Internet of Things

A team of researchers from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, has created prototype radio-on-a-chip communications devices that are powered by ambient radio waves. Comprising receiving and transmitting antennas and a central processor, the completely self-contained ant-sized devices are very cheap to manufacture, don't require batteries to run and could give the "Internet of Things" (IoT) a serious kick start. Read More
Scanning shop shelf after shop shelf in the search for that elusive item can be a frustrating task, particularly if it turns out the item is out of stock. This isn’t just annoying, but it can also mean lost sales as customers leave without buying anything at all. In a bid to help both customers and shopkeepers, Germany-based findbox GmbH has developed the findbox, a kiosk-like device that scans items and packaging, lets shoppers know if a replacement is in the shop and guides them to the right peg. Read More
We live in a world where more and more of our stuff is connected to the internet. However, some things just can't be connected for various reasons. You can't connect cookies to the internet, you can't connect a stuffed animal or a medicine cabinet, but you can monitor them thanks to trackers. A new one, called Oval, aims to offer a small, affordable motion, light, temperature, moisture, and proximity sensor to the masses. Read More
The Internet of Things is turning the physical world into a digitally-connected ecosystem. Some objects have built-in connectivity, whilst others can be connected to the internet using attachable devices. Estimote Nearables are small attachable stickers that monitor location, motion and temperature data. Read More
One of the advantages of the "connected world" is that myriad different devices can interact with each other over Wi-Fi to exchange data, control equipment, and generally lay the foundations of the Internet of Things of the not-too-distant future. Unfortunately, on the downside, all of the Wi-Fi connections need power to operate, and this severely restricts the pervasiveness of this technology. However, researchers at the University of Washington have developed a system that they say eliminates the need for power supplies for these connections by using what is known as radio frequency (RF) backscatter technology. Read More

Smart lighting requires that either the wiring and infrastructure or the bulbs themselves are able to be connected to the web. Philips hue, LIFX and INSTEON bulbs all take this latter approach, but buying new smart bulbs can be expensive. Emberlight is an adapter designed to make any bulb smart without the expense. Read More

Researchers at Aalborg University, MIT and Caltech have developed a new mathematically-based technique that can boost internet data speeds by up to 10 times, by making the nodes of a network much smarter and more adaptable. The advance also vastly improves the security of data transmissions, and could find its way into 5G mobile networks, satellite communications and the Internet of Things. Read More
The flood of smart devices aimed at hooking into the Internet of Things (IoT) seems to be turning into a flood of consortia of industry heavyweights looking to standardize the IoT. First we had the AllSeen Alliance, which was followed by the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and now we have the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), which boasts Atmel, Dell, Broadcom, Intel, Samsung and Wind River as members. Read More
Having connected devices in the home is quickly becoming more and more popular. One device that's leading the charge is the light bulb, with products like the Lumen Smart Bulb and LIFX LED light bulbs feature connected coolness. Now, GE is entering the space, as the company has just announced Link, a connected LED bulb with a fairly reasonable price tag. Read More

Nest Labs has announced the launch of a developer program designed to drastically expand the diversity of its home automation devices and the number of products they interact with. Names like Mercedes-Benz, Jawbone and Google Now are already in the mix. Read More