More on IoT and

The sheer number of IoT devices is a game changer. In part because there will be more than five devices for every human being on this planet in less than three years. That doesn’t seem like much. I gave a talk a couple of years ago, and someone from the audience said: “well everyone has a cell phone, so that is one device per person.” But that isn’t the case. The majority of people don’t have cell phones today. It makes that five devices per user number are much larger when you consider that. The devices include connected cars, connected coffee pots and refrigerators, and many different kinds of sensors. From surveillance cameras and connected doorbells to weather systems reporting on the temperature from your back porch there are many devices out today. But just to be clear five devices per person in the world represents 35 billion devices.

35 Billion connected devices is a lot. It is between 3 and four times the total network traffic created today. That will require a reworking of a lot of different parts of the systems we have in place today. Once upon a time IT shops in the government and commercial worlds built what we call Tootsie Pop networks.  A hard outer shell and a soft tootsie roll center. The tootsie rolls center was where the majority of the IP and IC of the company or agency would reside. Protected by the hard outer shell of the tootsie pop. Networks are a lot better now than they were in the birth of the internet. Bandwidth continues to improve. What is going to frustrate most people is the reality of the bandwidth they have.

I’ve talked about the fastest in-home wifi and why that doesn’t matter. Your network can allow uploads that will be the important thing in the future. The reality of the coming 5g markets is the implementation of the edge computing solutions (IoT/CPS) that organizations have been waiting for. The ability to take the processing required to solve a problem and push it to the edge of your network, getting information to users faster, is critical. Uploads and downloads are going to be critical. Beyond your mobile device, your internet service provider at home is going to have to step up to uploads. All of these things are going to impact those 4 devices or 5 devices you have communicating. The good news is there will be more and more information at your fingertips. The bad news? 5g may be the only way to get it!

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Tech Wiz

On portable and wearable IoT

The shift to portable and wearable computing.

  • Dick Tracey – had a wristwatch radio that he used to communicate with the rest of the police force.
  • Captain James T. Kirk – had the communicator that connected him with the Enterprise.
  • Maxwell Smart – oh the beloved shoe phone.

Those devices were small. One portable and one wearable. Later they modified the communicator to be wearable as well. The point is that the vision of portability and wearability is yet to be completely fulfilled.

What cannot be worn or carried in your pocket? A printer? Well for sure a plotter can’t be. A color laser can’t be (imagine the burns that would cause). But there is a project on IG that would, in the end, allow you to basically carry a printer with you. Simply connect it to your computer, upload the file you want to print and let the printer loose on the paper. Effectively letting you create plotter sized printouts with a printer you carry in your pocket.

As I’ve said before the three categories (Stayable, Portable, and Wearable or SPW) within the concept of IoT are easily identified. You could for those of us who grew up in the computing world of the 1990’s add luggable but how many people want to throw out their shoulder carrying a device around? I know I did but I don’t any longer.

Three things that will emerge that make the SPW shift even further to PW. I am listing concepts that aren’t quite real but in the end are pretty close.

  • Solar Energy Thread, the thread that can be used to make clothes and backpacks/bags that can, in the end, conduct solar energy to a battery. Why? This increases the total available power you have for the devices you are carrying ergo greater time away from a power cord. Fashion conscious? Then have a solar thread bag!
  • Higher conversion solar power collectors (moving closer to 90% capture rates for solar power)
  • One charging format for all devices.

Personally, these three starting with number 3 first and moving up the chain will be game changers. One charging format for all devices will become more and more critical (be it that everyone adopts lighting or everyone adopts a flavor of USB – I don’t care just pick one for everything). The first one will allow all of us to throw away the 100 or so cables we have to carry to connect various devices to various other devices. Ending up with only a single charging and syncing cable for portable devices also reduces the number of times we have to drop everything and look for the sync cable for a device.

The move is on. What once was only Stayable is moving towards portable. What once was only portable is moving to wearable. What will wearable move to?

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Tech Wiz

Tech Wiz review Ninja Foodi!

From time to time I do reviews, I haven’t done a cooking product review in a long time. So, today a cooking technology review. We got the Ninja Coffee pot about three years ago. It is a great addition to our coffee game. But the new product they have released this year is the best addition to our kitchen for a long time. The product’s name is Foodi. The Ninja Foodi. That, by the way, is a great name. The Ninja Foodi is a category buster. That is a product that does some things well, and a couple of things exceptionally well. In the kitchen where we don’t have a huge amount of counter space, adding the Foodi was a careful decision. Our kitchen counters are crammed today anyway.

Let’s talk features first; then we will go into functionality.

  • Steam
  • Pressure
  • Air Fry
  • Sear

We’ve used the pressure cooker twice already, once to make pulled pork and once to make a chicken dish. There is a magic in having something that is pressure cooked. The pulled pork we made was simply amazing. The chicken was perfect as well. We have also done the air frying option that is also incredible. The sear option was used to finish up the pulled pork. The last component will be steam cooking, that is a planned Saturday cooking experience!

Overall the controls are easy to use. Setting up the Foodi is pretty simple. It is very heavy and barely fits on the island in our kitchen. The screen is easy to understand and use. The power button is in the lower right corner of the Unit. First, open the lid, then add in the ceramic container. Now, what are you doing next? Steam and pressure, you don’t need any of the other attachments. You do, however, need the steam lid. The steam lid seals the cooking area so that you can build pressure. It is placed on the top of the unit, and then simply seal the cooking area by turning the knob on top of the steam top. That allows pressure to build up.

The air fryer allows you to fry foods quickly, always nice to air fry rather than well, grease fry.

Overall I give the Foodi and 10 out of 10. I really have to say it exceeded my expectations.

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Tech Wiz

Tech Wiz more IoT

First, we are connected today. By connected I mean the future projects that were detailed by A-H in their report. The 16th project was crowdfunding, while you could connect that in the end, it is a consumer of connection, not a connected system. That was the missing piece for me that I realized last night. A connected system is what I am looking for. IoT, medical devices and ultimately cloud both specific and personal driving secure containers. In the end it as simple as connected systems.

The complexity lies in the connection itself rather than the systems. In my book The Syncverse I introduced a concept I called the Myverse. A place in the end where I could control the connections to me. A place where my mobile medical records would be stored. Not my complete history just the things a doctor having to perform emergency surgery would need to know (allergies, current prescriptions, and previous traumatic events). My company could share relevant information that I needed for my job into my Myverse. Friends could view things I shared from my Myverse to their Myverse like photos, videos, and other fun things.

I came to realize that the connections need to have a home. That in effect the reality of connectivity is the creation of the interconnections. In order to have interconnections, there has to be a control system and model. For example, my Myverse could include home security, business security, and information about the world around me. I might let Waze or CoPilot publish into my Myverse the traffic that I am going to see. The way I do that is I publish not only my location data but also my calendar to only those applications.

Just-in-time data could appear in my Myverse from my company related to events on my calendar. (You are seeing X customer, here are their last 10 orders). Companies that today provide managed information could continue to do so. Offering subscriptions to the data feed they have would be a great way to move the world of print books to the digital age. The Kindle becoming the digital research device – connected to libraries. Imagine libraries that are no longer buildings filled with books but instead are Wi-Fi hotspots with chairs and couches. They could be much smaller in the end.

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Tech Wiz

More on IoT

There was a report shared on LinkedIn from Andreessen Horowitz on their top 16trends for 2015 and beyond. I find their list interesting mostly because I’ve blogged about most of the components they discussed on one of the blogs I write for.

In reviewing the post (follow the link above) I find I agree with the 16 trends they have selected. I do think they could consider much more of an impact – for example, while VR is cool today the impact it will have on the “sensorization[1]” of the enterprise and 3d printing make it even more interesting. Imagine a Minority Report (movie by Stephen Spielberg) enterprise security system that mixed virtual and physical security systems into a single viewable system. Imagine also, the smaller more agile VR helmet you could don to view that system.

The report shows the trends. I think in the end the real value of forwarding-looking views is the interconnections. Where the security and application containers merge with VR infrastructures to support not only a real-time view but the ability to deploy countermeasures in a VR reality. Where the vulnerabilities of your infrastructure are mapped out before you, and you can see what could stop the attacker. The best security isn’t making the right move every time. The best security is when you make the attacker guess correctly 7, 8 or 9 times. With a VR security view, you can change the next question on the fly so that the attacker in the end now has to guess correctly questions they had already answered that now have a new answer.

Within the interconnections is where the reality of innovation lives. One of the points of the articles is the connection today between non-medical programmers and the medical profession. Devices brought to the market that is written by people that don’t practice medicine but instead are IT, professionals. That interconnection today has changed the medical profession but pushing that data further out, into the Internet of things creates an even greater connection.

The trend is unification towards connection. The value in the future of IT is the connection of the information, people and ultimately the business processes in a way that will drive value for the users. A unified collection of virtual assets designed to improve the way people do and can interact with the computing world around them. It is the second tenant of the book “The Syncverse.” Sharing information in an effective and managed form that is easily consumed.

Connecting trends creates a very interesting reality. Unification is a game that often goes unrewarded. Einstein chased the unifying string theory for the last 40 years of his life. In the end, he was unsuccessful in bringing all things physics together. The same is true for the Andreessen Horowitz list. They have 16 trends that are highly interconnected but are not linked today. Some of the interconnections don’t have stable realities yet. None are beyond the capabilities we have today simply beyond the vision that has been laid out.

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Tech Wiz

The things, of the internet.

What is the truth? I read a post from someone I often read yesterday talking about being told to temper their politics. They were told to visit some extremely far left sites. I have wandered a few of those, as well as a few of the far right posts but I don’t go to either anymore. Part of that is the reality of having security clearance. You cannot go to sites like that without accepting there is a risk in doing so. But what worries me is the reality of the information presented. The honesty of far-right sites is well low. The honesty of far left sites as well, low, The issue is that people throw around information from both sides without taking the time to understand both sides. There is a whole lot of hate we don’t need to increase it.

I won’t go further except to say, the far left and the far right’s agenda lead them to dishonesty. Dishonesty to make a point, actually destroy the point. When presenting a case, it is always best not to exaggerate.

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 the only device with you so it would 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.

the internet of things

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tech wiz

There is more than we see (IoT)

There has been an internet since the early 1990s. Originally created by a group of scientists at CERN with the intent of sharing the results of numerous scientific experiments rapidly. It continued to expand and by 1996 it had changed not only the course of mighty companies (Microsoft and IBM) but forever changed the computer industry. The internet and its now nearly ubiquitous HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) is and has changed the world of connections. The Internet of Things or IoT is the next step in that evolution. The connection of anything and everything to anything.

Beginning in 2014 I began blogging not only about the IoT itself, the expansion of the internet to sensors and beyond but I also introduced the different modes of IoT objects as well. The initial definition was that of Stayable Technology, Wearable Technology and finally Portable Technology resulting in the Internet of Things or IoT.

If you think about the concept of portable devices they have changed radically over the past few years. From 1998 to 2010 I traveled all over the world as a consultant. In traveling all the time I kept an electronics suitcase filled with the things I always needed when I was away from home. A weather meter, a printer, speakers, XM Radio, Hard drive, and other critical components. Now I can replace most of those with my iPhone and a printer.

Wearable technology is a reality that sprang up in the past few years in particular with the Smartwatch and Fitness monitoring device. I like to look ahead for uses of technology.

Stayable 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 their site. The project includes several things that I think will make it extremely valuable. Jibo 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.

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tech wiz

Tech Wiz too many USB cables

One of the things that drive me nuts is USB connections. There are multiple types of connections (1, mini, micro, c and lightning and so on). I have multiple USB cables because you never know which one you will need. There are charging cables, and USB chargers, as hubs. All of this leading to 100’s of connections. Each of the cables includes speed limits and the in theory universal plug and playability. USB cables come in a variety of lengths as well, from 4 inches to 25 or more feet. Plug and play were originally introduced with Windows 95. It wasn’t effective, but it was available. Now, with Mac, Windows 10 and many Linux OS distros you can plug anything in, and for the most part, it will find the right driver.

What worries me is that even though are are far from the days of SCSI, serial, parallel, AppleTalk and so on, we still have too many connectors.  Micro- and Mini- USB can be very difficult to seat properly. Lightning and USB-C were designed to be reversible (making them easier to “plug in”). USB 3 was designed to improve the amount of data that could be moved via USB. All of this frankly, to better support the dream that was plug and play now nearly 25 years old. The other issue I have is the number of cables. Because there is USB 1, USB 2, Micro-USB, Mini-USB, USB-C and so on, I have way too many cables. In part because there are devices that use the cables, in part because even if I don’t have devices, I am loathed to throw the cables away.

One of the things I know many people have pushed for, and so far have failed, is one connector to rule them all and on a hub bind them.

The amazing reality is the number of cables. The sad reality is the number of cables. Plus the worst thing for me, I never have the specific cable I need at the time. I ended up creating a cable storage system so that I could grab one quickly. I’ve also ended up getting tri-USB cables. Tri-cables have USB-Mini, Lightning and another connector on them. Sometimes that is all you need!

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Tech Wiz

Tech Wiz on Home Security…

One of the things we have at our house is a Ring Doorbell. It is really a great product. I highly recommend a video doorbell. First of all, because they are cloud storage based, even if someone pulls it off the door frame, it still sends their picture to the cloud. Easily downloaded and shared. We have video cameras in the house from the Canary project, which is now a full-fledged security company. I like their model as well. All doors are seen from the side of the house. The front door has both inside and outside views of it. Sometimes security isn’t just what you are protecting it is how you are protecting it. Video cameras are a great way to monitor what is happening at doors in your house. Plus the Canary devices also monitor air quality and temperature. It lets you know when there is stale air in your house.

Ring is a nice addition, in part because Amazon Alexa integrates with Ring. That means you can ask the Alexa Show to show you well who is at the front door. You can, while cooking in our case, having dirty hangs tell the UPS person to wait a second so that you can wash your hands and answer the door. The simple presence of cameras will reduce the risk of porch pirates as well. Sadly, however, I have seen some shared videos of people stealing a package while looking right into the camera. The other cool thing about the Ring system is that all your neighbors that have their doorbells and security cameras and share information. There was a burglary in our neighborhood recently, but sadly we were at the time the only house with external cameras.

Now there are a couple of houses that have external cameras for home security. Peace of mind comes from knowing what is going on all the time. Anyway, regarding installation, the Ring System is very easy. I recommend using the Chime and Ring combination, that way you can’t have to worry about your home wifi signal not being strong enough outside your house. First, you don’t want that anyway. If your home wifi makes it to the street, you are vulnerable. It is far less suspicious to sit in a car and appear to be waiting for someone while hacking into a house, than it is to be walking around. Chime allows you to directly connect to a Ring Doorbell via your home wifi. IT also allows you to try out some cool door ringing sounds!

Tech Wiz

Home Security…

A conversation about AR…

I had a great conversation with another technologist the other day. We were both waiting for another meeting to begin and started talking about AR> Well, actually she started talking about AR. She started out asking me a question, her son is struggling in school, and she is worried. She wondered what I used to do as a teacher to motivate kids. I talked about “finding their passion” and tweaking that. She said her son was interested in Astronomy. That was when I showed her the AstroReality application. I had just printed the Lunar AT poster in the morning and showed her what was possible. She was intrigued, and we started talking about AR (and then VR) as far as education.

She brought up a topic that I have to say was not one I had thought about often. That was to use AR stages with younger children. Interactive systems are something that Children enjoy. We talked about places that AR stickers would be really useful. The first one was subway and train stations. You can simply have an AR sticker to cover the how and what of the subway. We then started down several other paths. The first was the risk of AR. In particular, based on the nature of the system today, you need to have an anchor point. That anchor point can be faked. When faked, the risk is of course that the information you see isn’t the information you were seeking, or it is close but modified.

The second risk for AR is interesting. Not the interest that we would normally consider rather it more the interest maintenance of people paying attention. Forgetting an AR sticker is easy. Pokémon Go blew up, but then it went away very quickly. Yes, there remains a user base, but overall the user population is way lower now than it was. Is that a trend that AR  creators should be concerned about overall?  Will people rush to participate and then disappear? Interesting thinking, then the meeting started, and we put the conversation away. We will revisit it. I am sure, and there are many more components to consider. We didn’t even get to talk about the Lunar model, and earth model that AstroReality has released!

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AR Fan