IoT

Breathing easy with Amiko

As someone who lives with asthma and has taken asthma medication since before I can remember, I'm not sure the people at Amiko are solving a real problem here. Regardless, I'm interested to see where it goes and I wish they supported my inhaler. I've always wondered if I'm holding my inhaler correctly to get the right dosage of medicine. It seems like this could solve that problem. However, I've never found difficult to remember to take my inhaler. 

As always, I'm glad to see technology unobtrusively integrated into our lives to make them slightly better. Although some of the recent onslaught of this type of product feels a little awkward. I'm ready for the day when this type of tech is just integrated in to the inhaler itself—no add-on needed.

Technology for the masses like this also brings up a bigger issue. Notice that you have the option to purchase an Amiko Hub if you don't have a smartphone to sync the tracker with. Imagine how untenable our homes will get if we have a different hub for each "smart" device we own. We still have a long way to go before the infrastructure of our world is ready to accommodate an all-encompassing smart environment. 

Estimote Sticker Beacons

At Midwest UX 14 last weekend, it was really good to see so many people talking about ubiquitous computing/IoT topics. One really nice takeaway from those discussions was learning about Estimote. They make iBeacon sensors and proved dev kits to make simple apps. Their latest product is a set of 10 small stickers that act as sensors, accelerometers, and thermometers. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on these to try out in class.

A video about makers that's not about makers

The second video in Microsoft's Connecting Series (in which they only release a video every 2 years??). Not about makers really. I'm not really a fan of the over-the-top feeling of the video (they make these interactions almost seem spiritual) but I'm glad Microsoft has enough money and reach to talk about the future. I think it's naive for companies to release spec videos but in this case, they seem to be doing it to serve the community rather than themselves. At least, I hope.

...by 2025

Pew has been putting out some great reports on the future of digital life and IoT. There is definitely a scary side to the IoT. I can only imagine the reactions to statements like this:

Every part of our life will be quantifiable, and eternal, and we will answer to the community for our decisions. For example, skipping the gym will have your gym shoes auto tweet (equivalent) to the peer-to-peer health insurance network that will decide to degrade your premiums
— Laurel Papworth

We need to find ways to tell better stories about how the IoT. Especially because most of the interactions happen machine-to-machine, people only need to have a concept of how their life can be impacted. 

The biggest thing for me out of this report is that computers will disappear in the near future. I can't wait for this. That is the most exciting thing as UI designer. The "user interface" will come to mean the "visible world" not just the screen. One funny thing about wearable computers:

...wearable computing that is visible could be seen as “uncool” by 2025

Have wearable computers ever been cool? Ever seen someone wearing Glass? They're not cool. Find the full report here.