Fascinated by the world of ever-evolving tech developments, Oliver Girardet worked in media and later hospitality before joining forces with his current partners and creating Device, the East London e-commerce start up dedicated to discovering and curating app enabled technology. Passionate about new tech, global travel products, and boundary-breaking innovation, we caught up with Oliver to find out about his favourite Internet of Things gadgets.
Can you briefly describe what the Internet of Things actually is?
“˜John Chambers of Cisco Systems famously said “It will be bigger than anything that’s ever been done in high tech”.
The Internet of Things is broadly speaking a whole world of inanimate objects that are being designed with built-in wireless connectivity. These objects can be monitored and controlled via apps on smartphones or tablets.’
How is this going to change our lives?
“˜It can make our lives simpler, by saving time and making us more efficient, helping us fine-tune our lifestyles to be healthier, safer and generally more aware.
Wireless thermostats like Nest or Hive can not only learn your habits and automatically set the ideal home temperature, it can also help radically reduce your costs by automatically adjusting itself and turning down heat when you’re not at home or when outside temperatures are changing (these devices are constantly checking local outside temperatures via the Internet).’
How big is the Internet of Things market and what sort of products are currently on offer?
“˜Today it’s a $1.9 trillion market but it’s expected to grow to more than $7 trillion by 2020. Products range from smartwatches by Samsung and Motorola, and fitness trackers such as Misfit and Jawbone (which are already very popular), to tracking devices like Tile and TrackR and Head-Up displays such as Navdy.’
Who are the main brands to look out for in this developing market?
“˜The big names for this market are Apple with the launch of their upcoming smartwatch, Microsoft with the new Band activity tracker, Google’s recent purchase of Nest and the launch of Google Glass, and Nike with the Nike Fuel range.
What’s terrific, however is that so many newcomers are competing with these big brands and doing a great job of it, too.’
How will it impact travellers, both for those on the road and those returning home?
“˜It will increase comfort, convenience and peace of mind for travellers. New smart carry-on cases will make sure to always stay within reach, and wireless thermostats will set the perfect temperature in your home just before you arrive after a long flight. Wireless bulbs will make sure that your house looks occupied while you’re away and can also be turned on remotely before you reach your front door.’
How do you see the Internet of Things developing over the next couple of years? How connected are we going to become?
“˜It will penetrate every facet of everyday life, changing the way we live. We will become very connected, for the better. We will be able to take the concept of ‘connected’ even further with devices such as Tile, which rely on a new approach called Crowd GPS. So while you are searching for your Tile with your phone, others with Tile App-enabled phones are helping you with your search.
The Internet of Things won’t just play a bigger part in the consumer market but will also have a big impact on all types of industries. From retail, with product and shelf sensors collecting data, through the entire supply chain, to automotive, with sensors on roads constantly communicating with cars to improve safety.’
Can you recommend five Internet of Things global travel products that are going to make our lives a little easier in 2015?
Bluesmart carry-on case: “˜a smart carry-on case that can be locked and tracked via your smartphone. It also has a built-in scale to make sure it’s approved by the airline and a battery to charge your devices.’
Tile: “˜a device that assists in finding your valuables. Attach one of these to your keys, handbags or travel bags and your smartphone will help you find them should they go missing. The Bluetooth casts a signal about 100ft away, automatically recording the last time your smartphone saw your Tile and takes advantage of Crowd GPS.’
Canary: “˜a discreet wireless home security system with various sensors, including a microphone, a siren and a camera. Motion sensors alert users to possible security breaches and sensors monitor temperature and humidity. This is a great device for added peace of mind when you are travelling.’
Bragi Dash: “˜In-ear headphones that not only feature noise cancellation but also play music, include a microphone, a heart rate monitor, and a thermometer as well as Bluetooth connectivity. Enabling you to relax on your flight while continuously checking your body vitals.’
Apple Watch: “˜This highly anticipated smartwatch will help you keep an eye on your travel itinerary, emails, text messages, flight schedules and weather. It can also control all your favourite apps including Uber, Hailo etc, all from your wrist.’
Have you tried any Internet of Things global travel products? Which new gadget is your favourite? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Tremayne Carew Pole