Excuse me–I noticed as you are getting in the car this morning that we are out of Milk, Eggs and butter. Shall I text you a shopping list? Sincerely, your smart home.

I like to look ahead for uses of technology. Projects that  in the end will be not only impactful but also game changers. Jibo is one of those projects. http://www.myjibo.com/ is there site. The project includes several things that I think will make it extremely valuable.

It is autonomous in the sense that it can operate within its parameters without requiring significant set-up (well that is the project goal at the very least). That makes it ideal as a companion for older folks living alone. They may not be as technically savvy as others but a pre configured Jibo can be placed in their homes to provide oversight.

Jibo is the front or tip of the wave though. One of my favorite novellas was Bicentennial Man written by Isaac Asimov and brilliantly brought to the silver screen by Robin Williams. The story of a robot seeking to become what he or she or it wasn’t remains touching. As I said Jibo is the tip of the spear, the first part of the wave to reach shore.

I do see more game changers coming. More shifts to the right in technology that are going to be in the end things we remember long after the market moves on. I’ve broken the IoT market into three distinct categories the first being Wearable, the second being Stayable and third being too large to wear and but something you need to have Portable.

In the past five years Portable has come the furthest. Yes I realize that is not only a statement but also a double entendre. Portable before the wearable explosion was in fact the only device with you so it would actually have traveled the most physical distance as well as having come the furthest because the portable phone revolution has in the end created the reality of the IoT.

Wearable technologies are the fast charging technologies. Stayables in the end are the adaptation of sensors to the home and then to whatever publication system you need to consume the data, But wearable presents many changes.

Where in the end does wearable go? On Cloudtweaks I posted a concept I called the Internet of bling. An expansion of the wearable market to flashing LED’s and gold chains absorbing the existing bling and pushing into wearable technology. You can Find my IoB article here. In the end it will happen at least for a time that the IoT becomes the IoB.

Bling will pass into oblivion though long before wearables are done changing the market. The new Apple Watch announced recently may have as many as 10 sensors built into it. You can quite quickly outfit your portable device with many more than 10 sensors and with the connection between the watch and your portable device now create a sensor array. As a good friend of mine says “then you have to analyze that data.”

What does a sudden drop in barometric pressure mean? First off you can create that problem by climbing a mountain. The pressure drops as you cross the various plateaus going up. But if you are near sea level and the barometric pressure drops very quickly it is highly recommended that you either get indoors or find your umbrella. In the Cloudtweaks article shared above I led with the concept of an automated umbrella. With a built in moisture sensor it would automatically open. Then I realized like most people my umbrella is in my bag and I don’t grab it until after the rain is falling. An open umbrella at that point is well pointless as you can’t get it out of the bag open.

Imagine opening the closet of the future. “Dave, grab your coat its going to rain today.” the voice says to you. “And Dave, close the pod bay door on your way out.” Its rare when I get to work in a HAL 9000 reference. The cacophony of sensors that seek your attention may become deafening in the end. “I need this. Dave please note this. Don’t forget to do this. My batteries are low. My optics are clouded. I am running low of milk.”

Eventually the smart home will move towards a notification system that has variables. The system will identify which family member you are and provide you with the alerts in the style you like. Then it will provide a list to the parents or managers of the home as to what didn’t get done and what did get done in the style they like.

No astronaut will be stuck on the wrong side of the pod bay door in the future.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.