The newspaper Ara is one of the newest newspapers in Catalonia. Every sunday there is a special magazine focused on new technologies and entrepreneurship. Last week, they interviewed our founder Marc Pous.
theThings.IO at the ARA newspaper
Translation in English
Marc Pous is a computer engineer and since some years ago he has been involved on the Internet of Things research scenario. That means, how to connect quotidian objects around us to the Internet and how people interact with them.
“The costs to make processors have decreased a lot and today is much easier to integrate computers inside objects: from watches, glasses, bikes or even plants at home”, says Pous, born in Barcelona. “One thing is to manage three or four mobile applications to interact these gadgets, but when we will have 30 or 40 gadgets connected to the Internet it will be much more complicated”, add the entrepreneur.
In June, Pous created the company Next Big Thing Labs SL with the goal to launch the platform thethings.iO, a kind of social network where users will be able to add and manage the information generated by their gadgets in real-time. “For example, if you run, the running application will share the running information with your scale; you also will be able to turn off your lights from your mobile device or see when do you need to water your plants”, says.
The Next Big Thing Labs team is composed by three people. They are looking for 150.000€ as an investment to make a strong development team during the next years. “We want to lead the Internet of Things from Barcelona”, says Pous. The beta version will be available at the end of the year.
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On Saturday, we showed how to connect objects to the Internet using Arduinos and Ethernet Shielts. With the Arduino we were pushing real-time air quality data (with a hacked Air Quality Egg: temperature, humidity, NO2, CO) to Cosm and poll real-time data and embedded that data using D3.js in a map.
Actuators ready to hack chairs
On Sunday, we wanted to show everyone how to connect a chair to the Internet. Sadly, the Wifi at the event went down so we were unable to show off our connected chair, but don’t worry we will explain the use and purpose of the connected chair in a later post.
All around though it was a great event to introduce the Internet of Things and what thethings.iO really is.
Jan Chipchase wrote a post where he talked about how some of his Internet-connected devices made him feel guilty when he wasn’t using them anymore. The purpose of this post was triggered by an email from Twine telling him that he wasn’t using his Twine enough.
This type of email is one demonstration of the new source of data generated by the Internet of Things. Most companies are becoming interested in the amount of usage of your device. They want to know where you use your things, when, why, what you are doing when you are using this thing, how many times, and what things you use together.
Canon EOS 500D (Flickr by sindykids)
These companies want to gain an understanding on how we use our devices and therefore will try to market us better from that understanding. For example, imagine that you have a Cannon EOS 500D, a basic camera, but imagine that Cannon could know that you have a normal zoom lent and you have been taking several photos with zoom. With the Internet of Things, this is possible and advertisement will be more focused on what you do and how you do it. Thus, privacy will be more and more complicated with Internet-connected objects around.
At thethings.IO we believe that data made from users is user’s data. Therefore, users have the right to own their own data and give access to this data to third parties which will receive ads and coupons.
The Good Night Lamp at CES 2013 (by todbot at Flickr)
Experts says that Quantified Self has been the guest star at CES 2013 because they create a lot of expectations with HAPIFork, Fitbit, Jawbone and Withing among other interesting companies.
The Mobile World Congress 2013 at Barcelona
In our opinion, the star of this conference was the Internet connected coffee machines. With an unclear use of companies defended the product saying that people do not want to wait to have coffee prepared when they go to the machine. A coffee takes thirty seconds to one minute to prepare through a machine.
The Cisco coffee machine connected to the Internet
The engineering solution for coffee machines were very intriguing.
On the other hand, the stackable pieces of plastic are ready to send the real-time information to the Telefonica cloud servers.
Thinking things by Telefonica I+D
At the SMA Connected Cities booth, Jordi Corominas was presenting Ecooltra, an electric motorbike connected to the Internet. The system lets the users rent a motorbike using their mobile devices. Then, they could use NFC to start the motorbike at the Ecooltra parkings.
We were very excited to have this opportunity to join in on this conference. We hope that thethings.iO will help users improve the ability to interact with their Internet connected objects through our dashboard.
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