We’ve been talking about the Internet of things for years now and how these connected devices are going to change our world. Well a company out of Silicon Valley are working on some tiny computers that fit in your hand. After speaking at PARC (Palo Alto Research Center, Robert Scoble was approached by CEO of Iota, Jeremy Walker, who produced a fist full of new small computers.
These things don’t just have their own ARM processor on them, but a radio and some memory as well, along with a couple of sensors. They are coming in 2014 to enable new kinds of “things.” What kinds of things? Well, your shirt might have a computer built into it in the future.
Walker says that they already have the ability to generate power by movement or through solar power, although the generator would be separate. While a computer / mega sensor of this size is technically impressive, Walker went on to say that prototypes coming in 2015 were less than half the size of the ones in the photo. With computers this small, the possibilities to add intelligence to even the smallest devices becomes possible and hopefully cheap.
We are about to head into 2014 and where are the smart fridges, washing machines, dish washers, microwaves, lawn mowers that talk to each other? Most of these ideas remain in the conceptual stage and rarely make it to commericalisation. What happens when you leave your house on Monday morning at 8am and your devices know its time to go into clean mode and after a long day of suffering from Mondayitis, you come home to a clean house. You’ll have the intelligent devices that co-ordinated in a sequence that permitted the successful completion of duties in the required timeframe without you having to program a thing.
Think of the manager of a mine, what they do is outline their intentions, then intelligent staff below them go and take care of the job, then the boss is notified when the task is complete. The actual work done by the boss is minimal to have a large overall outcome. Now think of those staff members as your devices working together to achieve a goal and reducing the work you need to do, the future starts to sound awesome!
So it looks like the hardware side of the connected miniature device will be solved by Iota Computing (or their competitors), so the real focus should now turn to the software layer. Having devices talk to each other and share data to create a truly connected and smart world can only be done if solutions are built on standards. This means APIs supporting all modern languages to enable developers to build creative solutions with that data.