Blogthng

Myra Godfrey,

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EVRYTHNG will be returning to SXSW this year, and as usual, we have some stellar talks for you. Please vote now for our SXSW panels!

http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/66545 – Seth Bardelas of EVRYTHNG will be giving a talk on how brands are transforming the way consumers interact with their products. Consumers get personalized, exciting digital content via the physical product, giving brands a wealth of data about who is buying their products – but only if they don’t give up control of the media and the message.

http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/66689 – EVRYTHNG is participating on VaynerMedia’s Intelligent Future panel and will be focusing on the emergence of IoT in consumer products.  Innovations in on-product sensors and packaging allow brands to transform their marketing by turning physical products into smart, interactive touch points.

http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/60138 – EVRYTHNG is participating on Avery Dennison’s Style panel dicussing the impact IoT will have on the retail industry, and consumer experiences in-store and at home.

The IoT is revolutionizing the consumer product industry and now billions of passive, non-connected products are being ‘born digital’.  This gives consumers new ways to interact with brands, and lets brands create direct 1-to1 digital relationships with their consumers.  No-where more so than in Apparel, where our innovative work with Avery Dennison is transforming the industry.  Whether your interests be in fashion, technology or business, come attend our panels and learn how we are shaping the future of IoT and business.

Andy Perrin,

Complexity in the Smart Home market impacts device makers and consumers alike.  It’s something we spend a lot of time thinking about, and engineering effort on our platform simplifying. As EVRYTHNG CTO and Co-founder Dom Guinard recently wrote on O’Reilly ,“The IoT needs a defrag” – in short: full interoperability across competing consumer ecosystems needs a neutral orchestration layer sitting above them all.

Here’s a blueprint of how this works in practice using EVRYTHNG’s connected device customer iHome.

Via the EVRYTHNG smart products platform, the iHome SmartPlug already connects seamlessly with Nest, Wink and HomeKit. Building on this, iHome has just announced support for Samsung’s SmartThings and Amazon’s Alexa, increasing their addressable market by a cool four million US households*.

Consumers with Alexa devices, including Amazon Echo, Tap, Echo Dot and Amazon Fire TV can use voice commands like “Alexa, turn off the bedroom light” or “Alexa, turn on the living room fan” to operate their SmartPlugs.

Further, consumers can control their iHome devices using their existing SmartThings app too, now that the EVRYTHNG platform connects to the SmartThings cloud in the background to manage all the heavy-lifting.

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iHome phone imagePlug and Play

Of course, consumers don’t care about cloud-to-cloud connectors on the back-end, protocol conversions or standardized data models.  They just want new products they buy to play nicely with other products, apps and services they already have.  The more confidence consumers have that iHome’s products will work seamlessly with other smart home devices or apps straight out-of-the-box, the easier it will be to make the purchase decision.

Device manufacturers, including iHome, don’t want to worry about the underlying complexity either.

“Our strategy from the start was to make the SmartPlug range compatible with all the major IoT smart home ecosystems.  This was one of the key reasons we built our iHome Control™ product line on the EVRYTHNG platform,” said Gary Schultz, Director of Business and Product Development at iHome.

‘Hey EVRYTHNG, switch on the cloud-to-cloud connector!’

EVRYTHNG’s cloud to cloud connectors provide a quick way of integrating at a platform level via standard, scalable APIs.  It means any smart device operated by the EVRYTHNG Smart Products Platform can interoperate with many other devices and clouds.  Not only that, but with REACTOR™ our powerful, programmable rules engine, sophisticated instructions can enable devices to respond to real-time data from other devices to make your products cleverer and more useful.

cloud to cloud connector

You can find out more about our new Cloud-to-Cloud Connector for SmartThings by downloading the datasheet here.

Yes, working with different Smart Home ecosystems can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. By adding more and more of these prebuilt cloud integrations, EVRYTHNG is making the Smart Home simpler and, well, smarter.

 

*Market sizing estimates extrapolated from publicly available sources.

 

 

Andy Perrin,

Reddit-logo

Offering up the challenge; ‘Ask me anything!’ to a potential audience of 230 million Reddit users is a small step into the unknown.  This is what our intrepid CTO and co-founder Dom Guinnard threw himself into last Friday, when he hosted a Reddit AMA session on the Internet of Things, to coincide with the launch of his new book, Building the Web of Things, written with fellow EVRYTHNG co-founder Vlad Triffa.

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Building the Web of Things book by Dominique Guinard and Vlad Trifa.

It was a chance to hear from a wider group of people about the IoT – a kind of informal barometer of geek public sentiment.  So what did we learn about attitudes towards the IoT?

Excitement. Fear. Optimism. Cynicism.

All in equal measure. And although it wasn’t what you could call a scientific survey, we definitely got a clear sense of what matters most to people.

Security top of the agenda

Unsurprisingly, the recurring theme that came through was the perception that the IoT and smart home technology in particular, makes us less safe. Couldn’t we stop all devices from directly connecting to the Internet, Dom was asked. Say, have a smart home manager or a central server on a ‘home LAN’, which controls all access to all smart products?

This, said Dom, is where today’s IoT gateways or home hubs come in. (EVRYTHNG, for example, has THNGHUB a local cloud gateway which provides a single access point to the home environment).  His prediction was that the next wave of IoT developments will see companies taking their learnings from securing big web systems into the embedded system world.  And as far as the devices themselves go, although security cannot ever be absolute, using existing protocols and in particular their open implementations like OpenSSL, means vulnerabilities can often be spotted and patched very quickly.

What about my privacy?

Just as important was the subject of privacy, which comes hand in hand with security.  How could the metadata about our everyday lives be used against us if we are hacked?  And what about the data that consumers voluntarily give to brands? Does the average user know exactly what it is, and how it will be used?  Shouldn’t there be a standardized model or vocabulary, a little like when you download an app and are informed what data will be accessed.

Dom’s view was that whilst such fears are completely understandable and in some cases justified, pragmatically it’s about the ‘give-gets’.  Its vital that brands give consumers full transparency of data ownership, and make sure the benefits are clear on what users get in return for giving this data.  The discussion acknowledged that this is a wider subject which revolves around national and international laws (think about the differences between the EU and the US regulations) and so governments play a leading role in turning the grey areas black and white.

How to raise standards

The lack of standardization around protocols and languages was brought up numerous times.  How does Dom view this, especially given his book focuses on this very topic?

Standardization will happen, just not as fast as we would like.   The IoT is slowly converging to the internet, in terms of network, with Zigbee, Zwave, Thread, Bluetooth all now being bridged to Internet protocols.  At the application layer, the Web and its associated open standards, dominates.  This is the ‘how’ of the IoT.   For the ‘what’, there are a lot of developments around the semantic web, which aim to promote common data formats for smart devices.  Key to progress is ‘openness’.

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EVRYTHNG Co-Founder Dominique Guinard mid flow during his Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session.

What else got people going?

And then there were other questions a little more personal; ‘how smart is your home?’ ‘What devices do you have and recommend?’  It turns out there isn’t much time for TV in the Guinnard household – he has 20+ devices, both off-the-shelf products and homemade sensors – which all take time to maintain and troubleshoot.  What would be really great, to make the whole smart home work smarter, is a unified dashboard, giving consolidated status and management of all his products. (Adding more weight to the argument for using shared, open web standards – but that is one for another blog.)

And many more question besides – how will the world store the vast amount of data generated by the IoT, what part Bitcoin will play, and of course, how do you get a job working in the IoT industry (EVRYTHNG are hiring…)?

60 minutes of insightful, thought-provoking, troll-free Q&A.  Some fast typing, some fast thinking, and, then it was over.   IoT AMA AOK.

Click here to check out the full AMA session.

Andy Perrin,

So far, 2016 has proved to be something of a breakthrough year for the Internet of Things (IoT). From transforming domestic security and insurance through developments for the smart home to dramatically expanding opportunities for brands to communicate with and understand their customers through their interactions with everyday products, organisations from a diverse range of sectors around the globe are rolling out projects that are driving IoT closer to mainstream awareness and engagement.

It’s not just commercial organisations leading the IoT charge. It was announced last week that the Netherlands has become the first country with a nationwide network designed specifically for the Internet of Things. Built on low-power, long-range ‘LoRa’ technology – rather than WiFi or 3G/ 4G spectrum – in order to improve performance and accessibility, the network will launch with deals in place to connect 1.5 million objects, and many more to come.

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Hot on the heels of the Netherlands, South Korea announced its launch of a national low-cost IoT network for commercial purposes. Users will have the opportunity to access IoT through monthly subscription plans costing as little as 350 Korean won (around 20 pence) – around one-tenth of the cost of existing LTE-based IoT services from the network’s creator SK Telecom.

Here at EVRYTHNG, we’ve been fortunate enough to contribute further to this super-scale adoption of IoT, most recently through our commitment with Avery Dennison back in April to make 10 billion items of clothing ‘Born Digital’ over the next three years. This contribution was recognised last month, as we were named Best Internet of Things Startup at The Europas. We’re honoured, as The Europas has consistently supported high-quality technology innovation and growth by connecting the best ideas, capital, and entrepreneurs in Europe. It’s always fantastic to be part of the occasion – and, this year, to walk away with a gong for the promise that 10 billion shirts and shoes will soon talk back to you via your phone. This is only the start, however: we believe in a future in which every consumer product has a digital identity.

Europas award EVRYTHNG

We were also delighted to be listed in Market Inspector’s Top 50 Innovative Companies in the UK list as part of their 2016 Innovative Business Awards. Other recognition this year includes Red Herring 100, Bloomberg Innovators and 100 Most Disruptive Brands. All in all, further validation of EVRYTHNG’s vision of every consumer product eventually being ‘born digital’ with an Active Digital Identity(tm) in the cloud that operates the product as a web object, generating and capturing data to drive applications. Good to know we know we’re on the right track. And another shiny bauble – even one that isn’t yet smart – for the digital mantlepiece is never a bad thing.

 

Seoul Korea image from Tracy Hunter under Creative Commons license.

Myra Godfrey,

Reddit blog

What do Barack Obama, Gordon Ramsay, Steve Wozniak, Patrick Stewart, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Ronda Rousey all have in common? They’re all previous participants in the distinctive and high-profile ‘Ask Me Anything’ interview format hosted by Reddit, the self-styled ‘front page of the Internet’.

On Friday 8 July at 1700hrs BST (0900hrs PDT/ 1200hrs EDT), EVRYTHNG co-founder and CTO Dominique Guinard will join their ranks, sitting down to answer all manner of questions from Reddit’s users about the Internet of Things (IoT) and its potential to dramatically change our physical environment, the everyday objects that surround us, and our personal and professional lives.

If you thought the Internet of Things was about your fridge talking to the grocery store to have milk delivered before you run out, think again. From the things we wear to the food we eat, the bikes we ride and the cities we live in, IoT has the power to transform a host of industries across the globe by making everyday objects smarter, more connected, and – ultimately – more useful.

EVRYTHNG’s vision of the inter-connected future is a world in which every physical thing comes to life digitally, equipped with its own unique software identity in the cloud. As more products are ‘Born Digital’, i.e. manufactured with a cloud twin to access these programmable data capabilities, developers and manufacturers can create innovative ways to connect any object into the real-time ecosystem of the web, and our digital lives.

Dom’s AMA chat coincides with the launch of his first book, Building the Web of Things, written with another EVRYTHNG co-founder Vlad Trifa. The book compiles much of the insight Dom gained during Ph.D. studies in 2007 working on the WebofThings.org initiative, which has continuously evolved since then as the pre-eminent community of developers, researchers, and designers exploring the future of the physical Web.

Join the digital conversation on Friday 8 July at 1700hrs BST (0900hrs PDT/ 1200hrs EDT).

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