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The future of connected things

Posted: 12:21, 27 Jan 2014
by Eric
Let's start a discussion about where we think the Internet of Things is heading, without restraining ourselves. Use your imagination. Don't think about mobile devices and microcontrollers and their technical limitations. Think of computers connected to other computers. Be inspired by projects like Anki Drive or Sphero, or in a more evil aspect Terminator's Skynet (not to be confused with the Skynet IoT API). Don't think about hardware and software, think about inputs, processing and outputs, because this is essential for knowing what we need in order to build amazing connected things.

I'm getting more and more visions of Evothings or similar endeavors enabling people to create all sort of really amazing toys, in the likes of Anki Drive or Sphero. We are not simply making it easier for people to connect "mobile phones" to things, but to connect advanced computers to things. Mobile devices will become more and more powerful and the things more numerous so the total computing power continues to increase. I'm hoping people will get more interested in autonomous systems and use the technology to create smarter things. I'm tired of dumb technology because I have to spend so much time controlling and configuring it, while it should be doing that for itself while I'm having fun ;)

Re: The future of connected things

Posted: 22:15, 27 Jan 2014
by micke
Haha, the dream is of course floating orbs but since anti-grav tech is not ready for prime time yet, I will settle with a cheap quad-copter and some nifty radio chip to control it via a mobile or tablet.

A more down to earth project I am thinking about is using a mobile device to play games on a shared screen. With EvoThings Studio it easy to create these kinds of applications, since node.js is integrated, and with node-webkit you can easily open your own windows on the desktop and use as the games' playfield. Will write a tutorial about this!

Best, Micke

Re: The future of connected things

Posted: 11:54, 29 Jan 2014
by Eric
I like your idea about making it easy to create multiplayer games having a shared screen as playfield! In addition to using any mobile device as a controller, the screen on the mobile can show additional game info. Nintendo and Sony have offered a similar solution with their Wii U and PS Vita where the controller is an extension of the TV screen, but the threshold for starting developing games for these systems is substantially higher than that of (web-based/hybrid) mobile games.

I can right now imagine the lines of code enabling e.g. a clone of the game Pong being displayed on a computer running EvoThings Studio and controlled through two mobile devices' touch screens. From previous experience of using Node.js (server) and (mobile client) over WiFi, any latency would be hard to notice.

A further development of this idea is akin to Anki Drive where the virtual game objects on the screen is instead represented by physical moving objects like their AI-controlled cars. Not considering advanced autonomy/AI, radio controlled cars are nothing new but the radio units and sensors have become cheaper and smaller and so more interesting interactions between physical devices can be realised.

I think the device-to-device interactions right now are far more interesting than e.g. the device-to-cloud interactions, because the latter usually involves just pushing sensor data or e.g. light on/off commands, while the device-to-device interactions involves some autonomy. Also, the cloud seems too far away from us people, like the clouds in the sky, but the devices are close to us. I'm personally more interested in interactions that take place in front of our faces rather than at the datacenter.