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7 Ways the Internet of Things Will Change Driving Forever

7 Ways the Internet of Things Will Change Driving Forever

If you’ve been anywhere near the news lately, the invention of the “smart car” is nothing new to you. What might be new, however, is the technology that makes a car “smart.” See, cars aren’t becoming “self-aware, autonomous machines” in the same way that Optimus Prime is. That’s because smart cars are dependent on a lot more than just their own computers to function properly.

Sure, Elon Musk has announced that the self-driving car is ready ahead of regulators, and, to boot, the Uber’s made the world’s first autonomous delivery in a truck – but there’s a lot more to the saga than just one or two cars that can drive themselves.

What makes smart cars truly “smart” is their ability to connect to the growing Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT includes your smartphones and is expanding to include refrigerators, watches, and now  cars. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, more than 250 million vehicles will be connected globally, with the number of installed connectivity units in vehicles worldwide increasing by 67 percent and consumer spend on in-vehicle connectivity doubling. So how exactly will the IoT change driving?

1. Cars Will Become the Ultimate Mobile Device

tesla_model_s_digital_panels
    Tesla Model S interface

    For cars to truly integrate into the IoT, they’ll need to operate in a fashion similar to smartphones.

    Deloitte’s consumer research suggests “that drivers of the next generation want their cars to act as smartphones on wheels, like to remain connected and productive while on the go, consider fully connected vehicles among the most beneficial futuristic technologies, and are ready to pay a sizeable amount for a vehicle that meets all their technology needs and wants.”

    What that means is that Siri, Alexa, and Cortana may become your regular co-pilots as the line between smartphone and smart car becomes blurred. SAS thinks that the future of smart cars will be dominated by them talking to you, with questions like:

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    • “You’ve been driving for four hours and it’s past 9 p.m. A hotel five miles from here has rooms available. Would you like me to reserve a room and guide you there?”
    • “Your friends Jeff and Kelly are at a restaurant around the corner. Would you like to call them? Would you like me to navigate you to your friends?”
    • “Traffic between here and home is moving slow and your brakes need service. I can get you a service appointment with a highly rated dealer in five minutes. Would you like me to make the service appointment and drive you there?”

    Welcome to the future where smartphones have wheels.

    2. Computer Companies Will Become Car Companies

    google_self_driving_car_at_the_googleplex
      Google’s self-driving car at the Googleplex

      … and vice/versa. At the very least, the partnerships will grow immeasurably stronger. As cars slowly transition into smartphones on wheels, it helps to remember that smartphones are basically just pocket-computers. The same way that companies traditionally existing in the computer realm moved on to smartphones, it really didn’t surprise anybody that Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple, Nvidia, and many other computer companies began staking their claims in the automotive industry.

      However, the reverse is also true. At the same time automakers like Ford are setting up offices in places like Palo Alto, CA, tech companies are heading to Detroit to better understand and collaborate with the auto industry. At the end of the day, it sounds like the computer companies will be more successful.

      “Apple and Google will to a large extent take away most of the business from automakers through cloud-based services over time,” says Egil Juliussen, research director at IHS Automotive.

      As nearly everything succumbs to the IoT, expect even more computer companies to infiltrate tangential industries.

      3. Driving Will Be Faster and Greener

      ig4fa9md
        Some day, you’ll never have to deal with this. Ever.

        One of the best parts about the IoT is that the amount of time we spend on the road will be cut drastically. It’s been reported that British drivers spend around 30 hours per year in traffic jams, while Germans spend about 35 hours. On the other side of the pond, in the U.S., it’s estimated that 30 percent of traffic congestion in some areas is caused by people looking for a place to park, while the national annual cost of traffic congestion is $87.2 billion in wasted fuel and productivity. Yikes.

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        Fortunately, new innovations in not just cars, but also in traffic fixtures will allow us to cut down on drive and idle time, meaning quicker rides and a greener planet for everybody. Ahmed Farrag over at ASmarterPlanet.com explains how IBM software, reading information from sensors embedded in the smartcar and the city surrounding it, will be able to:

        • Consolidate traffic data from different sources.
        • Analyze traffic information to provide near-real-time insights.
        • Monitor traffic operations and incidents.
        • Support the storage and presentation of geographic information systems.

        With this information, you could create optimal traffic patterns where cars never have to wait in red lights or look for parking again. Plus one for speed!

        4. Driving Will Become Undeniably Safer

        dummies
          You’ll never have to feel like these guys again…

          Even though we’ll be getting everywhere much faster, the fact that all cars will be connected with the Internet, and, eventually, one another, means unparalleled levels of safety. What some are calling a new era or crash prevention has seen “historic commitments” by automakers to create safer vehicles. In Europe, this growth is fueled by legislative initiatives, with new mandates for manufacturers to fit all cars with an eCall-equipped chip by 2018 that will automatically contact the nearest emergency centre in case of a collision.

          Even further down the road, automobiles will even communicate with one another, like a network or a “hive mind”, meaning that they will be able to predict and avoid more crashes than a human being, or even a non-networked self-driving car, could. The only problem comes in the form of a question… if accidents do occur, who will be responsible since nobody is driving? Industry experts tell us that we’ll just have to wait and see.

          5. People Will Lose Jobs

          510px-unemployed_man_-_exhibitor_at_apexpo_2010_012
            When life gives you lemons…

            Unfortunately, while fewer people will be in distress from accidents and injuries, many more will be out of jobs connected to driving services. A Los Angeles Times op-ed reports that autonomous vehicles could cost America 5 million jobs, due to the fact that they are safer, faster, and more efficient.

            IoT-connected vehicles never show up drunk, tired, or late, to work and safety on-the-job would go through the roof to boot. The CDC reports that motor vehicle accidents in the workplace are the leading cause of death for employees in the U.S., with approximately 2,000 worker deaths from accidents caused by moving vehicles. So that’s a plus. Don’t worry, there’s more good news…

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            6. People Will Gain Jobs

            Even though some will be losing jobs, there will be plenty more jobs opening up. Think about it this way. When the Industrial Revolution occurred, it meant that individual craftsmen would be replaced by machines. Luddites took to breaking these machines, like looms, printing presses, etc., fearing that automation and machinery would leave the whole world jobless, essentially.

            However, if we look at the history of the loom, the cotton gin, the printer – all these inventions share in common that they automated processes and eliminated certain jobs, while creating entirely new ones in new industries. The IoT and its relation to driving is no different.

            Technische Hochschule Aachen Rechenzentrum

              While the world may need fewer professional drivers, the IoT will be creating the need for millions of coders and developers by 2020. This is backed by the current reality that about half of the high-paying jobs in America now require coding as skill, as well as increased enrollment and interest in online only programs like Codecademy and DeVry Bootcamp.

              On top of that, a report from job market analytics firm Burning Glass, showed that seven million job openings in 2015 were in occupations that required coding skills, while programming jobs overall are growing 12% faster than the market average. Don’t let the scare tactics get you – the future of the job market is bright.

              7. Cars May Become Cheaper, Ridesharing Encouraged

              While it’s somewhat of an anomaly when prices on products drop, you can bet that the cost of car ownership will too. The average American pays about $1800 a year on car insurance, the cost of which would certainly go down, and possibly even disappear once IoT-safety reigns on the roads. Some are even saying traditional car ownership could be challenged, as scheduling could allow multiple people to own the same car, which would drive one owner to its location autonomously, and then depart to pick up its second owner.

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              The process could continue indefinitely if the schedule allows… owners might even be able to make money by “leasing” or putting their car up for ridesharing, say, when they’re at work, or even when they’re asleep. You might even be able to make money from already-rising trends like affiliate location based marketing, where your car would display ads for coupons (like modern taxis do), and where you would make money based off of coupon codes people used.

              Not only may your car become less expensive, but you could even make money off of it!

              Portrait
                Sharing is caring!

                We truly are at a crossroads when it comes to automobiles in the world. In another 10 years, driving may look completely different, with far more cars on the road, but far fewer drivers. Buckle up, because the Internet of Things is going to take us for a ride!

                Featured photo credit: DimiTVP via commons.wikimedia.org

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                Andrew Heikkila

                Owner-Operator of Earthlings Entertainmnet

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                Published on November 19, 2020

                15 Great Macbook Accessories To Improve Productivity

                15 Great Macbook Accessories To Improve Productivity

                When looking to improve your workflow, you need to have a proper computer. And one of the most appealing computers out there is macbooks. These sleek transportable computers allow you to work anywhere at any time and provide a lot of functionality to their users.

                But sometimes, that’s not enough. In so many cases, you’re looking for more.

                While you could go for some productivity apps, there are actually a lot of macbook accessories available that will make your life easier in many ways. These extra accessories will allow your macbook to charge faster, hold more data, or keep it safe and protected while you travel around.

                Beyond that, there is a wide variety of accessories to pick from as many companies have jumped onto the bandwagon of supply to macbook users. Below we’ve listed off some of the greatest macbook accessories that’ll benefit your computer.

                What Makes For Great Macbook Accessories?

                Before getting into the list, we wanted to go over the criteria for what makes for great macbook accessories. The items that we’ve picked from this list will have the following criteria:

                • Reasonably priced – Accessories themselves shouldn’t break the bank compared to the large initial investment of a macbook.
                • Usability – All these accessories are practical in various situations, however, they also have extra features that make them useful in a few situations beyond their obvious functions.
                • Compact – Workflow is also about space in most circumstances. As such, anything that’s too bulky doesn’t help much. These accessories are either large on purpose – for storage of other items – or are nice and compact so they won’t get in the way.

                A USB Drive To Store Files Quickly Without Accessing The Cloud

                  While you can always access the Cloud at any time, sometimes accessibility can be cumbersome or it takes time. Instead of trying to access files that way, getting a USB flash drive can save you plenty of time. Especially if your work entails providing presentations.

                  The SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive is great as it offers USB-C and USB-A connectors allowing you to plug into virtually any device and transfer files and more between computers. Also, USB drives boast several hundred gigabytes these days making them solid storage devices.

                  Buy SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive here.

                  Compact Charger That Does More Than Charge

                    Your default charger that comes with your MacBook is a good option for a charger, but these days chargers can offer so much more. This can help you speed up your workflow as you can be charging other devices or using the charger for other uses beyond charging.

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                    In the case of the Anker PowerPort charger, it is more compact than the default charger. It also offers another USB-C connector allowing you to rapidly charge another gadget with it.

                    Buy Anker PowerPort charger here.

                    Port Adapter For Those With Multiple Devices

                      One of the hard restrictions with a macbook is that it only has two USB-C ports. This is manageable for people with fewer gadgets but if you’re the kind who has several, it can interrupt your workflow if you need a particular device and you can’t charge it or access it.

                      In this situation, a port adapter from Satechi can help. It offers multiple USB-C ports allowing you to use multiple devices. This can also help in organizing cords which we know can disrupt work. If the USB-C ports aren’t enough, it also comes with an SD card reader and ethernet cable port too.

                      Buy Satechi Multi-Port Adapter here.

                      A USB Cable That Isn’t As Intrusive Or Cumbersome To Use

                      The USB-C cable that comes with Macbooks is small and is used to hook to an external monitor. By adding more length to them, you can have better cable management. One option that we found to be ideal was the Nomad Kevlar cable which offers enough length to do what you want while giving you more space to work with.

                      Buy Nomad Kevlar USB-C Cable here.

                      Screen Cleaning Your Laptop To See What You’re Doing

                      Dust, particles and splotches are to be expected on laptop screens after a while. While you can work around these, sometimes they can obscure your vision at times. The same can apply to all devices these days.

                      The only problem with many solutions on the market is that they can damage screens. Fortunately, we found a screen cleaning solution that doesn’t harm screens. ScreenDr Professional screen cleaning kit comes with a spray that’s safe for screens and an antimicrobial microfiber cloth to ensure you make the most of the spray.

                      Buy ScreenDr Professional Screen Cleaning Kit here.

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                      Card Reader That Speeds Up Photo Transfer Time

                        If you’re looking for a standalone card reader for your work, getting a device designed for photo transferring and reading is essential. One of the best macbook accessories in this category we found was the Vanja card reader.

                        This one is able to read SD and MicroSD cards while also transferring the pictures to a computer with ease thanks to its USB-C and USB 2.0 port options. It’s also small making it easy to carry around and is cheap to buy making it a great choice to pick up if you deal with plenty of pictures.

                        Buy Vanja Card Reader here.

                        Protective Sleeves To Protect Your Laptop From Harm

                        For those who are travelling the last thing that you want is your laptop to get damaged for whatever reason. Even though you’re not likely to drop it as frequently as your phone, having a sleeve for a laptop to be in can save you time.

                        One sleeve that we found interesting was the Native Union sleeves. They are made of tear-resistant material with genuine leather accents. Its interior is soft as well preventing scratches from your laptop. It also offers a pocket area where you can store cables and other macbook accessories easily.

                        Buy Native Union’s laptop sleeve here.

                        Car Charger For Charging On The Go

                          For the person always driving around, a car charger is always a helpful tool to have when you’re on the go. The one from Anker is particularly helpful in a number of ways. Not only can this charge your macbook, but it also has an additional port for you to charge your phone if needed.

                          It’s not the fastest charger out there when compared to the Macbook Pro adapter but it’s the highest in the market with an output power of 30 watts. For comparison, the second-fastest charging connector offers an output of 18 watts. Aside from that the charger has an illuminated LED ring for you to see it and the connectors late at night. It also has a function that ensures devices don’t experience surges or overheating from the charger itself.

                          Buy Anker PowerDrive car charger here.

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                          USB-C to USB-A Adapter Grants Access To Older Models

                          If your older macbook still works but has files you want that you didn’t back up that you want this makes it easier to access them. It also allows you to access devices that have USB-A slots only. This can save you a lot of time if you are moving between older and newer devices.

                          Buy Thunderbolt Adapter here.

                          A Hardshell Case For Added Protection

                          A sleeve is good for travel, but when you’re using it, having an extra layer of protection can be nice. Beyond that this hardshell case can also serve as additional protection from scratches and bumps too.

                          Buy Incase Textured Hardshell case here.

                          Alternative Sleeve For Those With Tighter Budgets But Want Protection

                            If you are looking for an appropriate laptop sleeve but aren’t looking to spend too much, AmazonBasics brands are a good alternative. Their sleeves are elegant and still offer good protection from scratches as well. It also has a few pockets for small essentials too.

                            Buy AmazonBasics laptop sleeve here.

                            A Hub That Accommodates Several Ports At Once

                            We’ve already mentioned a port before being a huge time saver thanks to it having various ports for different devices. This one is a great alternative as while it doesn’t offer as many USB-C ports, it offers more variety. Paired up with the design being the same color as the MacBook Air, it offers two USB-C connectors, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port and SD and microSD card readers.

                            Buy Satechi Type C Pro Hub here.

                            Earbuds To Deal With Fewer Headphone Cords

                              Cords are a common problem when boosting productivity at the desk and one way to mitigate them is to go wireless. If you are thinking about that, one option to consider is the Soundcore earbuds. These are cheaper than the traditional AirPods from Apple which can save you money.

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                              Furthermore, they deliver great sound and are connected via Bluetooth. The beauty of these earbuds is they can also cancel sound despite them being so compact. They also offer touch control allowing you to pause, play, skip music and answer calls.

                              Buy Soundcore Wireless Earphones here.

                              Desktop Stand To Save Desk Space

                                Desk space is another crucial part of productivity as things can get in the way and obstruct your work. In cases where you don’t need your laptop at the moment, having a stand where you can set it aside can be helpful.

                                In those situations, we recommend the Twelve South Book Arc. This neat Macbook accessor can save a tonne of space since it requires you to close your laptop in order to insert it into the stand. It also keeps it elevated from the surface which can protect it from spills

                                Buy Twelve South BookArc desktop stand here.

                                A Comfortable And Easy To Use Mouse For Faster Working Speed

                                The last of the macbook accessories we’ll talk about is a proper mouse. Logitech offers fantastic mouses and their Logitech MX Master 3 is one of the greatest wireless mouses out there. It’s ergonomic design, customizable buttons and insanely precise movement is fantastic. It also comes with a scrolling wheel for precise scrolling.

                                The battery power can last for months between charges and like all Logitech devices, it comes with a USB-C connector for charging.

                                Buy Logitech MX Master 3 Wireless Mouse here.

                                Bottom Line

                                There are many macbook accessories out there to improve your workflow. Taking the time to do research and invest in some of the best ones though will save you plenty of time, money and energy in the long term. At the same time, all of these accessories can help you with specific needs for whatever you are doing.

                                Featured photo credit: Viktor Ritsvall via unsplash.com

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