I spent $120 on lights so I could control them with my Amazon Echo

If you love something you should set it free, but if you love a connected device you should spend gobs of money adding more gadgets until you have a platform. And this week I have done just that, spending $20 on six light bulbs that I can control with my Amazon Echo. I explain how I used GE’s Link lights which work with the Philips Hue platform, which works with the Amazon Echo, to both lower my overall energy spend and add voice control to more of the lights in my home. It’s awesome.

This is my new kitchen light bulb. Purchased for $20 at Home Depot.
This is my new kitchen light bulb. Purchased for $20 at Home Depot.

After this week’s news and my lighting project I welcome Andrew Farah,CEO of Density to the show to discuss how we might count people in public places. Before y’all get too worked up, his sensors offer anonymity, and we discuss why merchants, offices, consumers and governments would be keen on getting a tally of people inside buildings. We also talk about alternatives that rely on facial recognition and how building a company that sells data is very different from building a company that sells products.

Hosts:Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel
Guests: Andrew Farah, CEO of Density

  • News about July Fourth drones, Thread and a free business idea from Kevin.
  • BP is connecting 4,000 oil wells around the world.
  • How to connected cheaper GE Link lights to your Amazon echo.
  • This startup wants to be the Waze of public spaces.
  • Another free business idea involving TVs.

What does President Obama think about the Internet of things?

The president recently made a famous podcast appearance but he didn’t talk about the internet of things. Since he has yet to offer to visit the IoT Podcast, I spoke to Darren Samuelsohn, a senior policy reporter at Politico who recently spent seven weeks trying to discover what Washington D.C. thinks about the Internet of things. The resulting series of articles is informative and little bit scary so I had Samuelsohn come on the show to share the D.C. take on all things IoT.

president_official_portrait_lores

Before we focus on the nation’s Capitol, Kevin Tofel and I debated whether Amazon just outmaneuvered Apple when it come to building the best smart home platform and discussed how connected devices are changing the insurance business. We start with the details of the Beam Technologies plan to build an insurance business around a connected toothbrush. Finally my visit to Marriott to see a connected hotel room and a follow up 5-minute review of my Ringly connected ring. Enjoy the show.

Host:Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel
Guest: Darren Samuelsohn, senior policy writer at Politico

  • Can Amazon do for the smart home, what Apple did for the smartphone?
  • New insurance business models for the internet of things.
  • Hotel rooms of the future and an update on Ringly.
  • Is legislation or regulation the way to govern the internet of things?
  • What does the president think?

Ladies love wearables and you should buy the Amazon Echo: Episode 13

This week was a big one for fans of the connected home. Amazon announced that its Siri-like personal assistant for the home is now available for anyone to buy, so Kevin Tofel and I did a fairly extensive review on the show. There’s more over at Fortune. Kevin and I also talked about the big letdown that was the Nest announcement from last week, while also introducing a new connected device called Curb that’s far more interesting for those worried about energy efficiency.

The Amazon Echo in my kitchen.
The Amazon Echo in my kitchen.

And for those less excited about devices for the home, and more pumped about gadgets for your wrist, I spoke with Aarthi Ramamurthy, the CEO and founder of Lumoid, about what wearables are hot right now and who is wearing them. Lumoid is a web site where you can go to rent wearables, drones and photo equipment, and Ramamurthy has some solid data to share about who’s buying what. Listen up to hear her describe what may be the best job in the world for a gadget lover and maybe even find your next fitness tracker.

Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel
Guest: Aarthi Ramamurthy, of Lumoid

It will soon be so cheap to add connectivity, everyone will do it

We spend a lot of our time focused on the U.S. market, but this week’s show we review an IP camera from a French company and feature Dave Friedman, the CEO of Ayla Networks, discussing the Internet of things evolution in China. Friedman discusses a recent deal his company signed to provide the back-end infrastructure that will let Chinese manufacturers connect their products to China’s WeChat social network. Friedman also offers to compelling stats on how much the cost of connectivity and cloud hosting has dropped in the last five years. Soon we’ll add connectivity to everything!

The Netatmo Camera
The Netatmo Camera

First up Kevin Tofel and I riff on the ideas from this article in Wired, which looks at the convergence of features in the big mobile operating systems and says we’ve basically come to agreement on what a smartphone should do. Kevin and I apply that same questioning to the smart home during the first half of our show talking about the role of the cloud, context and services. Then we hit some news from the Industrial Internet Consortium and analysis around HomeKit that might make the AllSeen Alliance a little worried. Finally, we review the Netatmo Welcome camera which offers facial recognition. Listen up.

Host: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel
Guests: Dave Friedman, CEO of Ayla Networks

  • Defining the essential features for the smart home
  • The industrial internet gets a new testbed
  • 5-Minute review of the Netatmo Welcome camera
  • Costs are dropping by 70 percent for connectivity and cloud services
  • China is embracing the smart home and isn’t too far behind the US

Episode 11: HomeKit certification comes at a big cost for consumers and device makers.

This week Apple disappointed the smart home aficionados at its WWDC conference by not mentioning much in the way of new HomeKit news and new devices. But Kevin Tofel and I discussed the challenges that Apple’s HomeKit partners faced trying to accommodate Apple’s security and hardware needs. This includes the Ecobee CEO’s response to criticism about his older thermostats not being upgradable to HomeKit.

The ring connected doorbell.
The ring connected doorbell.

Since we don’t have a guest this week, we spent the rest of the show discussing a new, $1,500 oven from June and what the heck is happening with Wink. The Wink platform is for sale and Quirky, the product development group that created Wink, is getting out of the manufacturing business. Finally, we cover the Ring connected doorbell in our 5-minute review segment. Despite my enthusiasm for the connected doorbell, I learned that my doorbell isn’t in the right spot on the to make the device as useful.

Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel

  • Not much HomeKit at Apple’s WWDC
  • We do get some cool watch features in the upgrade for the Apple Watch
  • Would you buy this connected oven?
  • What’s up with Wink?
  • The 5-minute review: Ring connected doorbell

Episode 10: When will connected devices get cheaper?

We now have four devices for Apple’s HomeKit and about as many slides detailing Google’s own entry into the Internet of things with its Brillo operating system and Weave communications platform. Kevin and I discuss what we know about the Google strategy and more importantly, what we don’t yet know. We also discuss some new research on the use of consumer connected devices in corporate IT networks from OpenDNS and use our 5-minute review slot to talk about the Ecobee 3 and the Lutron Caseta devices that just launched in new, HomeKit compatible versions.

Chet Pipkin Photo 1

After the break, I interview Chet Pipkin, the CEO of Belkin, which makes the WeMo line of connected devices. We talk about WeMo’s future in the connected home, why connected devices cost so darn much, and how long we can expect until our smart home experience become more automated. I also ask why my WeMo experience seems so glitchy compared to others. For all this and more, listen up.

Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel
Guest: Chet Pipkin CEO of Belkin

  • Why don’t we know more about Brillo’s details and Weave?
  • A brief interlude about corporate security
  • The 5-minute review on Lutron lighting and the Ecobee3
  • Why WeMo doesn’t always work like you want it
  • When will our connected devices get cheaper?

Please note, that after we recorded, the Ecobee folks let us know that existing Ecobee3 thermostats are not HomeKit compatible, so you would have to buy a new one.

Episode 9: How connected devices will change the way you travel

Google is about to get into the smart home with new software called Brillo that will connect devices to a router. It won’t be part of the Nest ecosystem of devices, but it will work with Nest devices, according to reports on the Google news. By the time the show airs, we should know more, but for now, we spend some time on this week’s show discussing what another major entrant means for the smart home. It’s mostly good news for consumers. Kevin and I also explore a cool Kickstarter project that will ship in July for Microduinos, tiny sensors and modules that snap to LEGOs and work with an Arduino board.

Microduino

They remind me of Little Bits, and are pretty intriguing. After we discuss that, Alarm.com’s initial public offering and a 5-minute review of Microsoft’s Cortana, since it will soon be available on both Google Android and Apple’s iOS, Jon Mann, a UX designer at Artefact, a design consultancy discusses how we can expect the internet of things to change our travel experience. We start with the smart home, but move on to Disney, air travel and hotels, since those are the venues where many people will experience the joys of a connected experience for the first time.

Click here to listen on Soundcloud.

Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel
Guest: Jon Mann, Artefact

  • Google’s rumored plans for the internet of things
  • Check out Microduinos for the LEGO-loving sensor fan in your life
  • The 5-minute review of Microsoft Cortana
  • Why closed platforms may be the best way the smart home to evolve
  • How the internet of things will refine your travel experience

Episode 8: Which devices will the internet of things drive to extinction?

Hold your books and costume jewelry close because they may not survive the connected device revolution, according to Rob Coneybeer of Shasta Ventures. In a conversation on this week’s podcast he and I had a fun conversation about what devices might disappear, what objects might stay analog and what devices get more intelligent as we embed connectivity and sensors into more things. He expanded on his thinking from an earlier blog post, and we covered a huge range of products, from the future of the kitchen to clothing and building materials.

Coneybeer provided insights not only into what he thought, but how he came to his conclusions, so anyone interested in how to divvy up the world of consumer products should listen to his segment. Before he went on, Kevin and I broke down the week’s news, which included Target’s move into the home automation space, AT&T’s big bet on the connected car and a new product from Honeywell that is straight out of the movies. Check out the video below. I kind of want one in my home. Finally, we cover out 5-minute review of a web site called SmartHomeDB that smart home lovers will want to bookmark.

Download the podcast on Soundcloud.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel
Guest: Rob Coneybeer of Shasta Ventures

  • Target clears some shelf space for the smart home and connected cars hit $1 billion in data revenue
  • The 5-minute review is of the SmartHomeDB web site
  • Rob Coneybeer describes his thinking about what devices will become smart and what will stay dumb
  • Understanding what makes us human helps determine what dumb device will stick around

Yes! The Internet of Things podcast is finally on iTunes!

The headline says it all, but for those of you who have been patiently waiting for the opportunity to subscribe to the show in iTunes, your patience has been rewarded. I finally got my feed in the proper working order and hopefully won’t have to change it anytime in the near future and force y’all to adjust it. So please, go subscribe and await the show on Thursdays, when we’ll publish new episodes for your listening pleasure.

Check out which show is new and notable!
Check out which show is new and notable!

But before you run off to subscribe, let me say thank you. It’s been a tough two months since Gigaom imploded taking the original podcast with it. I appreciate everyone who encouraged Kevin and I to continue the show, and who listened despite our lack of intro music, fancy touches, and the long wait to get the new podcast back onto iTunes. We’re slowly adding all of the glitz back into the show, and most importantly, we’re committed to making it essential listening for people who care about the internet of things.

So thank you so much for listening so far, and please let us know what you think, either by dropping us an email at info at iotpodcast.com or just by writing a review over on iTunes. I couldn’t have done this without y’all (and of course, Kevin).

Episode 7: How does a startup catch Apple’s and Comcast’s eye?

Andrew Thomas wanted to build a better doorbell, but now he’s in the enviable position of pitching his wares to Comcast’s millions of subscribers, and is an Apple HomeKit partner. The Skybell co-founder joined my on this week’s podcast to discuss how to allocate time and resources as a hardware startup and also to talk about what it feels like to get a call from Cupertino about your device. For that, thoughts on the boom in connected devices and whether there is a bubble, listen to our guest segment.

Skybellpress_image_1

But first Kevin Tofel and I share the news of NinjaBlocks’ demise and what happens when a connected hardware company goes out of business. We also discuss Samsung’s new chip family for the internet of things and introduce a new segment. We call it the 5-minute device review, and this week we start with the Myo armband, a $200, gesture-based controller you can buy on Amazon. And of course, Kevin shares his thoughts on the Apple Watch and its ability to control his new Philips Hue light bulbs.

Listen on SoundCloud here.

Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel
Guest: Andrew Thomas of Skybell

  • The death of NinjaSphere’s hub and what happens when a connected device goes down
  • Samsung’s new Artik chips for the internet of things
  • Our 5-minute gadget review on the Myo armband
  • Skybell’s Andrew Thomas on prioritizing resources as a small device startup
  • Is there a bubble in the smart home space?