14 weirdest things on the Internet of Things
These days we’re all accustomed to the wonders of the world wide web, but the more recent rise in talk of an Internet of Things may be less familiar. Put simply, any wired-in gadget- from fridges to watch- exists in this hinterland between the physical and digital worlds. Here are our 14 weirdest of the 20billion devices expected to be connected by the beginning of next year.
College dormitory bathrooms
The Internet of Things became a phrase around 1991, but it was only at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that the concept really took off. One of the first designs was a system that informed students when the bathroom was free.
A southern Californian garden
With a robot arm and an Internet connection boffins launched the Telegarden project almost 20 years ago, allowing worldwide users to take control of the false limb, water the plants and even sow seeds. A true global first.
Dutch firm Sparked was one of the first to give farmers the opportunity to receive 200MB of data per year from their cattle (according to Cisco estimates). Messages included whether each member of the herd is ill or pregnant, and their location. As this video proves, the company is not alone…
Worrying as it sounds, 24eight realised the seemingly impossible by creating nappies capable of sending an SMS message to parents informing them when it was time to change. Talk about efficiency.
Nike stole the limelight, but WeSC and Google have also been trying out the possibilities of connected shoes. Imagine sitting at your desk being taunted by messages about the pitfalls of a sedentary lifestyle and you get the picture.
Unveiled last year, the promise here is hugs sent across the world. By rubbing your RingU in various ways a chosen other will receive replicated sensations via their RingU, all through the wonders of Bluetooth 4.0 and a smartphone.
(Presumably) more of a statement than serious business plan, the Climate Dress senses ambient pollution levels and issues warnings via its dazzling array of LED lights. The future of fashion (perhaps), as designed by Studio Diffus.
One for bachelors and bachelorettes looking to recreate Tom Hanks’ apartment in Big, only for the 21st Century, Table Connect takes the functionality of your iPhone and slaps it on an enormous 58-inch multitouch surface. Smartfootball, anyone?
Although Beck’s claimed to invent the world’s first playable poster with its New Zealand Music Month campaign, in actual fact Agency Republic built a model earlier that’s synced to internet streaming service Spotify. Take a look.
Scientific freezers and coolers, and hotel minibars
The simple act of taking a beer from the hotel room fridge, or the more complex act of taking molecules and enzymes from a chilled store, is now much easier to monitor (thus ensuring supplies are always stocked, and bills always paid).
The Chefjet Pro won’t be winning any Michelin stars for a while, but the idea that you can now print out any design into a full-colour, edible format (if that’s even the right word) is pretty mindblowing. And yes, they are connected.
The Lonely Christmas Tree is a proof-of-concept design by a Make magazine freelance writer and coding enthusiast. The idea is simple, each time the owner receives an email, Facebook message or tweet, the tree lights up.
It seems like an obvious choice, but still there’s no denying that Google Glass is a pretty weird concept, and the person in the wearables looks even more out of place up against the average Joe or Josephine on the street. Still, as the following proves they are rather impressive toys.
It was inevitable, really. Sinulators are connected to any computer so friends, acquaintances and anyone else you choose can take control of the pleasure-giving toy. Needless to say, we didn’t source a suitable video for this one.