Mobile Apps and the Internet of Things

The gist: mobile apps are driving demand for smarter hardware.  People are wanting closer relationships with the world around around them.  This naturally includes tighter integration with hardware devices and greater control over how we use them.

Just as the Internet fueled demand for engaging online, mobile apps are fueling the desire to interact with hardware.  Mobile is inherently interesting due to its persistent connectivity and accessibility.  It speaks to the heart of value creation.  Always on, always available.

Many people are probably aware of the gist I pointed out above. But, if we take a closer look at what is happening we can see that embedded software is becoming smarter and more social.  Hardware communicates with other hardware.  This is the “Internet of Things” and man does it have large implications.

How big? Well, here is a quick overview of what the Internet of Things looks like (courtesy of Ericsson).

Source: Ericsson AB, “Infrastructure Innovation – Can the Challenge be met?“, Sept 2010

Let’s look at a few examples emerging in 2012.

Evidence #1: Tri Cascade

At the 2012 CES show there were a couple of products that caught my eye.  One such product is from Tri Cascade, based in Newport Beach, CA. Tri Cascade has developed “smart” power outlets that use embedded software that communicates real-time power consumption information.  Using their line of products, you can build a smart home energy system that uses a mobile app for management.  Check out this video demo courtesy of PSFK:

http://www.facebook.com/v/10151147980325532

Evidence #2: Samsung

Another interesting application comes from Samsung and their new front-loading washer with integrated Wi-Fi. This washing machine comes with an iPhone app for you to manage remotely.

These are just two examples that I’ve come across recently. I will document the implication of how mobile disrupts industries and business process in the coming weeks.

These are exciting times to be a mobile developer and an honor to be a part of it.

You can find me on Twitter, teaching mobile development with Appcelerator, or working on these type of things at Semantic Press.

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