Robert Scoble: Internet of Things Comes to the Masses

February 12, 2016

By Robert Scoble Feb. 4, 2016

Internet of Things, aka “IoT” is all the rage. You know, all these new connected things like Nest thermostats, Hue lights, digital door locks and other devices that have lights, sensors, motors or switches, along with a small computer and are connected to the Internet.

On Monday (Feb. 8), building IoT-based devices is going to get a lot easier and cheaper thanks to Particle.io.

Take a look at its new Electron cellular development kit. This $39 kit lets you build advanced prototypes – often without writing code — that connect to the Internet via cell towers. Here’s the video I shot at its headquarters earlier this week. [Requires Facebook login]

Just think of the things that are now easy to build. Farmers can try out new kinds of drone-based systems. Kids can build new kinds of weather stations. Businesses can do new things on factory lines. Very exciting.

Speaking of Internet of Things, Cisco just bought Jasper Technologies for $1.4 billion. Jasper’s IoT cards are inside GM cars, many of the world’s vending machines and most of the electronic car charging stations you see in the San Francisco area. Details on that here.

Other things I’ve been seeing this week:

I visited Menlo Ventures and had a very interesting conversation with Managing Director Venky Ganesan about meta economic trends, startups in his focus areas, marketplaces and cyber security.

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Speaking of cyber security, Observable Networks CEO Bryan Doerr came to my house and explained endpoint modeling and why this technique will help secure networks that are increasingly seeing devices brought from home, as well as IoT devices that represent new attack surfaces. That video is here.

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An in-depth look at one of the newer cameras that will be used at the Super Bowl. It’s a 36-sensor, 108-megapixel, 360-degree camera.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, Microsoft showed off another sizzle video of Hololens, but this time how it might be used in the future to watch football.


Microsoft | Imagining the future for NFL fans

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Hololens isn’t the only thing that made headlines this week. Magic Leap just collected another $800 million investment without shipping a product or having a customer.

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Glyph (credit: Avegant)

Last night I visited Avegant to get a look at its new Glyph product, which lets you watch video in private, say, while traveling on planes. This $699 device has small but sharp screens that let you watch videos, see drone camera output, play video games and work on computing tasks — all in private. Demo and discussion here.

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I visited with Techcrunch Cofounder Keith Teare at his home. We covered some video toys he’s using in his studio, but also a variety of trends in the tech industry.

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Peter Mullen showed me new conferencing service Speakeasy. This is much easier to use for conferencing than other conferencing services, particularly for mobile workers. Video demo here.

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Here’s a tour of the lab at University of Illinois where the first Tesla prototype is hanging on the wall.

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An interactive mirror at 500 Startups (the iMirror).

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Rackspace achieves AWS DevOps Competency.

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10 things to do if you’re laid off — a few friends have been laid off recently so I wrote up some tips that got a lot of praise over on LinkedIn.

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Lily camera drone (credit: Lily)

Lily Drone update. Separately, here’s a drone that can swim.

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Check out this VR game: Budget Cuts. Who said VR is anti social?

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Rackspace sponsored my talk “Beyond Mobile” in Blacksburg, Virginia, and now the video and slides are up here.

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A look at the tech behind Star Wars.

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Card Aisle, great idea for Valentine’s Day: a vending machine for greeting cards.

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I’m honored that out of thousands of technology writers, I’m #4 on the list of most followed by other technology writers.

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If this isn’t enough new technology and trends for you, JD Meier shared with me the most complete list I’ve seen so far in 2016 of the stuff on the bleeding edge.

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As a Rackspace futurist, I keep my finger on the pulse of Silicon Valley and global trends, to offer insights into what’s coming next in tech and why it’s important to you. Since 2009, I’ve traveled near and far, meeting with startups, innovative companies and visionaries, as well as evangelizing the Rackspace managed cloud story.

I read all my email at scoble@rackspace.com and anything done in response to this newsletter goes to the top of my inbox. I’m also at +1-425-205-1921 or on Facebook.

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And props to Hugh Macleod and team for creating art each week. Find more at http://www.gapingvoid.com/.