It all started a few weeks ago when I had a great idea: Let’s connect some stuff around the house. I started with a thermostat. Being able to program my thermostat remotely or turn on the air conditioning just before leaving work is really cool (Pardon the pun.).
Next, I connected my smoke detectors, front door lock, and some of the lights around the house. I even started grouping together some of these components so that, for example, my front door unlocks when I get close to home and some lights turn on when I open up the door.
After all of this, I figured that my house was pretty connected, but that is when I discovered the “smart egg tray.” With this egg tray (now my favorite connected thing), I can monitor from almost anywhere the quantity and freshness of the eggs that I have in my fridge. I also get notifications when I am down to only two eggs left. This may seem a little over the top, but it eliminates any possible disappointment when preparing a nice Sunday morning breakfast. (#firstworldproblems).
The interesting truth about the smart egg tray is that not only is it the coolest egg tray ever, but there is powerful technology behind it. It’s just a very simple device that is connected through the Electric Imp connectivity platform (series of sensors that are connected to a cloud-based server through a gateway module).
Over the next few years, almost everything will be connected to the Internet. We will have smart toothbrushes, a garbage can that generates grocery lists, or even a smart chair that alerts you when you have bad posture.
The exciting part of all this is that these smart devices are actually getting easier to build. Although almost anyone with a sound idea has the potential to get a product to market in a timely fashion, success will come from paying attention to key challenges in building an IoT solution such as user experience and design, the readiness of your IT and support teams, security, etc. For more information on these challenges, see our white paper: Six Oversights to Consider Before Creating an IoT Product.
In the case of the connected egg tray, it has addressed these key challenges with style:
- It addresses a specific problem: The person who took the last egg did not tell anyone. This product now solves this problem without anyone having to think about it.
- It uses the right tools: Built on the Electric Imp platform, it leverages their BlinkUp SDK to make setup easy.
- It has an incredible design: Even if the egg weren’t a connected item, I’d still want it in my fridge. It’s durable and sturdy, so I can stack other things on top of it, and it has room for 14 eggs. So, when I’m down to only two eggs left, I can buy a full dozen and have them all fit.
- It has great software backing it up: It integrates fully with the Wink software that is available on most mobile platforms. It also gives developers access to a set of APIs so that custom plugins can be built for it.
Building a strong server component is also a key element for the success of your product. Most connected devices, even if they are “smart,” do nothing but talk to a server. The logic and “smart” aspects of your device are managed on the server.
Have an idea for a connected product? I’d love to talk about it. Maybe we can help. At Macadamian, we can help you get started with your IoT projects by providing the expertise you need to build strong software to power your connected devices.
Six Oversights to Consider Before Building an IoT Product
In this white paper, we outline six oversights that organizations face when entering the realm of IoT.