Internet of Things at CES 2012

The “Internet of Things” was big at CES this year.  From TVs, to cars, to cloud-based gardens; the Internet is getting woven into everything.  It is really exciting to see it all come to head and see the “Internet of Things” vision being fulfilled by both up and coming innovative companies and large incumbents as well.  As you have probably read, CES was huge, drawing in record crowds with the launch of innovative and interesting products that everyone has been writing about.  In my article I wanted to write about the “things” (of the Internet variety) that I found the most interesting:

Smart-Vegetable Garden (Panasonic)  

Four leaf vegetables can be grown in one so-called “Smart Vegetable Garden” (which is sized at 100x50x30cm) at the same time, with Panasonic claiming that owners can expect to harvest them in about 40 days – 30% less than using conventional methods. Apart from saving time, the device also integrates a cloud-based management system to track growth, for example by automatically screening the level of water and nutrients, or the temperature.

You have to admit, that is pretty cool.  I’m not sure if I’m down with the almost $8k price tag, but monitoring and tracking the growth from the internet is a pretty sweet.

Connected Cars (Mercedes, Audi, Ford) 

As each year passes, the connected car makes more of a noise at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. This year several car manufacturers were touting new features, including Mercedes-Benz, Ford and Audi. The term “connected car” refers to the integration of smartphone apps and content into the car. Typically this is done via the car’s dashboard, enabling you to listen to online music, access Web data, stream video to the car’s passengers and more. In this post we’ll look at three such systems: Ford Sync, Mercedes-Benz mbrace2 and Audi Connect.

My favorite out of these is the Ford integration with the new Focus Electric.  If I had an electric car, I’d want all that information on tap.  Check out the demo from CES.

Health Monitoring (MyBasis)

The world’s first connected health and heart rate monitor wearable on the wrist. A multi-sensor band collects data like heart rate, calories burned, physical activity and sleep patterns and links to a personal online dashboard.

There have been a few other competitors in this space but this is the first one I’ve seen that collects heart rate.  I’m a bit skeptical on how good it can be, because in my own experience the only way to get a consistent heart rate reading is by wearing one of those uncomfortable chest straps.  If they can do it well it could be a product I’d be personally interested in.

Twittering Tree (Ericsson)

 …a tweeting tree that was equipped with sensors to automatically send out Twitter messages when its leaves were stroked. But most impressive was the live demonstration of “capacitive coupling,” which transferred a digital photograph electronically through Vestberg’s body, from the phone in his left hand to the workstation he was touching with his right.  (From Mashable)

Internet connected demos like tweeting trees, toasters and Donkey Kong toys are becoming quite the trend of the showroom floors / demo pits. (Warning:  Shameless plug on our own blog) Crowd pleasing internet-enabled, inanimate objects are so much easier to do these days with things like ioBridge.


  1. Werner Keil says:

    Twittering Tree, sounds interesting and shows us, that IoT, OpenData, Standards and Social Media are more and more growing together. I guess it’s also, how the Na’vi might talk to their Sacred Tree in Avatar 2?;-)