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Integration of AI, IoT and Big Data: The Intelligent Assistant

Five years ago, I wrote a post on this blog disparaging the state of the Internet of Things/home automation market as a “Tower of Proprietary Babble.” Vendors of many different home and industrial product offerings were literally speaking different languages, making their products inoperable with other complementary products from other vendors.  The market was being constrained by its immaturity and a failure to grasp the importance of open standards. A 2017 Verizon report concluded that “an absence of industry-wide standards…represented greater than 50% of executives concerns about IoT. Today I can report that finally, the solutions and technologies are beginning to come together, albeit still slowly. 

Internet of Things

Vancouver company Energy Aware making Big Waves in Internet of Things

I met today with Ali Kashani and Janice (pronounced “Janeece”) Cheam of Energy Aware in their offices in Chinatown, East Vancouver. Ali is a UBC Vancouver Engineering Ph.D, and Janice is a Sauder “BComm” graduate. Together, they are the brains behind Energy Aware’s novel approach to the “hairball” of the Internet of Things. I began our meeting as a skeptic, and came away impressed with their approach, their market savvy, their chemistry as a team, and the big name partners they have already attracted.

RFID

ZigBee wants to be the Bluetooth of the Internet of Things. Too bad everyone hates it.

ZigBee is fighting for its place in the internet of things against Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy and Z-wave. It has to overcome fragmentation, sneak into user’s homes and keep Bluetooth at bay. Can it do all three.
Poor ZigBee. As a wireless standard, it has long faced an identity crisis that pitted it against Wi-Fi in the home and proprietary standards or Bluetooth for low-data rates. But as companies such as Comcast embrace the connected home and thanks to anacquisition last year, the standard could get its day in the sun and a place in the home.

Smart meter

More On The Tower of Babbling Things: Honeywell Smart Thermostat

This article from Gigaom serves to further underscore The Tower of Babbling Things….Competitors battling each other over control of The Internet of Things over the means, methods and, most importantly, the dozens of competing data communication protocols. Honeywell has now entered the battle, realizing the a number of small, entrepreneurial startups are eroding their market for traditional thermostats. Previous to this development, Intel and others had promoted the concept of home tabletop display consoles for energy efficiency management. The display console concept is now officially dead, as reported in the Gigaom post. Recently, Gigaom also showcased three competing home automation systems, all of which were “closed” proprietary systems.

Smart meter

The Internet of Things: The Promise Versus the Tower of Babbling Things

The term “Internet of Things” is being loosely tossed around in the media. But what does it mean? It means simply that data communication like the Internet, but not necessarily Internet Protocol packets is emerging for all manner of “things” in the home: light switches, lighting devices, thermostats, door locks, window shades, kitchen appliances, washers & dryers, home audio and video equipment, even pet food dispensers. You get the idea. All of this communication occurs autonomously, without human intervention. The communication can be between and among these devices, so called machine to machine or M2M. The data communication can also terminate in a home compute server where the information can be made available to the homeowner to intervene remotely from their smart mobile phone or any other remote Internet connected device.

Wifi

Google's "Loon Balloon" Internet Feels Like A Kiwi #8 Wire Project

At an absolute minimum, Google has scored a PR coup with their blog announcement of “Project Loon,” a trial of Internet Wifi via balloons floating in the stratosphere over New Zealand. You may have already seen, heard or read about this, as the story has appeared in much of the mainstream media, albeit without much journalistic scrutiny. The Loon project has also been covered extensively in the tech “blogosphere” (pun intended). From my reading, only very few journalists have delved into the devil of the details, and asked serious questions, which remain largely unanswered. It is probably not in Google’s best interest to say too much more, as they have already favorably established the Loon Project in the media. The Kiwi’s have a term for this kind of project. They are known in New Zealand as “#8 Wire” projects. Read on and I will explain.

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