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Sunday, February 16, 2014
Intel Descibes "Non-Wearable" Internet of Things

Although there's no doubt wearables is a big space, Intel sees another space that might be as equally disruptive as smart wearable technologies - a space made of smart things that are fixed in place and not carried or worn.

In what Intel calls a "smart fixture" space, Intel AppUp Developer Community Manager Bob Duffy envisions the development of a Smart Table, a Smart Door, or Door Lock and a Smart Bulb.

The Microsoft Surface table is an example of a smart tables. However, we will probably don't need to create a table top screen to create a smart table. According to Intel, the table may just need some active motion or IR sensors and wifi to deliver a lot of value. The table uses IR scanning to detect if humans are at the table and where they are, while NFC & Bluetooth technology would be used to detect if there were devices on or near the table and pair with the table to get data.

Key use of the technology can make devices near or around the table aware of what other people and devices are at the table and where they are. The table would simply make available this information for apps to leverage.

A Smart table could be also used as a virtual board for games. Players can assemble at the table; as they do, they are asked on their devices if they want to join the game. The game immediately adds the players, monitoring the location of the player. If a player leaves the table, the app shares that the player has left. Tablets can be placed flat on the table to create the board game space. If you add more tablets, the table is aware that more tablets have been added and where they are to expand the game space across the tablets added to the table. When it's a players turn the game board will automatically rotate to the current players position at the table.

When sitting at a table, apps will let you know who is with you at a table and give you the option to share photos, content directly with the people you are having a conversation with.

The table could also see the body positions and arm movements of each person at the table and feed that to devices that may not have full view of the user.

To get an understanding of a Smart Door, think about how a door works at a hotel room. The lock is automated based on an electronic key. What if you assigned mobile phone numbers as keys. Thus, when the right SIM card gets near your door it unlocks.

With a smart door, if you need to let a plumber in, its as simple as texting his phone. Need to take away a key from an ex? Just remove their permissions. Your phone or wearables can ring or buzz rather than the door bell, and people who dropped by while you were gone can be captured by webcam with a text alert to let you know someone was there.

According to Duffy, perhaps the biggest area of opportunity is in the smart light bulb. With smart bulbs, every corner of the world would be not only illuminated, it could be sensed, and processed. Add infrared, add cameras, add WiFi, NFC, etc. So wherever there is a light bulb you would have something that can sense if something is near, process its shape, and know if a human is approaching or where in a human is. The Smart light bulb would also adjust light based upon proximity of what is near or approaching it, turn on a camera and take pictures or video as needed. And of course, it would send data to other systems to react to what a lightbulb is sensing.

All of these technologies can interact and add value to smart wearables and visa versa.

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