Technology Tips

Wearable Technology Is All The Rage

The wearable technology category has opened the door to several interesting product ideas, one of which is a bracelet that turns your arm into a touchscreen.

Say what? It’s called the Cicret Bracelet (pronounced “Secret”) and it’s currently in development, though you won’t find it hanging out on any crowdfunding sites. Instead, the developers are seeking donations on their own in hopes of raising 700,000 euros (around 760,000 dollars at the current exchange rate) to finish the first prototype.  

Cicret It’s an interesting design that makes use of a pico-projector and various proximity sensors, the latter of which pick up your gesture actions and commands. Just like a touchscreen, you can tap your forearm and perform touch functions, even when it’s wet (taking a bath, for instance).

Supposedly the device can do anything a phone or tablet can do Daily Mail reports. That includes things like read emails, hop around the web, play games, watch videos, make calls, and more. It’s being built to sync with an iPhone, though it can also function as a standalone device. When the project comes to fruition, it will cost around $475 and come in 16GB and 32GB models in choice of 10 colors.

Cicret.com: Check it out.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39LVZ3nkZ7k

 

 

 

cicret2

Relief From Password Pain

Wasting time on forgotten passwords is often very frustrating so not having to remember your passwords is the logical answer.  Many people also reuse their passwords multiple times on different websites which is also a big no-no.

In today’s world, most people who use the internet at home and at work have between 8 and 20 passwords to remember each and every day. PassPack™ just might be the answer for individuals, families and small business owners who need to keep track of multiple passwords as well as shared info between family members and co-workers.

1: Organization: Strong passwords combined with having too many passwords can cause headaches. The Passpack manager helps eliminate that by letting you tag, sort, search and manage multiple logins per site.

2: Everywhere Access: Passpack is web based and available to you from any web browser, anywhere, anytime, there’s no need to carry yet another device or install on multiple computers.

3: Collaborative: Family, co-workers and team members all need access to shared accounts. You can securely share and provision passwords using military grade encryption. You can even securely send passwords and messages to people you trust.

4: Easy To Use: Simply click your personal login button. Just install it once in any browser then click to login to your favorite websites.

5: Disposable Login’s: One unique feature of PassPack allows you to use disposable logins when you’re travelling or using a computer that is not your own. These disposable logins are a one-time use only and then it’s discarded protecting your private password information from key-loggers and other hacker tools designed to capture your info and identity.

So what makes PassPack different from many other password managers? You won’t have to pay a penny to use it. Passpack offers something better than a free trial – they have a free version that allows you to store up to 100 passwords, add a shared user (perhaps a family member) as well giving you 3 disposable logins.

If the Free version isn’t enough, you can upgrade to the next higher level at any time. The PRO version cost is $1.50 per month or if you have a group of people (say up to 15 shared users) the cost is only $4.00 per month (a paltry 27 cents per user).

The PassPack password manager works with the latest versions of Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari as well as Internet Explorer 7 and above.

Take a look and give it a try: www.passpack.com

Amazon’s New Cloud Drive Offering Renews the Storage Wars


Last week, Amazon updated its cloud drive offering in a move that could end up causing a pricing war in cloud based file storage.

Their “new” Cloud model has 2 flavors and both come with a 3-month free trial.

1: Unlimited Photo storage PLUS 5GB for videos and files for $11.99 per year
2: Unlimited “Everything” for storing well, everything… photos, videos, files and documents for just $59.99 per year.

You may recall that last year Amazon tweaked their Prime membership by adding a 5GB storage perk for Prime members at no cost.

Amazons new storage plans address the typical consumer challenge of having a lifetime of birthdays, vacations, holidays and everyday moments stored across multiple devices and having no idea of how many gigabytes of information they need to protect and safely back up.

Amazon’s bargain basement prices will certainly put pressure on Dropbox, Google and Microsoft. A quick comparison shows a gigantic gap between Amazon’s new pricing plans and those of its primary competitors. Here’s how they break down:

  • Google charges $9.99/month for 1 TB. Storing 30 TB costs $299.99/month. However, Google Drive users get 15 GB for free. An incremental storage plan offers 100 GB of storage for $1.99/month.
  • Dropbox charges $10 for 1 TB/month; users can get 2 GB for free.
  • Microsoft charges $6.99/month for 1 TB, with 15 GB available for free. A super saver plan, of sorts, is available on Microsoft’s OneDrive. If you subscribe to Office 365, you can get unlimited cloud storage for $7/month.

The unlimited pricing plans replace the Amazon’s previous pricing menu for Amazon Cloud Storage, which gave subscribers 5 GB of storage for free. Users could add more storage, based on a tiered pricing structure starting at 20 GB for $10/year, up to 1 TB/year for $500. Certainly a substantial shift in pricing.

Finally, Amazon’s Cloud Drive has a cool feature called Auto-Save available in the free mobile app – turn it on and your photos will be automatically saved in your cloud drive – safe and sound even if your phone or tablet is lost or damaged.

With the “Storage Wars” renewed, we can expect additional innovations and price cuts from all the major contenders.

Amazon Cloud Drive:
https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive

 

R.I.P. Internet Explorer

R.I.P. Internet Explorer

R.I.P. Internet Explorer

It’s the end of an era for Microsoft as the software giant is set to replace Internet Explorer with a new web browser.

Currently known only by its code name, Project Spartan, the browser will accompany the Windows 10 launch later this year.

Chris Capossela, chief marketing officer for Microsoft, made the revelation at the Microsoft Convergence conference this past week, according to tech news site The Verge.

“We’re now researching what the new brand, or the new name, for our browser should be in Windows 10,” said Capossela. “We’ll continue to have Internet Explorer, but we’ll also have a new browser . . . code-named Project Spartan. We have to name the thing.”

But in a market dominated by Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox users, few are likely to shed tears over the loss of Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer has had a mixed history over the past 20 years. If nothing else, it’s very polarizing topic. Some people still say they love it, most people say they dislike it or hate it.

As an IT Service provider we were always concerned about the underlying security issues when using Internet Explorer as your primary browser. I think it’s a smart move completely reinventing Windows and reinventing their web browser to go along with that.

Less than a decade ago Internet Explorer was the most popular browser by far, whose dominance inspired antitrust lawsuits by the U.S. federal government and the European Union. However, IE became unpopular for a number of reasons, including security flaws and user unfriendliness.

While Microsoft has not officially announced plans to kill off Internet Explorer, it’s likely the end goal once the new browser and Windows 10 takes off later this year.

Move Over Siri – Jibo’s Coming

I’ve always imagined that when robots became readily available and every home had one, they’d be of the Rosie variety from “The Jetsons.” Kind of a helpful servant that could do the dishes, walk the dog, and always have a snappy comeback.
Even though there have been great strides in Robotics these past few years, It’s looking like my idea of in-home bots might be a little far from reality yet.

Last July, Jibo showed up touting itself as the “world’s first family robot.” But it won’t whip up dinner, dust the furniture, or take the kids to school. In fact, it doesn’t even move. Instead, it sits on one of several charging pads you place around your home and does things like take your picture, remind you of appointments, and deliver messages.

Why is it called a “family robot”? Because Jibo has the ability to learn the faces of every person in the house and provide them with tailored messages and information. For kids, it can read stories complete with swiveling movements. It also uses a variety of algorithms to learn and adapt to the needs of different family members.

Jibo

Jibo has a large black glass “face” that lights up with a circular icon that’s part eye, part mouth, and is really very cute. The body of the robot has sensors that can pick up your touch too, letting it react accordingly, like displaying a big heart on its screen when you caress it.

Jibo’s creator, Cynthia Breazeal says: “Jibo is the first in a new class of family robotics that will humanize information, apps, and services, and ultimately will help people and families affordably address fundamental human needs that require high-touch engagement for the best human outcomes like education, independent aging and health management in the convenience of their home.”

Breazeal has spent much of her career researching ways to make computers more responsive to humans and their emotions. Jibo is the result of that work. “We’ve achieved greatness in the computing and social-media revolutions,” she said. “The next wave, emotive computing, is upon us, and Jibo is a transformative social and emotive robot that will help people thrive as part of the family.” Breazeal will also be making a toolkit available to developers who can come up with even more fun and useful stuff for the 11-inch-high Jibo to do.

Currently, you’ll have to wait a few months to add another member to your family. Pre-orders have been closed for Jibo with the Home Edition going for $599. Currently the expected ship date is September 2015.

Visit the Jibo Website for additional information and to sign up for updates:
http://www.Jibo.com

Jibo video:

The Apple SmartWatch Has Arrived – Are You Buying?

Apple showed off its much-anticipated SmartWatch during a special launch event yesterday, highlighting the new product’s look and features.

They started the event by announcing that HBO’s new streaming video service, HBO Now, will launch exclusively on Apple TV when the service starts next month. HBO Now, which will begin in time for the new season of “Game of Thrones” on April 12, and will cost $14.99 a month. Apple also announced plans to cut the price of its Apple TV product to $69 from $99.

The company also unveiled a new 12-inch MacBook that Apple calls it’s thinnest ever with a battery that can last all day. The device weighs just 2 pounds and will be available in gold. Prices start at $1,299, and it will begin shipping April 10.

The Apple Watch, the first new product in 4 years, is a big bet for the company, offering a potential new growth avenue that could ease Apple’s dependence on smartphones. For Chief Executive Tim Cook , it is a chance to prove that Apple can still produce the types of breakthrough products that defined the company under his predecessor, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

On Monday, Mr. Cook said the watch was the company’s “most personal device.” Yet, the watch faces significant challenges. The device needs to be close to an iPhone to have wireless connectivity or gather global-positioning-system location information. This makes the watch an accessory to a device that already performs most tasks well. So what does that mean in practice? If you want to access global positioning GPS data while on a run, you’ll have to run with both your SmartWatch AND your iPhone.

The watch also straddles the line between jewelry and consumer electronics, creating different types of expectations from consumers about quality, obsolescence and the overall buying experience. Many of today’s Apple consumers don’t even wear a watch instead relying on their smartphones for the time of day. That might make this pricey piece of jewelry a difficult sell.
Apple plans a range of watches at different price points, starting at $349. The company will also sell a stainless steel Apple Watch with a 38-millimeter case, beginning at $549. A watch with a 42-millimeter case begins at $50 more. A solid gold edition will start at $10,000 and be available in select stores only.

Apple said Monday that the watch will have 18 hours of battery life and will be able to conduct phone calls. The company also showed how the watch could be used to receive notifications, open hotel rooms and garage doors, and get song lyrics. The watch will also work with Apple Pay allowing wearers to wave their watch at checkout to make small purchases.
Preorders begin April 10, and the Apple Watch will be available in nine countries on April 24.

Marketing the Apple Watch, meanwhile, won’t be as simple as marketing past Apple products. The iPod was a way to carry a music collection in your pocket. The iPhone was a mobile phone plus Internet device, with a revolutionary touch screen. Apple sold the iPad as a simpler way to browse the Web, view photos and watch videos. Still, analysts expect Apple’s brand appeal and the company’s loyal customers to make Apple Watch the most successful wearable device on the market.

Apple is gearing up for a strong start, asking suppliers in Asia to make five to six million Apple Watches in the first quarter. Half of the first-quarters output would be for the entry-level Apple Watch Sports and one-third for the mid-tier model, which has stainless-steel casing and a watch face covered by sapphire crystal.

The total would be on par with Apple’s last major all-new product release. You may recall that Apple sold 7.5 million iPads in the six months after they went on sale in April 2010. Industry analysts estimate that Apple will sell 11.8 million Apple Watches in 2015, accounting for nearly half of all wearable devices, including fitness trackers and non-Android SmartWatches.

Additional information direct from the horses mouth:
http://www.apple.com/watch/?cid=wwa-us-kwg-watch-com

See what others are saying:
http://www.techradar.com/us/news/wearables/apple-iwatch-release-date-news-and-rumours-1131043

 

What Happens To Our Privacy When The Internet Is In Everything?


As the number of internet connected devices — also known as the Internet of Things — continues to grow, so too does the number of devices using voice recognition technology as an interface to allow for hands free control.

Last fall, Amazon revealed a connected speaker with a Siri-style assistant named “Echo” that can perform tasks like adding items to your ecommerce shopping basket on command. At the recent CES conference, Internet connected ‘smart TVs’ which let couch-potatoes channel-hop by talking at their screen, rather than pushing the buttons of a physical remote control are now even more common. It’s clear that the consumer electronics of our future will include more devices with embedded ears that can hear what their owners are saying. And, behind those ears, the server-side brains to data-mine our conversations for advertising intelligence.

The potential privacy intrusion of voice-activated services is massive. Samsung, which makes a series of Internet connected TVs, has a supplementary privacy policy covering its Smart TVs which includes the following section on voice recognition:

“You can control your SmartTV, and use many of its features, with voice commands. If you enable Voice Recognition, you can interact with your Smart TV using your voice. To provide you the Voice Recognition feature, some voice commands may be transmitted (along with information about your device, including device identifiers) to a third-party service that converts speech to text or to the extent necessary to provide the Voice Recognition features to you. In addition, Samsung may collect and your device may capture voice commands and associated texts so that we can provide you with Voice Recognition features and evaluate and improve the features. Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use od Voice Recognition.”

This Samsung example is just the latest privacy-related concern involving SmartTVs — many of which routinely require users to agree to having their viewing data sent back to the TV maker and shared by them with advertisers and others simply in order for them to gain access to the service. The clarity of wording in Samsung’s privacy policy is unique — given that it amounts to warning users not to talk about private stuff in front of your TV screen because multiple unknown entities can listen in.

Creepy is an understatement here. As usual, these “Privacy Policy” warnings are contained within the most often overlooked type of document on the Internet so will easily go unnoticed by the average user.

If the SmartTV owner realizes how ridiculous this is, Samsung does at least allow them to disable the eavesdropping voice recognition ‘feature’, and instead use a more limited set of predefined ‘voice commands’ — and in that instance says it does not harvest their spoken words.

However it will still gather usage info and any other text-based inputs for data mining purposes, as it also notes further down in the policy. So an entire opt-out of being tracked is not part of this very expensive package.

If you do not enable Voice Recognition, you will not be able to use interactive voice recognition features, although you may be able to control your TV using certain predefined voice commands. While Samsung will not collect your spoken word, they may still collect associated texts and other usage data so that we can evaluate the performance of the feature and improve it.

Samsung states: “You may disable Voice Recognition data collection at any time by visiting the “settings” menu. However, this may prevent you from using all of the Voice Recognition features.”

An Internet connected TV that eavesdrops on the stuff you say when you’re sitting on the sofa or watching TV in bed is just the latest overreaching privacy intrusion to come to light for consumers. As technology continues its ever onward march, it’s unlikely to be the worst, and certainly won’t be the last. As more smart devices are deployed in our homes, cars and lives are networked and brought online, and given the technical ability to snoop on us — there is a growing imperative to clean up the darker corners of the digital commerce environment. As consumers we need to insist on setting some boundaries on what is and is not acceptable. Just last month the FTC even warned us of the huge security risks in the Internet of Things.

What happens to our privacy when the Internet is in everything? When all the technological things in your home have networked ears that are fine-tuned for commercial intelligence gathering, where will you go to talk about “personal” or “sensitive” stuff?

Looking for a way to save or even make money in 2015?


If you’re looking for a way to earn extra money in 2015, here’s a list of a dozen mobile apps that can help.

  1. Nielsen Homescan This app will pay you to scan your groceries. Once you sign up to become a Nielsen Homescan family (yep, the same company that tracks TV ratings), the company will send you a free scanner or you can use your smartphone. Every time you go shopping, you simply scan the barcodes on the back of each product and send your data off to Nielsen.

If you want to give it a try, you can fill out the application here: Nielsen Homescan Application (you can’t download this one from the app store; you’ll need to visit their website first).

As an active participant, you earn gift points which you can redeem for different types of merchandise. You can choose electronics, jewelry, household items, and even toys for the kids. The longer you stay on the panel, the more opportunity you have to earn points towards prizes. You also receive entries for the panel’s many sweepstakes. Prizes include money, vacations, and brand new vehicles. http://www.homescan.com/

 

  1. i-Say Mobile The i-Say mobile app is one of the only legitimate paid survey apps out there. It’s actually a part of the Ipsos company, which might be a name you’re familiar with because they do a lot of the polling you see during presidential races.

Historically, some of the top-end surveys can pay up to $95, but those are rare and can take a while to complete. Most surveys pay a buck or two and only take 10-15 minutes. Also, the i-Say app rewards you with points which can then be redeemed for Paypal or gift cards to Amazon, iTunes, etc. (example: 1000 points can be redeemed for $10 Paypal). Use the link above to fill out an application and then they’ll send you a link to download the app. http://i-say.com/

 

  1. Ibotta The Ibotta app will pay you cash to take a picture of your receipts.

Here’s how it works: 1. Sign up for a free account with Ibotta (just need a name & email address). 2. Download the mobile app and then click on the “Rebates” section. 3. From here, you should see dozens of different rebates you can take advantage of. For example, right now the app is offering 50 cents if I upload a picture of a receipt showing that you bought milk. And there’s another rebate for $10 if you upload a picture of a Best Buy receipt.

Now, you obviously don’t want to go out and buy a bunch of stuff you don’t need, but you will find tons of rebates for things you are already buying. Plus, you can stack regular coupons on top of the rebate, meaning some of you savvy shoppers will be able to get free stuff. https://ibotta.com/

 

  1. Media Research Panel Media Research Panel is a smartphone app that helps media companies better understand how consumers use, view and share TV, social, digital and mobile media. Their app “measures activities conducted on a device, such as sharing, viewing, clicking, chatting, downloading and more. The app also listens for TV shows, and, using technology of Gracenote, Inc., identifies which TV shows was captured.”

When you install their app, they’ll pay you $5/month per device. And you can install the app on up to 3 devices. Plus they’ll send you a $5 bonus after the 12th week. (Totals $185/year)

Here’s how to do it: 1. Sign up for Media Insiders Panel (you can’t download this one from the app store) 2. Install and activate the MI Mobile app onto your device(s). 3. Watch your e-mail for important information and instructions on next steps. Also, at no time is a member’s personally identifiable information ever shared or released publicly, nor will they ever interact with you via social media.

Support devices: Android™ smartphones and tablets that run Android version 4.0 or greater, and are not rooted. They also accept the Kindle Fire HD, but not the first generation Kindle Fire. iPhone®5, iPad®, iPad mini®, and iPod touch® devices that run iOS version 5.0 or greater. ***You’ve got be a US resident, 13 years or older, and have a valid email address. https://www.mediainsiders.com/

  1. Field Agent The Field Agent app will pay you to complete small tasks around town for their clients. The tasks are pretty simple: scanning barcodes with your iPhone, checking prices at your local grocery store and conducting field surveys.

Payouts vary and depend on the job and area that you are in. For example, a job posted in Mission Viejo, California is looking for an agent to take 4 separate photos of products in the toothbrush section of the local Target. This particular task pays 9 dollars.

And in Brooklyn, New York, a field agent can go to a local Toys “R” Us store, snap a shot of the $19.99 & under video game display and come out a healthy $5.50 richer.

Remember though: you’re in this to make money; don’t bust out the plastic when you see a new Xbox 360 game nearby that you’ve been itching to buy. Field Agent job payouts typically vary between $2 – $8  (payable through PayPal). Most of the jobs only take 5 minutes, so the real time involved is with driving to each location. Still with travel time and gas, you could easily make $10-$20/hour completing mini-jobs. http://www.fieldagent.net/for-agents/

 

  1. Inbox Dollars InboxDollars has been around for quite a while now, but they just came out with a pretty cool mobile app that will pay you to search the web, play games, and take surveys.

The app is totally free to download. Plus, they give you a free $5 just to signup. Once you’ve accumulated $30 earnings (it’s possible to do this in only a couple of hours), you can request payment via check. It takes about 2 weeks to get the check when you cash out. http://www.inboxdollars.com/

 

  1. Receipt Hog Receipt Hog is very similar to Ibotta. You take a picture of your receipts and the “hog” rewards you with points that you can redeem for Paypal or Amazon gift cards.

The difference with this app is that you don’t have to shop anywhere specific, or buy anything specific. You can take a picture of any of your receipts and the app will reward you with points. http://receipthog.com/

 

  1. Bookscouter The Bookscouter app is really useful when you want to sell your old books that are just collecting dust on the shelf. You scan your book’s barcode with a smartphone and Bookscouter will let you compare the payout of 20+ different buyback companies.

Once you’ve found the buyback company offering the most cash, you just fill out a little information about where you want your payment sent and prepare the books to be shipped. Most of the buyback companies offer prepaid shipping labels too, so there aren’t any costs associated with this. http://www.bookscouter.com

 

  1. ESPN Streak for the Cash Think you know sports? The ESPN Streak for the Cash app will let you make predictions for upcoming games and then reward you with cash if you have the longest streak of correct predictions. To make it tougher, you have to make call for 10 different sports. The person with the longest winning streak earns $50,000 every month. Pretty sweet! http://streak.espn.go.com/en/

 

10. Mobee Have you ever tried mystery shopping? The Mobee app will pay you to go undercover in your local stores and restaurants and rate the level of customer service and cleanliness, among other things. http://www.mobeeapp.com/

 

11.  SlideJoy & 12. ScreenPay Both SlideJoy and ScreenPay operate on the same principal – download their app and they will serve ads on your smartphone’s lock screen. For this, you get paid a monthly stipend.

The SlideJoy app doesn’t specify how much you earn (it’s based off how often you look at your phone), but the ScreenPay app will pay you a flat fee of $3 a month, plus they’ll give you $1 just for signup up. These are both Android apps, so they won’t work on your iPhone or Blackberry. https://www.getslidejoy.com/ http://www.screenpay.com/

 

Special Thanks to ThePennyHoarder.com for this list of mobile apps

Did You Get A Drone For Christmas

If so, the FAA has launched campaign targeting you as a rookie drone pilots Drones are no longer high priced specialty item, they come in all shapes and sizes. From affordable film-quality options to toy-sized mini versions now most anyone can own one. Drones have become cheap, fun, and easy enough to control that they make good gifts for any holiday season. But that means that where tech-savvy families would have had to remember to wrap batteries alongside holiday gifts, now they need to worry about Federal Aviation Administration flight regulations.

Thanks to the massive rise of consumer drones, the FAA released a video this week that proposes best practices to help people “stay off the naughty list” as they play with their airborne gifts. The “Know Before You Fly” video is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF5Q9JvBhxM

It’s safe to say drones were one of the hottest topics in 2014. “Drone porn” became a thing, and the FAA spent so much time going back and forth on how to regulate them that we might not have regulations until 2017. So it’s no surprise that the issue of privacy is actually on a lot of people’s minds:

If you were gifted a drone for Christmas, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has you in its sights. It may not be in the form of long-awaited laws for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that are due later this year, but is a campaign directed at rookie pilots whose expertise may be outstripped by their unbridled enthusiasm.

With the increasing availability of cheap and feature-packed drones, these aircraft have become an aviation concern. The danger is the potential for swarms of drones taking to skies across the US, controlled by people who mightn’t have such a great handle on how to use them.

The FAA is continuing to work away on new regulations to keep all these flying vehicles in check, but in the meantime it has teamed up with UAV organizations and hobby groups to launch Know Before You Fly, a public awareness campaign promoting its already existing rules. Primarily, this means keeping the drone within sight, not flying it over 400 ft (122 m), conducting routine inspections of the craft, keeping clear of manned aircraft and notifying airports or control towers if flying within 5 miles (8 km).

The FAA has also attracted criticism for its slow progress in revamping rules for what is a new era in unmanned flight. It remains illegal to fly UAVs for commercial purposes unless granted permission from the agency, a roadblock that has seen some private firms promise to take their operations overseas.

But Know Before You Fly is at least an acknowledgement of the sharp uptake in the number of drones taking to the skies and expresses a desire to inform and cooperate with budding pilots. The campaign will incorporate a website, educational materials offered at the point-of-sale, along with digital and social media campaigns.

 

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the interconnection of uniquely identifiable embedded computing devices within the existing Internet infrastructure. Typically, IoT is expected to offer advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services that goes beyond machine-to-machine communications (M2M) and covers a variety of protocols, domains, and applications. The interconnection of these embedded devices (including smart objects), is expected to usher in automation in nearly all fields, while also enabling advanced applications like a Smart Grid.

Things, in the Internet of Things, refers to a wide variety of devices such as heart monitoring implants, biochip transponders on farm animals, automobiles with built-in sensors, or field operation devices that assist fire-fighters in search and rescue. Current retail market examples include the NEST Smart Thermostat systems and washer/dryers that utilize wifi for remote monitoring.

According to Gartner, there will be nearly 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020. ABI Research estimates that more than 30 billion devices will be wirelessly connected to the Internet of Things (Internet of Everything) by 2020.

Integration with the Internet implies that devices will utilize an IP address as a unique identifier. However, due to the limited address space of IPv4 (which allows for 4.3 billion unique addresses), objects in the IoT will have to use IPv6 to accommodate the extremely large address space required. Objects in the IoT will not only be devices with sensory capabilities, but also provide actuation capabilities like light bulbs or locks controlled over the Internet).

So now let’s talk about what is sure to be the Internet of STUPID Things. It’s not that I don’t believe we shouldn’t be connecting more devices in the future, it’s just that this “Thing” is already being overdone with devices that have no real advantage to being connected to the internet.

Let’s take the light bulb. Even Mark Cuban of Shark Tank invested in a company making $90 light bulbs that dim and turn on with a smart phone app. Do we really need our light bulbs to have their own IP addresses so we can manage them from our cell phones? Most of us spend too much time looking at our cell phones as it is. And if texting and driving is a problem today – how about driving and adjusting the lights and the thermostat as you get closer to home.

Another “stupid” thing… connected toilets? Smart toilets sell for around $6,000 and believe it or not – hackers have already developed the means to hack them. I don’t really want to go there so I’ll let you search for it online – but don’t use Google to search because it’s tracking and cataloging all this stuff and everyone’s searches. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, use DuckDuckGo.com to search because they don’t track your searches.

How about connected waste barrels? Municipalities have been trying for decades to figure out when a barrel is full so they can empty it. With the Internet of Stupid Things – we’ll be able to send out trash trucks to empty each individual waste receptacle as they ping the servers saying they’re full. Sounds like a lot of trash to me…

Another stupid IoT is the Internet-enabled diaper. Even though I just became a proud, first time Grandfather, this seems really stupid to me… but then again, who wants to walk around with a load in their pants. I’m guessing this IoT will become a wonderful baby shower gift in the future.

We’ll also have connected refrigerators that email you when an item is running low as well as track when and for how long the door was opened last, pill bottles that flash when you don’t take your meds and connected slippers that radio back to a web server somewhere a person’s stability when walking in them.

I’m not convinced that connected light bulbs will take the world by storm because the old fashioned electrical switch still works, so does jiggling the handle on my toilet. And when one needs to check a diaper, your nose still works just fine.

The real winner with all these stupid things connected on the internet. As you might have guessed – Google – who will have a field day tracking everything we do and selling data and advertising around it.

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