“By 2015, more people will access the Internet from mobile devices than from conventional PCs. A year later, in 2016, 19 billion devices and gizmos will be connected to the mobile Internet — not just your smartphone and tablet, but your washing machine, cars and clothes will be connected too,” writes David Goldman at the start of his June article for CNN Money. While this is an article about Cisco wrestling with the explosion of mobile devices, and soon billions of new devices connected to the internet, only hints at the groundswell of research, investment, startups and established companies staking their claim in this new, emerging category.
What is that category? The Internet of Things or “IoT”.
Though there are many definitions of IoT in this new space of smart sensors, hub devices and software to control and analyze their output, rather than try to look at the entire universe of possibilities, instead think of IoT as internet-connected physical and virtual ‘things’ which have identities, physical attributes, and virtual personalities which use intelligent interfaces for we dumber, slower humans to set them up and make do our bidding. Fortunately we have this other ‘thing’ called the internet connecting them all and, with most of us enjoying broadband connections and Wifi in our homes, the timing is perfect for a smart, strong consumer play to hit the market.
What is that smart play? SmartThings. While their Kickstarter page hints at the devices they’ll ship this year, the developer kits for creation of hardware and software (little apps that will ‘plug in’ to SmartThings itself) demonstrates that their vision for SmartThings is MUCH MORE than simply a set of devices and a single app. The big hairy goal is to deliver a platform for SmartThings, one which other entrepreneurs, established companies and ‘makers’ will use when they create sensors, control devices and who-knows-what-else to leverage the SmartThings’ hub once it is in a home.
I was fortunate to interview one of the founders of SmartThings, Ben Edwards, about their Kickstarter project LAST WEEK (yes, it took many extra days for Kickstarter to approve the project and launch it) and, since the project went live THREE DAYS AGO they are nearly at $200,000 of their $250,000 goal!
You will like their vision and their plans. It’s a big idea, thought through deeply, and I think you’ll be surprised once you dig in to it.
Here is a quick overview from Eric Shute at Mashable about the project:
(The lion’s share of this post was published by me — along with an audio interview with Ben — right here at my sister site Minnov8.com)
UPDATE SUNDAY, AUGUST 26TH: SmartThings’ Kickstarter campaign broke through their $250k goal today LESS THAN 4 DAYS AFTER IT LAUNCHED!