locks, virtual peepholes, controllable bulbs etc – but really just a more high tech version of the same old X10 style stuff – the controls are now in your smartphone instead of some clunky control unit. There were a few companies that were working towards some kind of platformization of the IoT, but so far – all of these seemed standalone and proprietary. This must changes for there to be real rapid movement – we need some sort of open source platform to take the lead here.

One thing I did notice was the the amount of sensors in the IoT devices was kept purpose built in most cases, and to a bare minimum. Unfortunately, this won’t help to enrich the big data that we will need eventually in order to create a seamless world. Multi sensor devices, like the Thingsee or the Apollo were in very short supply, I feel that we need more of those kinds of devices to fully realize the internet of things.

An example: a French company called Sen.se had a very interesting device called Mother, which allowed to you track various things that its “cookies” (remote sensors) could do – thought that had a lot of promise – but when I asked about the capabilities of the cookies, they told me that they only had motion and temperature sensors – which is great when you are tracking if someone is home or not, or if they’ve brushed their teeth, or if its warm in the room. Its a good start, and I hope that we’ll see even more sensors built into friendly form factors like this.

Some key directions if you are interested in getting into the space:

  • Stay open source – try to build or attach to a platform – either make the standard or help to identify one. Keep your platforms open and build or leverage a developer ecosystem
  • Add more sensors – give your devices the ability to collect more data that they need for their purpose built task – opening the door for more and more uses
  • Go beyond security – most of the IoT solutions currently focus on that – think more about higher level “life improvement”
  • Tie things together : right now, your door could automatically sense your presence and unlock. Imagine if it could also start playing your favorite song, cue up a recipe for dinner, alert your spouse that you are home, and announce their ETA as well.

In short, help build the tools we need to build the (hopefully near) future seamless world.

photo credit – mike mozart – flickr

Big Brothering Ourselves At CES

bigbrother

Specifically looking for interesting examples of internet of things (IoT) implementations at CES, I was struck by all of the devices that basically allow to us watch ourselves, take pictures of ourselves and video ourselves.

Ultimate donut selfie, anyone?

There seemed to be a huge undertone of “security” all over the place – there were plenty of crowd-funded devices (like Homeboy) that we could use to feel more secure by watching over our homes (higher tech versions of the camera in the teddy bear which people used to use to watch over their nannies to make sure that they were treating their kids properly).

Some didn’t look like cameras, but most did, so we are now seemingly perfectly comfortable with cameras sitting on our bookshelves, keeping an eye on our living rooms, whether we are there or not. In comparison, I saw maybe two or three companies who were interested in allowing less of this – seems that being watched is now part of life. Personal surveillance might be the correct term for this one.

Even most of the drones I saw – and there are plenty of them – from tiny little drone implementations that you can launch off of your wrist (cool tech from my friends over at Nixie Labs) to delivery drones and everything in between, pretty much all of these things are cameras on our lives.

On the home automation side – tons of virtual locks, virtual peepholes, controllable bulbs etc – but really just a more high tech version of the same old X10 style stuff – the controls are now in your smartphone instead of some clunky control unit. There were a few companies that were working towards some kind of platformization of the IoT, but so far – all of these seemed standalone and proprietary. This must changes for there to be real rapid movement – we need some sort of open source platform to take the lead here.

One thing I did notice was the the amount of sensors in the IoT devices was kept purpose built in most cases, and to a bare minimum. Unfortunately, this won’t help to enrich the big data that we will need eventually in order to create a seamless world. Multi sensor devices, like the Thingsee or the Apollo were in very short supply, I feel that we need more of those kinds of devices to fully realize the internet of things.

An example: a French company called Sen.se had a very interesting device called Mother, which allowed to you track various things that its “cookies” (remote sensors) could do – thought that had a lot of promise – but when I asked about the capabilities of the cookies, they told me that they only had motion and temperature sensors – which is great when you are tracking if someone is home or not, or if they’ve brushed their teeth, or if its warm in the room. Its a good start, and I hope that we’ll see even more sensors built into friendly form factors like this.

Some key directions if you are interested in getting into the space:

  • Stay open source – try to build or attach to a platform – either make the standard or help to identify one. Keep your platforms open and build or leverage a developer ecosystem
  • Add more sensors – give your devices the ability to collect more data that they need for their purpose built task – opening the door for more and more uses
  • Go beyond security – most of the IoT solutions currently focus on that – think more about higher level “life improvement”
  • Tie things together : right now, your door could automatically sense your presence and unlock. Imagine if it could also start playing your favorite song, cue up a recipe for dinner, alert your spouse that you are home, and announce their ETA as well.

In short, help build the tools we need to build the (hopefully near) future seamless world.

photo credit – mike mozart – flickr

The post Big Brothering Ourselves At CES appeared first on thinkfuture.

Big Brothering Ourselves At CES

bigbrother

Specifically looking for interesting examples of internet of things (IoT) implementations at CES, I was struck by all of the devices that basically allow to us watch ourselves, take pictures of ourselves and video ourselves.

Ultimate donut selfie, anyone?

There seemed to be a huge undertone of “security” all over the place – there were plenty of crowd-funded devices (like Homeboy) that we could use to feel more secure by watching over our homes (higher tech versions of the camera in the teddy bear which people used to use to watch over their nannies to make sure that they were treating their kids properly).

Some didn’t look like cameras, but most did, so we are now seemingly perfectly comfortable with cameras sitting on our bookshelves, keeping an eye on our living rooms, whether we are there or not. In comparison, I saw maybe two or three companies who were interested in allowing less of this – seems that being watched is now part of life. Personal surveillance might be the correct term for this one.

Even most of the drones I saw – and there are plenty of them – from tiny little drone implementations that you can launch off of your wrist (cool tech from my friends over at Nixie Labs) to delivery drones and everything in between, pretty much all of these things are cameras on our lives.

On the home automation side – tons of virtual locks, virtual peepholes, controllable bulbs etc – but really just a more high tech version of the same old X10 style stuff – the controls are now in your smartphone instead of some clunky control unit. There were a few companies that were working towards some kind of platformization of the IoT, but so far – all of these seemed standalone and proprietary. This must changes for there to be real rapid movement – we need some sort of open source platform to take the lead here.

One thing I did notice was the the amount of sensors in the IoT devices was kept purpose built in most cases, and to a bare minimum. Unfortunately, this won’t help to enrich the big data that we will need eventually in order to create a seamless world. Multi sensor devices, like the Thingsee or the Apollo were in very short supply, I feel that we need more of those kinds of devices to fully realize the internet of things.

An example: a French company called Sen.se had a very interesting device called Mother, which allowed to you track various things that its “cookies” (remote sensors) could do – thought that had a lot of promise – but when I asked about the capabilities of the cookies, they told me that they only had motion and temperature sensors – which is great when you are tracking if someone is home or not, or if they’ve brushed their teeth, or if its warm in the room. Its a good start, and I hope that we’ll see even more sensors built into friendly form factors like this.

Some key directions if you are interested in getting into the space:

  • Stay open source – try to build or attach to a platform – either make the standard or help to identify one. Keep your platforms open and build or leverage a developer ecosystem
  • Add more sensors – give your devices the ability to collect more data that they need for their purpose built task – opening the door for more and more uses
  • Go beyond security – most of the IoT solutions currently focus on that – think more about higher level “life improvement”
  • Tie things together : right now, your door could automatically sense your presence and unlock. Imagine if it could also start playing your favorite song, cue up a recipe for dinner, alert your spouse that you are home, and announce their ETA as well.

In short, help build the tools we need to build the (hopefully near) future seamless world.

photo credit – mike mozart – flickr

The post Big Brothering Ourselves At CES appeared first on thinkfuture.

Big Brothering Ourselves At CES

bigbrother

Specifically looking for interesting examples of internet of things (IoT) implementations at CES, I was struck by all of the devices that basically allow to us watch ourselves, take pictures of ourselves and video ourselves.

Ultimate donut selfie, anyone?

There seemed to be a huge undertone of “security” all over the place – there were plenty of crowd-funded devices (like Homeboy) that we could use to feel more secure by watching over our homes (higher tech versions of the camera in the teddy bear which people used to use to watch over their nannies to make sure that they were treating their kids properly).

Some didn’t look like cameras, but most did, so we are now seemingly perfectly comfortable with cameras sitting on our bookshelves, keeping an eye on our living rooms, whether we are there or not. In comparison, I saw maybe two or three companies who were interested in allowing less of this – seems that being watched is now part of life. Personal surveillance might be the correct term for this one.

Even most of the drones I saw – and there are plenty of them – from tiny little drone implementations that you can launch off of your wrist (cool tech from my friends over at Nixie Labs) to delivery drones and everything in between, pretty much all of these things are cameras on our lives.

On the home automation side – tons of virtual locks, virtual peepholes, controllable bulbs etc – but really just a more high tech version of the same old X10 style stuff – the controls are now in your smartphone instead of some clunky control unit. There were a few companies that were working towards some kind of platformization of the IoT, but so far – all of these seemed standalone and proprietary. This must changes for there to be real rapid movement – we need some sort of open source platform to take the lead here.

One thing I did notice was the the amount of sensors in the IoT devices was kept purpose built in most cases, and to a bare minimum. Unfortunately, this won’t help to enrich the big data that we will need eventually in order to create a seamless world. Multi sensor devices, like the Thingsee or the Apollo were in very short supply, I feel that we need more of those kinds of devices to fully realize the internet of things.

An example: a French company called Sen.se had a very interesting device called Mother, which allowed to you track various things that its “cookies” (remote sensors) could do – thought that had a lot of promise – but when I asked about the capabilities of the cookies, they told me that they only had motion and temperature sensors – which is great when you are tracking if someone is home or not, or if they’ve brushed their teeth, or if its warm in the room. Its a good start, and I hope that we’ll see even more sensors built into friendly form factors like this.

Some key directions if you are interested in getting into the space:

  • Stay open source – try to build or attach to a platform – either make the standard or help to identify one. Keep your platforms open and build or leverage a developer ecosystem
  • Add more sensors – give your devices the ability to collect more data that they need for their purpose built task – opening the door for more and more uses
  • Go beyond security – most of the IoT solutions currently focus on that – think more about higher level “life improvement”
  • Tie things together : right now, your door could automatically sense your presence and unlock. Imagine if it could also start playing your favorite song, cue up a recipe for dinner, alert your spouse that you are home, and announce their ETA as well.

In short, help build the tools we need to build the (hopefully near) future seamless world.

photo credit – mike mozart – flickr

The post Big Brothering Ourselves At CES appeared first on thinkfuture.

Big Brothering Ourselves At CES

bigbrother

Specifically looking for interesting examples of internet of things (IoT) implementations at CES, I was struck by all of the devices that basically allow to us watch ourselves, take pictures of ourselves and video ourselves.

Ultimate donut selfie, anyone?

There seemed to be a huge undertone of “security” all over the place – there were plenty of crowd-funded devices (like Homeboy) that we could use to feel more secure by watching over our homes (higher tech versions of the camera in the teddy bear which people used to use to watch over their nannies to make sure that they were treating their kids properly).

Some didn’t look like cameras, but most did, so we are now seemingly perfectly comfortable with cameras sitting on our bookshelves, keeping an eye on our living rooms, whether we are there or not. In comparison, I saw maybe two or three companies who were interested in allowing less of this – seems that being watched is now part of life. Personal surveillance might be the correct term for this one.

Even most of the drones I saw – and there are plenty of them – from tiny little drone implementations that you can launch off of your wrist (cool tech from my friends over at Nixie Labs) to delivery drones and everything in between, pretty much all of these things are cameras on our lives.

On the home automation side – tons of virtual locks, virtual peepholes, controllable bulbs etc – but really just a more high tech version of the same old X10 style stuff – the controls are now in your smartphone instead of some clunky control unit. There were a few companies that were working towards some kind of platformization of the IoT, but so far – all of these seemed standalone and proprietary. This must changes for there to be real rapid movement – we need some sort of open source platform to take the lead here.

One thing I did notice was the the amount of sensors in the IoT devices was kept purpose built in most cases, and to a bare minimum. Unfortunately, this won’t help to enrich the big data that we will need eventually in order to create a seamless world. Multi sensor devices, like the Thingsee or the Apollo were in very short supply, I feel that we need more of those kinds of devices to fully realize the internet of things.

An example: a French company called Sen.se had a very interesting device called Mother, which allowed to you track various things that its “cookies” (remote sensors) could do – thought that had a lot of promise – but when I asked about the capabilities of the cookies, they told me that they only had motion and temperature sensors – which is great when you are tracking if someone is home or not, or if they’ve brushed their teeth, or if its warm in the room. Its a good start, and I hope that we’ll see even more sensors built into friendly form factors like this.

Some key directions if you are interested in getting into the space:

  • Stay open source – try to build or attach to a platform – either make the standard or help to identify one. Keep your platforms open and build or leverage a developer ecosystem
  • Add more sensors – give your devices the ability to collect more data that they need for their purpose built task – opening the door for more and more uses
  • Go beyond security – most of the IoT solutions currently focus on that – think more about higher level “life improvement”
  • Tie things together : right now, your door could automatically sense your presence and unlock. Imagine if it could also start playing your favorite song, cue up a recipe for dinner, alert your spouse that you are home, and announce their ETA as well.

In short, help build the tools we need to build the (hopefully near) future seamless world.

photo credit – mike mozart – flickr

The post Big Brothering Ourselves At CES appeared first on thinkfuture.

Big Brothering Ourselves At CES

bigbrother

Specifically looking for interesting examples of internet of things (IoT) implementations at CES, I was struck by all of the devices that basically allow to us watch ourselves, take pictures of ourselves and video ourselves.

Ultimate donut selfie, anyone?

There seemed to be a huge undertone of “security” all over the place – there were plenty of crowd-funded devices (like Homeboy) that we could use to feel more secure by watching over our homes (higher tech versions of the camera in the teddy bear which people used to use to watch over their nannies to make sure that they were treating their kids properly).

Some didn’t look like cameras, but most did, so we are now seemingly perfectly comfortable with cameras sitting on our bookshelves, keeping an eye on our living rooms, whether we are there or not. In comparison, I saw maybe two or three companies who were interested in allowing less of this – seems that being watched is now part of life. Personal surveillance might be the correct term for this one.

Even most of the drones I saw – and there are plenty of them – from tiny little drone implementations that you can launch off of your wrist (cool tech from my friends over at Nixie Labs) to delivery drones and everything in between, pretty much all of these things are cameras on our lives.

On the home automation side – tons of virtual locks, virtual peepholes, controllable bulbs etc – but really just a more high tech version of the same old X10 style stuff – the controls are now in your smartphone instead of some clunky control unit. There were a few companies that were working towards some kind of platformization of the IoT, but so far – all of these seemed standalone and proprietary. This must changes for there to be real rapid movement – we need some sort of open source platform to take the lead here.

One thing I did notice was the the amount of sensors in the IoT devices was kept purpose built in most cases, and to a bare minimum. Unfortunately, this won’t help to enrich the big data that we will need eventually in order to create a seamless world. Multi sensor devices, like the Thingsee or the Apollo were in very short supply, I feel that we need more of those kinds of devices to fully realize the internet of things.

An example: a French company called Sen.se had a very interesting device called Mother, which allowed to you track various things that its “cookies” (remote sensors) could do – thought that had a lot of promise – but when I asked about the capabilities of the cookies, they told me that they only had motion and temperature sensors – which is great when you are tracking if someone is home or not, or if they’ve brushed their teeth, or if its warm in the room. Its a good start, and I hope that we’ll see even more sensors built into friendly form factors like this.

Some key directions if you are interested in getting into the space:

  • Stay open source – try to build or attach to a platform – either make the standard or help to identify one. Keep your platforms open and build or leverage a developer ecosystem
  • Add more sensors – give your devices the ability to collect more data that they need for their purpose built task – opening the door for more and more uses
  • Go beyond security – most of the IoT solutions currently focus on that – think more about higher level “life improvement”
  • Tie things together : right now, your door could automatically sense your presence and unlock. Imagine if it could also start playing your favorite song, cue up a recipe for dinner, alert your spouse that you are home, and announce their ETA as well.

In short, help build the tools we need to build the (hopefully near) future seamless world.

photo credit – mike mozart – flickr

The post Big Brothering Ourselves At CES appeared first on thinkfuture.