Internet of Things is the new buzz word around Internet circles. People are learning about new devices that are being made everyday. I recently talked to my friends Debraj and Dinesh, PhDs from Georgia State University, working with things related to the internet or Internet of Things. They introduced me to the fascinating Internet of Things and I got to test some of the apps they were building. They also introduced me to some apps that have been built by other large laboratories around the Internet. With that context, let us quickly jump to the apps.

1. Your Phone Made of Lego Like Bricks

What if your phone was made of bricks that could be replaced as needed? The possibilities are endless with such design. You could change your screen to an HD one by simply removing the current one and plugging in an HD screen. You could upgrade your phone to a better processor without rendering the old phone useless. Same applies to almost all of the hardware that is in your phone. Interestingly, it’s not a new mobile operating system or any software that does this. It’s all about the tangible parts (hardware)! This is the age of modular Smartphone blocks.  Just like Lego bricks, but only for Smartphones. This cool idea was recently presented by Phonebloks project initiative.

2. Roads that Operate to Save Energy

This is no Harry Potter stuff. We’re talking about things happening right here on planet Earth.  Internet of Things researchers are working with roads that can “mind their surroundings” (Batman anyone?). These smart roads will host cheap sensors arrays that can proactively and/or reactively turn the road lights ON only when cars are passing by. Think of the energy savings! But that’s not all! These roads will also have the technical ability to have lights powered by vehicle wind drafts and induction based on-the-go charging of electric cars, among other ambitious features.

 3. Apps for PCs to Control Appliances

We are not talking about simple apps for PCs that could simply play games meant for smartphones. While it’s cool to have Temple Run for your PC, Internet of Things goes beyond that by controlling the appliances in your home via the Internet. Think of a cold winter evening and having the ability to turn the heater on in your car or home before you step out so it can be nice and toasty when you get there.  What if a device heated the milk for your baby every time your baby felt hungry? This is all possible with a combination of technologies.

MC10

MC10 is working on wearable electronics to monitor everything about our bodies, even cosmetics. There’s also something called a, Cyber-physical-system that attaches to these devices to open up endless possibilities for developers to create exciting apps that we’ve never even thought about.

4. Ice Cubes that Text Your Friends to Play DD

Those who tends to lose control of how many drinks they had, need a way to alert their friends (or a service) when they are too drunk to drive back home. No worries though as there are now ice-cubes that will text your friends when that happens. Thanks to this neat technology by Dhairya Dand, a student at MIT media lab.

The ice cubes change colors based on how much have you been drinking to give you a visual indicator of your consumption. However, if you do not pay heed to this indicator, it will eventually text your friends (or whoever you have suggested) that you are too drunk to drive.

5. What Song to Play?

I was impressed with Shazam’s technology that told me what song was playing in the background. I never had to remember each and every song just because I wanted to hear it. Now, put that technology on steroids and you don’t need Shazam any more. Microsoft is working on ear buds that will play music based on your mood, health and situation.

The project is called Musical Heart and is undertaken by University of Virginia’s center for wireless health. It is part of the Septimu project of Microsoft.

With all these cool devices and services that were presented, it felt as though I got an amazing peek into the future and it looks absolutely amazing!

Technology is supposed to make life easier, but computers often leave people raging at their machinery. 10 Car Gadgets to Make Driving Less Stressful

Featured photo credit: bfishadow via photopin cc

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