stay perfectly hydrated with gatorade gx…

Gatorade introduced a prototype product it’s calling “Gatorade Gx”. It’s a combination of a patch you wear while working out, training, or whatever you call your physical/athletic activity, and a connected water bottle. It basically monitors how you’re sweating as you train, “capturing fluid, electrolyte, and sodium loss”.  Based on this, it lets you know when you should drink more, and if what you should drink is something specific based on your unique needs. That something specific being a “Pod” that has certain formula of electrolytes or nutrients you are losing as you sweat (your “electrolyte and carbohydrate needs”).

Why it’s hot:

As we see more uses of technologies like AI, biometrics, and connected sensors, products and services are becoming ultra personal. This is a personal hydration coach, filling a knowledge gap that otherwise only cues from your body might indicate you need. We should be keeping an eye on how brands are taking the old idea of “personalization” to its truest form, creating new ways to give them more than just a basic product or service.


the internet of graphene…

[image and subject matter courtesy of digital trends]

Scientists/researchers from Trinity College of Dublin recently published a concept of printed, 2D transistors made of graphene that could instantly turn “dumb” physical objects into connected/”living” products.

According to them…

“You could imagine the possibility of one day having printed circuitry on food packaging, so that rather than having a barcode, you have a circuit that can communicate information to the user…That could mean a carton of milk that sends you a text message when your milk is about to go off. Another possible usage, Coleman said, is the concept of paper-thin displays, which could be embedded into newspapers or magazines, or slung up on the wall like a moving poster.


Why it’s hot:

I don’t profess to understand all the history and intricacies of circuits and transistors in the slightest, but I do see how the breakthrough idea of using a low-cost material that would make large scale implementation could have massive implications for the future of products. All of a sudden everything with a physical surface could become digitally-enabled, able to “come alive” in a sense and communicate, or even entertain us, opening up a whole new layer in the physical world.


“Smart” Cities can be hacked

Last Friday at 11:40PM, Dallas’s city hurricane warning system sounded: 156 emergency sirens all at once. The alarms a total of 15 times, with each burst lasting 90 seconds, until the alarms fell silent around 1:20AM on Saturday morning.

“But as the New York Times reports, there was no hurricane coming—the sounds were triggered by a hacker who’d penetrated the system’s security measures. Few details have emerged about the hack, save for the fact that it’s thought to have been carried out locally and was very effective (technicians couldn’t stop the hacker, so they had to shut down the entire system to quiet the alarms).”

As cities and government entities rapidly adopt technologies and networks into day-to-day life and infrastructures, have they overlooked the potential shortfalls of a ubiquitous digital infrastructure?

In the same way that new buildings must meet baseline architectural requirements, perhaps the same minimums should be demanded of tech- and cyber- security.


Bridging the CX Understanding Gap


As customer experience (CX) continues to drive business transformation, we are met with a general lack of understanding around what and how to move forward. Forrester research revealed more than 60% of decision makers are still holding on innovation related to the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is CX. People expect connectivity; people expect effortless data integration that improves the way they move through the world. This is nothing to delay and “assess.” The CX winners lean in hard early. They experiment. They fail. They pick themselves back up and try again.  People more than welcome that now, they expect it.

Welcome to the Internet of YOUR Things…

[image credit:]

In recent years, the connection between people and objects has become the “next frontier” of digital technology. The so-called “Internet of Things” has already produced connected devices like the Nest products, and we’ve seen Google’s Project Soli working on how to control wearable devices using gestures. But yesterday, I came across another way to accomplish the task of connecting and controlling all of your technology – MIT’s “Reality Editor” allows you to create connections between your own “things”, and control them using just an app on your phone. It basically creates a private network of things, the functions of which you can define and control, and between which you can create relationships. Some of the examples they provide are:

  • Instead of having to get out of bed to turn off a light using a switch next to your bedroom door, connect an object on your bedstand to the light so that when you turn it the light goes off
  • Connect your bed to your car’s heat/air conditioning so that in the winter,  you can turn on the heat when you get up so that your car is warm when you’re ready to drive to work

What’s still a little unclear is how the objects actually communicate, but it appears you need a digital “fingerprint” attached to each in order to actually manipulate and connect them, and that there needs to be an arduino or something else involved. They say you need to create “Hybrid Objects” to actually realize the benefit.

REALITY EDITOR from Fluid Interfaces on Vimeo.

Why It’s Hot

What sets Reality Editor apart is the ability to control all of your things yourself, without needing multiple products ultimately controlled by the companies that produce them (to whom you’re also giving data and private information, even images). It seems to be a smarter way to achieve the same control over your stuff that the “Internet of Things” promises. And what’s really cool is it’s not just a concept – it’s actually in the app store now, so you can start doing it today.

IoT and Health…magic answer for health or privacy hell?

The Internet of Things is here. While it seems so inevitable and welcome, in many ways it is a nightmare waiting to happen. In an article on and a report from Goldman Sachs, the authors outline the positive impact IoT/Big Data on transportation and healthcare. One author, Bruce Horsham claims a utopian — and a rather naïve — view of the IoT: “Far from being a gimmicky way to collect more data on customers – and sell them more things – IoT technology has the power to transform industries, manage costs and deliver quality outcomes to up and down the supply chain. Here’s how two industries are doing just that.”

While the advances IoT is doing for transportation is noteworthy, the risk/reward equation for healthcare is still to be determined. Consider this fact: Goldman Sachs recently estimated that Internet of Things (IoT) technology can save billions of dollars for asthma care. If 1/3 of all healthcare spending is on disease management, this is also a place where IoT can have the biggest, most immediate impact on cost and quality-of-care. The chart below shows how Goldman views it:

IoT Goldman savings H sauce 12.11

Why is this hot? Are we focused on the wrong thing? With 80 million wearable devices already being used, the flood of data is here, it is only the interconnectivity of all the healthcare systems that prevents its use. While everyone may rush to saying such data will provide savings and better health outcomes, the bottom line is we live in an era of data flood and data theft. At this time, there is NO widely accepted privacy policy or hack-proof software that protects us, our parents, our families. Why is privacy and theft an issue? Because of scale!

Example: Excellus, a health data provider, got hacked. If each individual health record is valued at $50, then the theft is worth $500 million.

Example: if true connectivity occurred, then millions of users with implanted monitoring devices, or those who use remote insulin devices or remote monitoring of their heart could be hacked and killed. It is that ugly and that simple.

This is a fast-evolving topic…the Goldman Sachs IoT inforgraphic is one we should all marvel at and hope that someone is watching our back.

IoT Goldman infg 12.11


Density Helps You Know Where to Go or Avoid…

[image credit: Density]

Density is a new internet-connected device/sensor that discretely and anonymously counts the number of people who have come to or left a location, giving anyone privy to the data a real-time idea of how crowded a location is. This effectively benefits both the owner/employees of a location, as well as the people who might want or need to visit that location.

The easiest real world example is probably a bar, the owner of which would always know how packed it is, and could decide how to adjust resources (or promotion) accordingly, knowing daily/weekly/seasonal trends, in addition to what’s happening on a minute-by-minute basis. On the “customer” side, knowing how crowded a location is can obviously either help you find the rager, or the quiet, low key setting you want to join. Some other examples Density gives on its website, the usefulness of which I think we can all admit, is knowing how busy the DMV, the Grocery Store, or even one of your conference rooms is.

To tap into this information for any location that has already installed the sensor, download Density’s app.

Why It’s Hot

While it’s certainly not the first service to tell you which locations are most densely packed, it’s the first that I’m aware of to offer a scientifically sound way of knowing (previous apps have mostly relied on voluntary “check in” data pulled from either Facebook or Foursquare/Swarm). And, it’s a connected device that can capture data to be used both by its owner, and anyone else who might want to harness that information, or combine it with other information to make it even more useful/insightful. The Internet of Things is slowly but surely making everything smarter, and this is one small addition that seems to offer a very logical benefit.

[Source: PSFK]

The IoT for Kids

A few months ago, I told my in-laws that we had microchips implanted in our kids, so that we could locate them if lost or stolen. They said they did the same with their dogs. I was so surprised that I forgot to tell them I was kidding…and maybe I’ll never have to, because micro-chipping (well, not exactly, but close) may be available at retail by the next holiday season!

Fuhu, the company that makes Nabi tablets for children, wants to open the IoT’s market to kids. They’re in the early stages of devising a “connected room” platform for kids built around sensors, monitors and cloud services, all designed to supply information – and hopefully peace of mind – to parents.

Baby products can track feeding and sleeping. Products aimed at toddlers may track the child’s movement around the house, so that a parent can be notified if a kid wanders to an unsafe space, such as one with cleaning products or power cords.

7-10-2015 9-12-02 AM

The various items under development include a mini light for the changing table that can track how often you change a baby’s diaper. Another is an air pollution sensor that tracks pollen, mold and dust. One sensor is meant to be worn by mom to track how often and how long she nurses her baby.

All the devices can be controlled by mom and dad through an app on an iPad or one of Fuhu’s Nabi tablets. The goal is that the data that’s collected will be analyzed to help identify patterns in a child’s health. The products will be modular, useful and affordable, priced at $49-99 a piece.

Why it’s Hot: Parents worry about their children’s well-being all the time. Information alone may allay concern, and if not, will enable the parents to conduct better research or have more productive discussions with a pediatrician. Further off in the future, perhaps these devices will enable two-way communication, so that under certain circumstances (e.g., baby is dehydrated or episodes of upset stomach can be attributed to a particular food, implying allergy), helpful information is sent to the parents…and we all know who likes to sponsor or underwrite helpful information…Pedialyte, Gerber, Enfamil, Huggies, Piedmont Pediatrics, United Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, et al.






Blue-Tooth Connected Credit Card

Are you irresponsible and keep losing your credit cards or gift cards? Maybe your back aches from the massive wallet you carry in your back pocket? Or maybe you’ve always wished for the day that your credit card could connect to your phone? Well, you’re in luck. Stratos, Inc.  announced the launch of the Stratos Bluetooth Card, an all-in-one “smart” credit card. The card features Bluetooth connectivity and can be used everywhere you’d expect, like at ATMs, restaurants and gas stations. The card, which will start shipping to consumers in April – will be able to load everything from debit to credit to gift cards onto on single, small card. All one needs is a smartphone, a Stratos card, and a Stratos Reader. Members will swipe their various cards through the reader attached to their phones. Once the cards are loaded, swipe the Stratos Card through the reader and then designate three “favorite” cards that can be easily and quickly accessed.

Why It’s Hot:

As the increase in land grab for mobile payments continues to rise, this turns that on its head and nods to a consumer behavior that already exists and is familiar with the majority of the world. There is no need for retailers or payment systems to re-haul their current technology since it is already in place. Meaning this is much easier and quicker to implement without having to educate users on a new behavior or even train staff on new technology protocols.

Johnnie Walker Unveils Smart Bottle That Sends Marketing Messages

Johnny Walker Blue Label’s prototype “smart bottle” enables the brand to, among other things, send targeted, personalized marketing messages to consumers, thanks to printed sensor tags in the bottle’s label.

These sensor tags are based on a technology called OpenSense, which uses smartphones’ near field communication (NFC) capabilities to allow any NFC-enabled smartphone to read the tags and display promotional offers, cocktail recipes or branded content.


Why this is hot?

Remember when you watch Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report and thought that cereal boxes talking to you was unbelievable science-fiction? Well, if a bottle label can access your smartphone’s data to send you laser-focused messages that are tailored to your habits, in order to prompt you to buy the product; imagine when every product in the supermarket can do that. The opportunities are endless, and so can be the disasters, if marketers don’t use this technology wisely.

Source: MediaPost

The Button To Automate Your Life

This is THE button designed for the Internet of Things era. Open the new app from startup IFTTT (If This Then That) and you’ll find just one, big virtual button. Tapping it will instantly perform a complex action that you have pre-programmed, like setting your Internet-connected thermostat to 70 degrees or blocking off the next 15 minutes on your Google calendar or turn on your coffee maker, or perhaps you’d like to get out of an awkward situation by calling yourself.  All of these these actions can be created by using IFTTT’s large number of pre-made “recipes.”


(image: IFTT)

Why It’s Hot:

With the rise of connected devices (Internet of Things) and wearables there arises a difficulty of having devices communicate and perform actions across a vast network. IFTTT allows an easy way to create and manage all the actions that you want to occur across devices without any complex coding or back end management.

Co-Founder Linden Tibbets had this to say: “This is what we wanted to do all along,” he says. “We thought the consumer side of our products — where all the coding would be in the background and all the action in the foreground — would evolve very drastically.”

Interestingly, although the Internet of Things turn is somewhat new for the company, it’s already seeing quite a lot of activity, with 20% of the Recipes related to “connected devices of some kind,” Tibbets says. “That has put us in a phenomenal position to really build the consumer side of the business.

Google pushing the “Open Web of Things”


The Internet of Things is the over-used (and only moderately understood) buzzword of 2014/2015. The idea that all things will be connected– appliances, automobiles, wearables, retail, clothing, everything– is emerging as a reality on the front-end.

But the back-end is only being addressed by device or limited family of devices– the common language, settings, privacy and protocols that can make the connection reality.

Google is assembling the best and brightest across industries and academia with challenge grants to develop the back-end standards as an “Open Web of Things.”

Google IOT Open Innovation Grants

Why Its Hot

The next generation of “Things” may rapidly begin to be truly connected. As with telecom, web and other networking platforms before now, it will be critical to trace and track the emerging (and competing) standards from Google and other parties.

Google Opens Nest API To Control Home Devices

Nest Labs, recently acquired by Google and maker of internet connected thermostats and smoke detectors, has opened its software to third-party developers.  This will now allow outside developers to build applications around the Nest’s existing product line of “internet of things.”

Why It’s Hot:

Nest has established early partnerships with the likes of Jawbone, Whirlpool, Mercedes-Benz, IFTT, and Logitech.  All of these partners have released new Nest-compatible features that fully integrate with the Nest products.

According to the company, you can, for example, have your connected light bulbs flash red as a warning when your smoke detector senses smoke or carbon monoxide.  Or you can have your Mercedes communicate to your thermostat when you will be home so it can turn on the AC before you arrive.

“This API program is about more than just basic control,” Nest representative says. “It is more about customer experiences and making them better in the home.”

The program could provide the fabric needed to connect home devices in smarter ways.  The Nest API could become the “go to” operating system for an extremely broad range of devices.

The API will release to the public in early 2014.

Smart Bike Brings GPS Directions to Your Handle Bars

Similar to a fitness wristband tracker, the bike keeps track of your riding progress, too: it monitors and logs your activity such as distance traveled, calories burned and duration. That data is housed in a corresponding app, where bikers can later analyze the details and set goals.

In addition to giving turn-by-turn directions, the bike gets smarter over time too — it learns where to avoid potholes and suggests the safest route. And because it’s connected over a network, the company is alerted when one goes missing to help aid in its recovery.

Another helpful perk that every rider could use some help in is blind spot detection. The Valour picks up on haptic feedback in the handle bar grips when an object enters a blind spot and then alerts the ride.


Why It’s Hot

The Internet of things is coming, well faster than we all realize. This example of how it is working for something as simple as a bike–and commonplace–is a perfect example of how technology-enabled “things” can make consumer’s lives easier and better.