Home gets smarter all the time
Someday even the dishwasher and fridge will send us helpful messages
TODAY MOST of us use the Internet every day through devices like our mobile phones, notebook computers and other devices like ‘‘ smart TVs’’ and gaming consoles. We tend to take our connectedness for granted.
We can get answers to pretty much any question that has already been answered with a quick search, and making plans for dinner is accomplished with a few clicks.
But there’s a coming wave of new connectedness called the Internet of Things. This term refers to the ability for pretty much any device you can think of to be connected to the Internet.
The analyst firm Gartner believes the install base of networked devices will reach 25 billion by 2020, and most of these devices will be in the consumer space. In the next few years, you’re going to start seeing more and more appliances, tools and other previously “dumb” devices become smarter.
You can see some of this happening already. I have Nest thermostats and Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in my house. They are connected to the Internet through my home network, and provide remote management and visibility into the climate and security of my home.
The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year was once again packed with a diverse set of new products. The selection covered the spectrum from the $120,000 Samsung 105-inch bendable TV to a 3D printer that specializes in printing bras. The colossal show is a showcase of innovation, both useful and not.
In 2014, Samsung acquired a smart-home technology company called SmartThings. This technology will be useful in Samsung’s Internet of Things product development.
A SmartThings environment includes a central Hub that communicates to SmartThings-enabled devices using the two standard home automation protocols, Z-Wave and ZigBee as well as Bluetooth. These devices can be things like locks, sensors, cameras, speakers and lights, and the list is going to expand.
The Hub is a separate device today, but