Surfing Through the Internet of Things

WeMo Slow cooker - Internet of Things

There has been a lot of talk about the “Internet of Things” (IoT) for a couple of years. What it means is that more and more of our lives, and the things we use, are being connected to the Internet. Everything from stoves to microwaves, coffee makers to refrigerators is getting an Internet connection these days.

Internet of Things x 7

Just for fun, let’s take a look of some of the cooler connected things we can play with — ummm — I mean, make use of — during our busy lives.

Grill by Voice: Lynx Grill

Everybody loves a good grill. The smoke, the smell — they evoke memories of cookouts and holiday barbecues. However, the Lynx Concept Grill takes the BBQ grill into the 21st century. The Lynx Grill is voice activated, so all you have to do is tell it what you’re cooking and how you want it cooked. The grill does the rest. It turns itself on and monitors temperature. When the food is done, a message is sent to your mobile device or an audible alert is sounded.

It’ll even point out when and where to place items on the grill, so that different foods can be cooked at the same time and they all come out at the same time. For safety, the grill shuts off automatically, if it doesn’t receive any commands for 30 minutes. The Lynx Concept Grill will be available in the U.S. in 2015.

Organic LED Table Lamp from LG

There isn’t much information available about this one yet, but it uses an organic light emitting diode (OLED) instead of a traditional bulb or LED. The structure of the OLED used in the LG OLED Table Lamp allows it to be formed into a sheet, instead of traditional light bulb style. This one comes with an Android or iOS app that allows you to control the lamp from your mobile device using a Bluetooth connection. This lamp is stylish, so it will fit into most décor styles.

Change Lighting Colors Using Your Smartphone

Some might say this Internet of Things has gone a little too far, putting an Internet-connected computer in almost everything in the house. To an extent, I’d have to agree, but how about two light bulbs that allow you to stream audio from your mobile device to them, as speakers, and the beat of the music causes the bulbs to change colors? Imagine the fun that can be had! The app also has special effects modes that let you control the mood through the use of color. AirBulb Color is a Kickstarter program that has almost reached their initial funding goal.

Control Your UV Exposure with JUNE by Netatmo

Ultraviolet light is beneficial and harmful at the same time. Just enough and you remain healthy and happy — too much and you don’t. Without monitoring the color of your skin constantly, how can you remember to apply more sunscreen or get out of the sun? JUNE by Netatmo is a stylish bracelet that monitors your UV exposure and sends an alert to your iPhone or iPad to inform you that you’ve reached your sun exposure limit for the day. It also tracks cumulative exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays.

High Tech Bulbs

Philips is the leader in the category of smart light bulbs.Their Hue Lux product line connects to a mobile app and lets you control brightness and power from a smartphone app. LG also has a few smart bulbs, besides the Table Lamp mentioned above.

WeMo Wi-Fi Slow Cooker from Belkin

Last year, I wrote about the Belkin WeMo home automation system and components. Well, they’ve added to that product line. Knowing that we love our crock pots, and how difficult it can be to cook using them during the week, Belkin has created the WeMo Connected Crock Pot Slow Cooker with Wi-Fi. Later this year, you’ll be able to fill the crock pot and turn it on in the morning before leaving for work and use the mobile app to control the cooking time and temperature over the Internet.

A Touchscreen Deadbolt?

I also wrote about the Z-Wave protocol and how there were almost 200 manufacturers creating devices that use the protocol, last year. Yale has joined that group of manufacturers with their Real Living™ Touchscreen Deadbolt. Lock and unlock your doors from just about anywhere using the mobile app, or tap the correct code into the touchscreen keypad. If you’ve gone the other way and started to adopt ZigBee as your home automation protocol of choice, never fear, because Yale has also made a ZigBee version of this deadbolt.

The Internet of Things has found its way into nearly every bedroom in your house, and while more technology usually means more cost — it also means more efficient energy and more time for you to do other things.