Tag Archives: smart devices

There will be 6.4 billion connected devices by next year

By 2016, 5.5 million things will become connected to the Internet each day.

Just in case you needed any more validation that the Internet of Things has arrived, get ready for several billion smart objects in our world by as early as next year. According to Gartner, the number of devices connected to the Internet is actually expected to exceed 6.4 BILLION come the end of 2016. This mind-blowing figure represents a 30% increase from 2015, and is projected to continuing rising to 20.8 billion by 2020.


To put this number into perspective, 5.5 million new “things” will become connected every day. As a result, the growing IoT will support total services spending of $235 billion in 2016, up 22% from 2015. Beyond that, Gartner anticipates most of that money will be spent on what it calls the “professional category” — services in which businesses contract with external providers in order to design, install and operate intelligent systems. At the same time, both “connectivity services” and “consumer services” are also expected to grow at an exceptionally fast pace.

“IoT services are the real driver of value in IoT, and increasing attention is being focused on new services by end-user organisations and vendors,” Gartner VP Jim Tully explains.

Aside from connected cars, Gartner believes that consumer applications will account for the greatest number of smart gadgets, while enterprise will account for the largest spending. The analyst firm estimates that four billion connected things will be in use in the consumer sector next year, and will hit 13.5 billion over the next five years.

In terms of hardware spending, consumer applications will amount to $546 billion in 2016, while the use of connected things in the enterprise will drive $868 billion in 2016.


When examining the enterprise computing segment, Gartner says it considers two classes of connected things. The first class consists of generic or cross-industry devices that are used in multiple industries, such as smart light bulbs, HVAC and building management systems that are mainly deployed for purposes of cost savings. Meanwhile, the second class includes vertical-specific machines that are found in particular industries, like specializes equipment used in hospital operating theaters and tracking devices in container ships.

“Connected things for specialised use are currently the largest category, however, this is quickly changing with the increased use of generic devices. By 2020, cross-industry devices will dominate the number of connected things used in the enterprise,” Tully adds.

Flosstime is the world’s first smart floss dispenser

What a flossome idea to improve oral hygiene!

Did you know that nearly 80 percent of people don’t floss their teeth? Even though you’ve been told countless times how important it was to do so, you probably tune out the dentist whenever he or she starts lecturing about it. For some reason, it’s a task that’s difficult to incorporate into your morning and nighttime routine, whether that’s because it’s time-consuming or just one more thing you “have to do.” Fortunately, a smart gadget from one Palo Alto startup may have the solution.


Flosstime is an intelligent, elegantly-designed device that mounts to your bathroom mirror to help you establish a daily flossing regimen. Whereas more conventional dispensers are old, outdated and hard to remember, Flosstime is a habit-forming accessory that’ll help make the once-tedious activity fun, and more importantly, nearly impossible to forget.

The unit affixes to your mirror (either using micro suction tab or an adhesive strip) and dispenses the recommended 18 inches of floss every time you press its button, lighting up to show a smile. Once the floss has been provided, the device cues a 90-second timer in the form of blue-glowing quadrants that move clockwise around a circular light ring. When you go 24 hours without pressing the button, however, Flosstime will express its discontentment by turning orange and revealing a frown.


“Our research shows that the biggest problem with flossing is simply getting the floss into your hands. Once it’s there, almost everyone flosses properly! The automatic dispensing mechanism makes it easier for you to begin flossing and removes the worry of having too much or too little,” its creators note.

What’s more, Flosstime features both single and dual user mode so it can be shared by two people. After all, a couple that flosses together, stays together! While in dual user mode, the frown is split into two and each half is a separate reminder for each individual. If one doesn’t floss, the other will know. (It looks like leaving the toilet seat up won’t be the only argument pretty soon!)


When forming habits, why not start early? In order to make flossing a bit more enjoyable for the younger generation, Flosstime also comes with cute animal snap-ons. If not used everyday, the animal’s eyes glow warning lights to offer a child with a friendly reminder to floss their teeth.

One thing that we’re seeing an awful lot of with connected objects is the emergence of the so-called ‘Internet of Useless Things.’ Just because you can make something smart doesn’t always necessarily mean you have to. Cognizant of this, Flosstime has done an excellent job in enhancing one function. They explain, “We believe that the only time you need to be reminded to floss is when you’re in the bathroom! Getting a push notification on your phone to floss while you’re sitting on the couch enjoying a movie is not very effective.

Sound like a simple yet effective solution to improve your oral hygiene? Head over to Flosstime’s Kickstarter campaign, where the startup is currently seeking $15,000. Delivery is slated for August 2016.

Report: 700 million smart home devices to ship by 2020

One million smart home appliances shipped globally in 2014, IHS reports.

If your home isn’t smart yet, just wait. That’s because intelligent household appliances — like your washing machine, air conditioner, dryer, stove and refrigerator — are set to multiply in the years to come, a new report from IHS suggests.

Remote home control

According to the firm, the global market for such goods is projected to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 134%, bringing the total units shipped from less than one million in 2014 to more than 223 million shipped by 2020. Factor in smaller home machines, such as robotic vacuums, electronic toothbrushes and coffeemakers, and the total number of smart devices skyrockets to 700 million in that same timeframe.

Beyond that, IHS lists three key factors that will help facilitate smart appliance adoption: energy management initiatives, standards for interoperability, and other marketplace dynamics including pricing, retail environment and competitive landscape.

Already today, appliance makers are shifting their focus from low-profit, low-growth “dumb” products toward emerging high-margin, revenue-oriented connected gadgets. Take for instance, Samsung and LG, who are vying for first-mover advantage — a term that refers to the advantage gained by the initial significant occupant of a market segment — by redirecting their efforts from mobile devices, TVs and other saturated areas to smart home equipment.

“Electronics giants could also benefit from the convergence of mobile devices and TVs with their home appliance business lines, as all of these devices can integrate well with smart technologies,” says Dinesh Kithany, senior analyst of home appliances.

Over the course of the next two to three years, the smart home market is expected to consolidate, and by 2018, IHS believes that there will be only a couple of connectivity platforms, operating systems and a small number of technology-oriented appliance companies dominating the market. One great example of this is the harmonization of ZigBee and Thread, both of which have decided to play nice to simplify home control.

“Consolidation will drive consumers toward earlier adoption of smart home technology, with growth similar to what the mobile phone industry experienced just a few years ago,” Kithany adds.

Want to read more? Check out IHS’ entire report here.

Plug ’N’ IoT lets you create a smart device in just four clicks

Just plug any sensor into the board, download the necessary libraries and you have yourself an IoT device.

Created by Dutch startup Avionics Control Systems, Plug ‘N’ IoT is an extremely easy way for Makers of all levels to design connected gizmos and gadgets. Whether it’s a securing a home with motion sensors or tracking a cat through GPS, anything is possible with four clicks of the mouse on a PC.


Plug ’N’ IoT comes in two versions: basic and premium. Both models are comprised of an Atmel | SMART SAM3X8E processor, a GSM module and connectors, with the latter also including a shield. The Cortex-M3-based MCU boasts 512 KB of memory, operates at 84Mhz and features a maximum of 103 I/O pins. What’s more, the unit is compatible with just about every sensor and Arduino shield available today.


How it works is pretty straightforward: A user plugs a sensor into the unit, drags and drops the suitable libraries, and uploads the code to the board. That’s it. What’s nice is that Plug ’N’ IoT is designed for everyone — no programing experience required. However, well-seasoned Makers have the option of devising and adding their own sketches. This opens the door to a countless applications, which range from monitoring air quality inside a home to keeping tabs on the temperature of an aquarium, maintaining optimal soil moisture or protecting an entryway. In any case, the sensor can detect a change in the environment and send a real-time reminder by way of text message to its user.


Have an idea for an IoT project that you’d like to bring to life? Head over to Plug ’N’ IoT’s official Kickstarter page, where the Avionics Control Systems crew is currently seeking $39,733. Delivery is set for March 2016.

Report: Internet of Things market to triple to $1.7 trillion by 2020

According to IDC, the Internet of Things market will grow from $655.8 billion in 2014 to $1.7 trillion in 2020.

The global Internet of Things market is expected to grow to $1.7 trillion in 2020, up from $655.8 billion in 2014, as more devices become connected and a bevy of vendors and enterprises begin to embrace the opportunities. According to the latest report from International Data Corporation (IDC), the market will rise at a CAGR of 16.9%.


The research firm projects that smart devices, connectivity and IT services will make up the majority of the IoT over the next five years. Together, they are estimated to account for over two-thirds of the worldwide IoT market in 2020 with modules and sensors alone representing 31.8% of the total.

By 2020, IDC anticipates that IoT purpose-built platforms, application software and “as a service” offerings will represent a much larger percentage of revenue as the market matures. IDC also goes on to note that the number of IoT endpoints will increase from 10.3 million last year to more than 29.5 million in 2020.


“While wearable devices are the consumer face of the Internet of Things, and where recognition of IoT appears to begin, the real opportunity remains in the enterprise and public sector markets,” explains Vernon Turner, SVP and IoT research fellow at IDC. “The ripple effect of IoT is driving traditional business models from IT-enabled business processes to IT-enabled services and finally to IT-enabled products, which is beginning to disrupt the IT status quo.”

The Asia Pacific region captured 58.3% of the revenue from IoT in 2014 and is forecasted to shrink slightly to 51.2% in 2020. IDC reveals that, in China, the combination of a growing population using mobile devices and a push to improve manufacturing efficiency could potentially drive an increase in new gadgets and IoT standards. Meanwhile, North America is expected to maintain revenue share of just more than a quarter (26%) over the five-year period, while Western Europe is projected to jump from 12% to 19.5%.

Want to learn more? Download the entire report entitled “Worldwide Internet of Things Forecast 2015–2020“ here.

Report: Half of consumers believe smart home devices will be mainstream by 2020

New research from Bluetooth SIG shows that many folks are ready to live like the Jetsons.

A survey conducted by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has revealed that nearly half (46%) of consumers believe smart home devices will be mainstream by 2020. The study had explored the attitudes of American, German and British consumers towards connected living, and as a whole, discovered tremendous excitement around not only potential applications but future installations, too.


Bluetooth SIG also that 6% of those surveyed already accepted that the era of the smart home has indeed arrived, with two-thirds (66%) thinking that smart home devices will be mainstream within the next decade. This strong consumer interest was tempered by their high expectations for simplicity and cost-effectiveness.

When asked what is required for commonplace purchases of such devices, 54% of respondents cited simplicity and straightforwardness in use with 41% believing that they should be easy to configure. Moreover, 28% suggested that these gadgets should connect seamlessly with a smartphone, tablet or PC. Nearly three-quarters (73%) admitted they would be frustrated if it took too long to set up a smart home unit.

“This study confirms consumers are looking for smart home products that ‘just work’,” added Mark Powell, Executive Director of the Bluetooth SIG. “It’s evident demand for smart home devices is ramping up and consumers are keen to live in the scenarios conjured up by the Jetsons over 60 years ago. Smart home manufacturers need to deliver products that are simple, cost-effective and secure for this segment to become mainstream.”

Evident by the sheer number of hacks and discovered flaws in recent months, it’s no surprise that 42% of consumers felt that keeping their data secure was paramount in the decision-making process. 67% of those surveyed were also concerned that some smart home devices would make their data vulnerable.


Despite all of the buzz surround intelligent appliances, like washing machines and kitchen gadgetry, the research unearthed that the hype is yet to materialize into actual demand from consumers. Keyword being ‘yet.’ In fact, the devices consumers find most appealing are highly convenient solutions that enable them to control their environment, such as smart heating/thermostats (45%), smart lighting (34%) and smart security/monitoring devices (33%).

As Bluetooth SIG explains, the results certainly conveyed a preference towards the smart home solutions that offer tangible benefits, ranging from controlling their heating or lighting remotely to cut down on bills (66%) to receiving smartphone notifications from their home security system if it detects a threat (73%).

The results showed a preference towards the smart home solutions that offer tangible benefits as well. For example, 66 percent of consumers say that being able to control their heating or lighting remotely would help them save energy and cut their energy bills. A further 73 percent would like to receive smartphone notifications from their home security system if it detects a threat.​

“It’s clear there is an appetite for these kinds of solutions but widespread adoption will require the use of mainstream connectivity technologies,” Powell concluded. “As we’ve seen in other segments, niche technologies simply cannot provide the simplicity, interoperability and security that consumers demand. Bluetooth Smart technology offers all those things with an enormous install base in smartphones, tablets and PCs, a simple pairing process and AES-128 bit cryptography for maximum security. While consumers feel smart home devices aren’t quite mainstream yet, Bluetooth is already paving the way for manufacturers to deliver the products consumers want. These manufacturers can also be confident in the knowledge that Bluetooth Smart has a development environment that makes it easy to bring these products to market.”

More than ever, consumers have high expectations for home appliances. With billions of connected devices expected in the coming years, users will demand sophisticated, feature-rich products that are reliable, easy-to-use, and most of all, secure. Whether it’s refrigeration, cooking or washing, Atmel has you covered. Want to continue reading? You can find all of Bluetooth SIG’s findings here.

Xiaomi announces a lineup of smart home devices

To celebrate its fifth anniversary, Xiaomi has unveiled the Mi Smart Scale, the Mi TV2 and Mi Power Strip.

It was only five years ago that Xiaomi was founded, and in that time, the China-based company has catapulted itself atop the mobile technology industry. According to IDC, the brand is now the third largest smartphone maker in the world followed by Lenovo and LG at fourth and fifth place, respectively. Beyond that, the world’s most valuable tech startup became the largest smartphone vendor in China last year, having overtaken Samsung. In fact, a recent press release projects over 100 million units to be sold in 2015.


In celebration of its fifth anniversary, which is actually April 6th, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun announced five new products, some of which targeting the burgeoning smart home market. Among those devices include the Mi Smart Scale, the Mi TV2 and Mi Power Strip. Two phones, a pink version of the company’s flagship Mi Note and the RedMi 2A, were also revealed.


First, the Mi Smart Scale connects with your smartphone via Bluetooth, enabling you to track weight, BMI and other sorts of data using its accompanying Mi Fit app. It has a precision of 50g (1.8 oz) and can track weights between 5kg to 150kg (11lbs. to 330 lbs). The scale features a glass platform and LED display, which remains hidden until stepped on.


Meanwhile, the Mi TV2 is a 4K LED TV that runs Android to offer smart features. The 55-inch system comes with a wireless eight-speaker sound bar and aluminum subwoofer.


Finally, there’s the new Mi Power Strip, which includes three power sockets and three USB ports that allow for quick 2.1A charging for tablets and larger phones. The product was designed with safety in mind, including surge protection, childproof features, as well as comprised of fire-resistant materials.

This group of products will be made available at special prices in China beginning April 8th. Given that the company will soon be opening an online Mi Store for accessories in both U.S. and Europe, it may not be too long before you too can obtain these gadgets. Those interested in learning more can head over to the company’s official page here, or check out a slew of photos from the anniversary launch event here.

Report: Smart cities will use 1.1 billion connected things in 2015

Smart homes to lead with 294 million smart objects in use this year.

Powered by the Internet of Things (IoT), the smart city of tomorrow will feature intelligent buildings, roads and public transport systems that are connected to each other and its inhabitants through sensors. This real-time information exchange will save people time, reduce environmental impact, lessen traffic and even create value for businesses along the way. Though still relatively new here in the United States, the advent of smart cities has already started taking shape across the world.


Smart homes and commercial buildings will represent 45% of all connected objects in 2015 and 81% by the end of 2020, according to a new report from Gartner. The study also estimates that 1.1 billion Internet-enabled items will be used by smart cities in 2015 with that number to rise to 9.7 billion over the next five years.

The majority of IoT spending for smart cities will come from the private sector, explained Gartner Research VP Bettina Tratz-Ryan. This will surely be some great news for technology companies and service providers that stand to benefit most in terms of revenue.

According to the report, there are a wide-range of IoT deployments for on-street and off-street parking guidance, road traffic guidance and traffic flow metering as well. A quick win within transport is the reduction of traffic congestion. California and the UK have already begun implementing radio receivers or sensors that are embedded on a section of highway to diagnose traffic conditions in real time. Another successful use of IoT in the city is smart parking. The city of Los Angeles, for instance, has been deploying new parking meters, parking space vehicle sensors, real-time parking guidance and a full parking management system to influence demand during peak times.

Beyond that, residential citizens will lead the way by increasingly investing in smart home solutions, with the amount of connected things used in smart homes currently at 294 million and projected to hit 1 billion units by 2017. These include smart LED lighting, healthcare monitoring, smart locks and various sensors for such things as motion detection or carbon monoxide. Smart LED lighting will record the highest growth of IoT consumer applications, from 6 million units in 2015 to 570 million units by 2020. As the study reveals, light will migrate from being an illumination source to a communications carrier incorporating safety, health, pollution and personalized services.


We expect that by 2020, many IoT TSPs will have grown their hardware revenues through services and software by more than 50 percent,” Tratz-Ryan concluded. The researcher goes on to say that smart home security and safety will represent the second-largest service market by revenue in 2017, and that come 2020, the smart healthcare and fitness market will have grown to nearly $38 billion.

Interested in reading more? You can find the entire Gartner report here. Meanwhile, discover how Atmel is powering the IoT by focusing on edge nodes, a category that includes everything from smart home appliances to infrastructures for smart cities.

14 smart products for the Internet of Toddlers

Everything is becoming increasingly connected, after all. Your clothes, your appliances, your cars… and soon, your offspring. It looks like we’re well on our way to taking ’baby’ steps towards the parenting world of tomorrow!

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been gaining quite a bit of attention as of late, most prominently around the home, cars and even wearables. And undoubtedly, this rise of connected devices will soon lend a hand to caregivers, ushering in a new era of data-driven, quantified parenting.

Whether you are or have been the parent of a newborn, you know just hard it can be. Infants aren’t able to provide the kind of feedback you might desperately wish for after countless hours of nursing and sleepless nights. Unfortunately, babies can’t tell you exactly how they feel, what they want or why they are upset — other than crying, obviously. As the IoT continues to evolve, we can expect to see a growing number of innovations focused around enhanced safety and convenience for those with children.

Good news, parents. Connectivity is about to become your next best friend. Here are some of the smart products making that happen!



Developed by Boston startup Rest Devices, the Mimo smart baby onesie monitors the respiration, skin temperature, body position, sleeping and activity levels of infants through an embedded turtle-shaped sensor. This information and audio is relayed to a nearby base station and the cloud in real-time, where it can be viewed on any mobile device and shared between parents and their babysitters. The companion app is available for both Android and iOS.

Milk Nanny


Making a bottle of formula milk isn’t always convenient, and often times, can even be a downright hassle. Luckily, it’s about to get a whole lot easier thanks to Wicoz’s recent Kickstarter project. The world’s first fully-automatic smart formula machine makes fresh, warm baby milk in seconds — consistently and precisely — all with the press of a button. More conveniently, it can be controlled right from your phone. Parents simply scan a bar code on the formula container, hit start and the milk is dispensed. Afterwards, its companion app reveals detailed stats focused on feeding habits and trends.



Another smart device currently seeking funding on Kickstarter is the Listnr. The gadget has two distinct functions. First, it connects to smart bulbs (like the Philips Hue) and turns the lights on/off by recognizing certain sounds, such as a fingersnap. Second, it can pick up on a baby’s cry and interpret what kind of scream it is. The Listnr’s built-in advanced audio processor can decipher emotions from sounds, ranging from laughs to burbles.



Think of it like a Fitbit for babies. Sproutling’s baby monitor is comprised of three parts: a wearable band, a smart charger and a mobile app. The device gathers 16 different measurements every second to help parents understand things such as when a baby is most likely to wake up, if a baby’s heart rate is higher or lower than usual, and whether it is warmer or cooler than a baby’s ideal room temperature. This allows parents to learn and predict their infant’s sleep habits and optimal bedtime conditions.



TempTraq is the only 24-hour, Bluetooth-enabled thermometer that continuously senses and records a child’s temperature in the form of a soft patch. That comfortable wearable then sends real-time information to a caregiver’s mobile device.

Owlet Baby Care


Having first gained popularity through TechCrunch’s Hardware Battlefield back in 2014, the Owlet Baby Monitor is an ankle-worn tracking device that analyzes a sleeping infant’s oxygen levels and heart rate alerting parents of potential problems. The smart sock transmits the information its recording to a smartphone app via Bluetooth 4.0. If you don’t have a smartphone, parents can simply plug it in via USB to see metrics on a PC or connect to your home Wi-Fi network to see readouts on any connected device.

Sensible Baby


Another startup on the list originating in Boston is Sensible Baby. The product is hoping to alleviate anxieties of new parents by using a sensor to monitor a newborn’s breathing, movement and temperature. The sensor, which is called SmartOne, is inserted into a onesie and syncs with a mobile app to notify the parent of any changes. Meanwhile, users can customize the type of alert for the sleeping environment and developmental stage of their baby.



Successfully funded last year on Kickstarter, MonBaby is a small wireless device that snaps onto any article of a child’s clothing, just like a button. It tracks a baby’s breathing rate, movement level and sleep position, transmitting vital signs and important alerts directly to your smartphone in order to improve sleep for all.

Withings Home


Following in the footsteps of its popular smart monitor, Home is not just an ordinary connected baby cam. Withings’ latest product tracks motion, captures video with its wide-angle lens, reads air quality and analyzes local sounds for signs of distress. The unit also boasts a two-way microphone, a night-light, and even a function they call “cry recognition.”

Onni Smart Care


This Wi-Fi-enabled baby monitoring system lets parents keep an eye on their little one through HD video and audio using their smart device or computer. What’s more, Smart Care is also equipped with a built-in room temperature sensor, a remote-controlled night-light and the ability to play soothing MP3s to a child via a built-in speaker.



Created by Blue Maestro, Pacif-i is the world’s first smart pacifier that detects a baby’s temperature and transmits the data to an app on a parent’s iOS or Android device over Bluetooth Smart. Pacif-i also features a built-in proximity sensor that provides parents with the ability to track the pacifier’s location and be notified if their child wanders off. Within the app, parents can set the distance (up to a range of 65 feet) for the alarm to be triggered when this pre-defined zone is breached. The pacifier also features a buzzer alarm that can be activated via the smartphone when it has been misplaced or hidden by a toddler.



Designed for personal aquatic safety, iSwimband is a portable and effective anti-drowning system that works in pools, lakes and rivers to ensure child water safety. The device is worn as either a headband or wristband and uses a built-in sensor to detect when it has been submerged for a user-defined length of time. If that threshold is reached, it sends an alert to a companion iOS app via Bluetooth up to 100-feet away.

Smart Diapers


Researchers at the University of Tokyo have designed a super-thin sensor that can go inside diapers to inform caretakers when it’s time for a change. In addition, these Smart Diapers allow parents to simply and unobtrusively screen for UTIs, dehydration or developing kidney problems.

Smart Connect Cradle


Fisher-Price’s 4-in-1 Smart Connect Cradle works with a companion app to enable parents to swing the cradle remotely in one of six speeds, and from side-to-side or head-to-toe. The cradle can also removed and set on the floor to be used as a rocker in the same way. When a baby needs to be entertained or soothed, parents can choose from 16 preloaded songs, a few nature sounds and hanging birds that light up to do the trick.

These 20+ everyday objects have gone from mundane to magical

The wizarding world of Harry Potter won’t be the only place you’ll find enchanted objects. 

According to MIT Media Lab researcher David Rose, the term “enchanted object” is used to describe any everyday object with extraordinary functions.

“We are now standing at the precipice of the next transformative development: the Internet of Things. Soon, connected technology will be embedded in hundreds of everyday objects we already use: our cars, wallets, watches, umbrellas, even our trash cans. These objects will respond to our needs, come to know us, and learn to think on our behalf.”


Entitled “Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things,” Rose’s latest book depicts the blueprint for a better (or shall we say ‘smarter’) future, where efficient solutions come hand in hand with technology that delights our senses. Not only are these innovative things fun and alluring, they may hold the key to better satisfying our needs and improving our lives.

“The big lesson here for companies is that they need to embrace and start designing for this world of enchanted objects,” Rose said in a recent BI:Tech interview. “It will mean a key change for how we interact with technology, and it’s a great opportunity for all of these traditional product companies.”

As we prepare for this embedded future where microcontrollers will give once-ordinary objects super “powers,” we’ve decided to explore some of the items currently in existence today. From a pill bottle that can alert you when you’ve skipped your medication to an umbrella that says whether it’ll rain, these gadgets provide us with a glimpse into smarter society — one where fairy tale enchantment becomes a reality.

And, with this state of ambience ever so close, our friends at element14 are challenging hobbyists, designers and engineers alike to add some magic and mystic back into the realm of everyday objects using the new Atmel | SMART SAMA5D4 Xplained Ultra, Arduino Yún (ATmega32U4) and Arduino Uno (ATmega328), among several other kits.

“The Internet of Things may hit a roadblock: namely, the lack of secure communications between objects and individuals could lead to a situation in which data is being shared without explicit consent and exploited for malicious purposes,” element14 adds. “Therefore any Internet of Things challenge we will undertake in the future will have a security aspect: we will want to see that appropriate security measures have been built into the solutions. Bonus points will be given for clear demonstrations of this in the finished project.”

They couldn’t be more correct. When the world around us becomes increasingly more connected, each and every thing will also need to be secure. Without security, there is no way to trust that the authenticity of things and integrity of its data. Due to the drive for bigger data, the cloud and smart communicating, things are becoming ambient; and, because those things all require security, security itself is becoming ambient as well. Fortunately, as Atmel’s resident security expert Bill Boldt explains, there’s an easy way to spread protection to each of the nodes: CryptoAuthentication.

These so-called enchanted objects are broken down into six caterogies, each based upon human desires. The segments include omniscience (the desire to know all), telepathy (the desire for human connection), safekeeping (the desire to protect), immortality (the desire to be healthy), teleportation (the desire to move effortlessly) and expression (the desire to make).

Like Arthur C. Clarke once said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Vitality GlowCap


Always seem to forget to take that pill in the morning or before bed? This smart cap will remind you to take your medications by lighting up, making chirping sounds, and eventually sending you a text message. You can share your medication data with a remote loved one, a professional caregiver, and even your pharmacy. No more calling to refill those prescriptions!

The Ambient Umbrella


What if your umbrella had a handle that would glow if snow or rain was in the forecast? You’ll never forget to grab it on your way out the door again!

Google Latitude Doorbell


Created at the MIT Media Lab, the Google Latitude Doorbell chimes a tune when a family member is approaching the house. Each family member has their own tune. Have some fun with it: Imagine setting it to play “Master of the House” from Les Misérables as you approached the door, or the Jaws theme song for your mother-in-law.

The Ambient Orb


When you think of David Rose and ambient object, this “magical” orb is often times the first thing that pops into mind. This device tracks real-time data for the stock market, pollen count, traffic congestion, and more, and glows specific colors to let you know if the data looks good or bad.



Feel like you’re walking on sunshine? This small will let you know whether you’re actually taking in enough bright light during your day, in order to help you improve your energy levels, sleep cycle, mood, and so much more.

Energy Joule


Let’s face it, energy bills are the worst — especially those living in extremely cold climates in the winter and warm in the summer. To better help you save a buck or two, the Energy Joule can track energy costs by glowing red if prices are high, yellow if prices are average, and green if prices are low.

The Facebook Coffee Table


‘Like!’ This innovation is bringing coffee talk into the digital era. The incredibly social-savvy table listens to your conversations and displays photos from your Facebook page whenever they are appropriate to the conversation. Think Mark Zuckerberg meets Minority Report.



Never quite sure as to which outfit to buy? Ladies, you’re in luck. This smart mirror records the outfits you try on, so you can compare them and decide what to buy or wear. Never have to go back and forth again.

Amazon Trash Can


Forget to replace the toilet paper? Run out of milk? Need laundry detergent? This trash can can now scans any object you’re disposing and automatically reorder it from Amazon.

Pandora Chair


This gives a whole new meaning to ‘musical chairs!’ The Pandora Chair is designed to play music based on your level of incline. Envision the possibilities: Sit back, relax and enjoy the tunes of the caribbean. Or, sit upright, intensely focus on your work while listening to some “Eye of the Tiger.”



As our days get too busy, it can quickly become too difficult to manage our liquid intake. Luckily, a smart cup can do that for you — it knows what kind of fluid you’re drinking and track how many calories and how much sugar, fat, protein, sodium, and caffeine are in that beverage.

The Skype Cabinet


Tired of always having to grab the computer, flip it open and sign into Skype? Thanks to this project from MIT Media Lab, all you have to do is simply open a wooden door to telconnect with a friend or loved one. No more setup, bad lighting, or those irritating headphones.



NOTHING, we repeat NOTHING is worse than losing your luggage while traveling. This smart luggage tracker can slide right inside your suitcase and inform you of its whereabouts using its companion app, which connects to the tracking device.

Energy Clock


Are the culprit in your household’s excessive energy consumption? This innovative clock shares real-time feedback on the amount of energy your home is using. It learns your consumption habits, then offers some subtle feedback on how you’re tracking against yourself.

Goji Smart Lock


As we inch closer to a Jetsons-like future, of course there will be smart locks! Easily lock and unlock your door with your smartphone, after snapping pictures of visitors at your door and automatically sending real-time picture alerts to your device.



Yes, this is exactly what it looks like: a WiFi-enabled rabbit. Unlike Peter Cottontail, this device tells you the time, a recap of the week, RSS news feeds, a report on the air quality or traffic, an MP3 alarm clock, a weather forecast, a stock ticker, and even e-mail alerts.

Good Night Lamp


In essence, the Good Night Lamp is a physical social network. The lamps, which come in a set of two, work in unison. Turning on the larger one not only emits light but triggers on the little one as well. This connectivity allows you to keep in touch with people all over the world without having to pick up the phone.

Tagg Dog Collar


Tagg is a GPS device that attaches to the collar of your dog. The system enables pet owners to define a safe zone around there home and instantly receive text and email alerts when the pet leaves that zone. What’s more, the wearable also monitors their activity and fitness by measuring the amount of activity in their day.

Mimo Baby Shirt


Boston-based startup Rest Devices has developed a smart baby onesie for parents. Founded by a group of former MIT students, Mimo monitors the respiration, skin temperature, body position, sleeping and activity levels of infants. Meaning, those with newborns will soon no longer have to worry about getting up and frequently checking on the baby throughout the night, instead only when necessary.

Nest Thermostat


The Nest Thermostat doesn’t need to be programmed, and is equipped to learn and remember your temperature habits. Meaning, the device turns itself down when you’re away to help save energy and can change the temperature from anywhere using your smartphone, tablet or laptop.



The smart fork, which was introduced at last year’s CES, uses electronic sensors to monitor your eating habits. Designed by HAPILABS, the ARM Cortex-M0 embedded utensil tracks the number of bites, intake speed as well as notifies you to step away from the dinner plate. This information is then uploaded via USB or Bluetooth to an online dashboard to analyze your progress.

Narrative Camera


The future for anyone who wants to tell their own story has never looked brighter. That is because of the Atmel | SMART SAM9G25 powered Narrative Clip — a tiny, automatic 5-megapixel camera paired with an app that offers users access to a “photographic memory” which is both searchable and shareable. Clip it onto your shirt and let it snap away, recording all your daily activities in 30-second increments.

Feeling inspired? Head over to element14’s official contest page here to get started. The grand prize winner will receive a trip to World Maker Faire 2015 in New York.