The mere fact that a phrase like "the Internet of things" exists essentially ensures that there's going to be a connected something or another anywhere you look at the 2013 CES in Las Vegas this week. With that in mind, I've been keeping an eye out for interesting or unusual examples of connected devices and applications at the show - a task that quickly became daunting given the sheer volume of demonstrations and expansive scale of the event.
This is by no means intended to represent a comprehensive round-up, but rather some items of note that caught my eye during the opportunities I had to check out the show floor.
Worth the weight
Withings, the France-based creators of the first Internet-connected scale, are showing a new "all-in-one body monitoring scale" (front) that tracks weight, BMI, body fat and heart rate simply by stepping on scale, while also monitoring indoor air quality. Withings won a CES Innovation Award for the product, which also features a very sleek, clean design.
The drive toward connectivity
There are lots of cars on display here, both in the booths of automobile manufacturers as well as accessory vendors. Pioneer is using a tricked out Lexus to showcase its AppRadio technology that allows users to access their phone's calendar, maps, pictures and other compatible apps on their dashboard via the radio's touchscreen. While the idea of connected cars has been around for a while, the number of available in-car apps is skyrocketing.
Sticking with the automotive theme, Dodge is displaying a connected police car at its booth. The Charger looks an awful lot like a Transformer and is loaded with electronics and monitoring gear, much of which connects via the Sprint network. The officer on hand stressed the importance of having quick and reliable access to critical information in the field.
Getting the band together
Another cool connected health device is fitbit's flex wireless activity and sleep wristband. The minimalist unit tracks steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes and sleep patterns, and syncs wirelessly to through select mobile devices. It has a comfortable form factor and I could barely tell it was there when I tried it on my wrist.
No more lockouts
Unlike the NHL, a new breed of wireless entry systems won't keep you locked out. There are quite a few of these on display, including this one by SimpliciKey. They offer a remote control keyfob to lock/unlock your door, or you can do it over the Internet. Not only can you operate the lock over the Internet, you can program the access codes as well. Pretty handy if you need to control who's allowed or not allowed in your home in a hurry, say, in the case of a nasty breakup! It also lets you track when the door is locked and unlocked to monitor the comings and goings of house traffic. It could certainly come in handy for curfew enforcement.
This modest sampling doesn't come close to doing justice for everything there is to see at CES this week, but it does reinforce the fact that we truly are living in a hyperconnected world. At Akamai, we're wholly committed to supporting and fostering the type of innovation that's on display and are excited to be part of such an exciting industry and times.
Anything pique your interest at the show? Feel free to share in the comments section below.
Chris Nicholson is a senior public relations manager at Akamai.