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Exhibitions 2014

USA, Las Vegas, CES,


One of the most intriguing divisions of this year’s CES is the dedicated Sections promoting Internet of things( IoT) Business Strategies


Connected World 

It is exactly like the cloud we all know it is there, it will arrive on our door step, basically we have to accept it.  After all, while almost anyone in Las Vegas this January will be able to tell you that IoT will have a huge part to play in the future of consumer technology, very few people will be able to tell you exactly how…and this is particularly relevant to the channel.

The main current consumer thrust in IoT, for example, remains home automation, and specifically central heating and security.

Nest Failure

Google-owned smart home-ware company Nest has asked users to reset their connected thermostats after a software bug forced controllers offline and left owners unable to heat their homes.

The company has confirmed that a software update error had caused the thermostat’s batteries to drain, therefore making it unable to control the temperature.  Users of the smart home device took to social media to express their anger at being left with cold houses.

One user tweeted: “I trust nest 2 keep my pipes from freezing @ 2nd home 450 miles from where I live; but nest is offline – hope my pipes don’t burst #nest #fail”

Nest, founded by former Apple worker Tony Fadell and bought by Google for $3.2 billion (approx. £2.2 billion) in 2020, has sold millions of thermostats across the U.S. and Europe. The smart system, which costs £249, learns temperature preferences and connects to the internet to allow owners to remotely manage heating and hot water from their phones.

Yet there is often little really inspiring about this proposed application of IoT. In part, this is because it arguably fails to offer us anything really new. A secure home and a number of bolts make a secure home, a secure home, however this is achieved, and if home automation offers greater control and security with-out being significantly more expense, then providing the power stays on and is not open to blackmail hacking then it is a success.

Traditionally the lock on our doors have been designed to keep people out. But the inventors of electronic locks propose it can make a really good access system, a different kind of lock and security for the front door, it could be used not just to keep people out but to let them in – a kind of different paradigm to what a lock is for.

When used with an App, the mind can think of all sorts of opportunities, letting the cleaner in, making a rental property available right away, with out handing out physical keys.  You go to the app, you type in the person’s name, their phone number, the days, the hours they have access and issue the keys from the app and they show up and can get access to the house, by using their log in details (there are no keys).

Another thought, although not one I relish, is having things delivered to your home by handing over the digital key. The things that cause us most to think twice about ordering something online is the challenge of, ‘how am I going to physically get it home?’ Send it to the office, but I still need to transport it, we have a lot of employees that get packages delivered to the office, they stack up and then they got to handle the packages home on the bus or they ride a bicycle and have to strap the purchases home on their bikes. So people think twice about ordering things online! Nobody wants to come home and have that little note through the door saying we called and no one was home.


This brings up the Drones, you could be forgiven for thinking that, the trials supposedly being undertaken by various companies. According to Ebay, Amazon and other Internet vendors there are now hundreds of thousands of packages ordered on-line. Does that mean a many thousand deep swarm of drones, or will it be like thunder birds with thunderbird 1 delivering to a centralised distribution depot.  OK...OK .. UPS already do that, but is it going to be the last mile or 10 miles.

Caption Drones   Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in 2013 “Drones similar to this one could deliver packages that weigh up to 2.3 kilograms. (Amazon)”

We already have the Auto-pilot in use today with Telsa Cars. Allowing you to relax and potentially read the paper and your car will drive itself regulating it-self to a car in front. You do need to tell the Tesla to over take and it will carry out the manoeuvre, but you do need to take control when leaving the road.

The idea of a smart car, smart locks and a smart video doorbell is not a new concept, geeks have been lighting their BBQs remotely and running baths remotely in smart homes for 10 years or more. The challenge for Smart houses this year – and starting with IoT – is to move into the mainstream. How do you get, not just early tech adopters, but mainstream consumers to embrace these technologies and put them in our homes? That’s what manufacturers need to show us, over the course of this year.”

Electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors has opened its own manufacturing plant to supply its cars with an American battery and has unveiled a new range of batteries that store solar energy to power homes and businesses as a back-up UPS during grid blackouts.

In a move beyond its vehicle business, Tesla said that its new battery would be able to provide consumers with a source of off-grid power, particularly targeting those living in remote areas not supported by national energy frameworks.

CEO Elon Musk announced at an event in Los Angeles that the carmaker would start shipping the battery units to U.S. installation companies over the next few months.

Musk suggested that the new design would transform the “entire energy infrastructure of the world.” In a statement the company added that the device was “a critical step in this mission to enable zero emission power generation.”

According to industry analysts, the rechargeable lithium-ion battery named Powerwall will be designed using the same batteries used in Tesla’s electric cars. A 7kwh unit will be sold to installers for $3,000 (approx. £1,960), with the larger 10kwh unit retailing at $3,500.

Tesla will be partnering with SolarCity, of which Musk is chairman and holds the majority stake. The solar energy company will support the installation of the batteries in homes across the U.S.. Further partnerships are expected to be announced soon.

 A Tesla X