CES 2016 IoT Roundup
Hundreds, if not thousands, of vendors announced IoT-related products and services at this week's CES trade show in Las Vegas. Here are a few that caught our attention: Omron's latest connected blood pressure monitors; Samsung's latest smart fridge; an offer from Vuzix and APX Labs for the new Vuzix M300 enterprise smart glasses; La Poste's upcoming IoT pilot; and new products and services from Helium.
Jan 08, 2016—
New Mobile Blood Pressure Monitors from Omron
The wrist monitor is in a watch form factor and is the smallest and lightest blood pressure monitor Omron has made. It also includes accelerometers that can be used to track physical activity and sleep. The user can place the device on his wrist to check blood pressure and then remove it, or can leave the device on to automatically to measure blood pressure at regular intervals during the day.
The upper arm monitor measures blood pressure and also tracks the heart's rhythm. Both devices contain Bluetooth Low Energy radios that transmit readings to the Omron Connect Mobile app on the user's smartphone or tablet. Omron Healthcare expects both devices to be available in late 2016 and while prices have not been confirmed, the wrist monitor is expected to retail for around $200.
Samsung Debuts Family Hub
The most striking thing about this appliance is its 21-inch touchscreen. By comparison, the Samsung's previous models had an 8-inch display. Like past models, users can mirror their Samsung Smart TV to the refrigerator, so that whatever content is playing on their television can also be displayed on the Family Hub's monitor, allowing consumers to watch a show or movie while cooking. But the real IoT feature in the Family Hub comes in the form of continuous inventory tracking. A series of cameras are mounted inside refrigerator door , and they capture and save a new image each time the doors are closed. From his phone, the user can then access Samsung's smart home app to view the latest images and see what items are needed. (Granted, the cameras can't show how much juice or milk is inside an opaque carton.)
In addition, MasterCard has launched an online grocery ordering application (available only the Northeast for now) that allows users to order grocery items from FreshDirect or ShopRite for home delivery. Payments are completed through a 4-digit pin and can be made with any U.S.-issued credit or debit card. The Family Hub will be available this spring for $4,999.
Vuzix and APX Labs Unveil new Enterprise Smart Glasses, Launch Future-Proof Offer
La Poste to Launch Pilot Program with Sigfox
The radios, which use an ultra-narrow-band radio frequency protocol—meaning it relies on very narrow slices of the unlicensed Industrial Scientific Medical (ISM) frequency band—operates at 868 MHz in Europe. A resident who wants to ship a parcel will be able place the item in her home's mailbox and press the button, which will send a pick-up request, through the Sigfox network, to La Poste. On her smartphone or computer, she will then enter the name and address of the recipient in the La Poste online shipping application. Her letter carrier will then receive the parcel notice and shipping information on his smartphone and, when he is next at his regional post office, will print the shipping label and apply it to a flattened shipping box. When he next comes to the resident's house, he will collect the item to be shipped from her mailbox, place it in the shipping box, and bring it to back to the post office at the end of his shift.
If the pilot proves successful, La Poste could make the service available to the 75 percent of French homes that have La Poste's standard-issue mailbox, which is roughly one cubic foot in size.
Helium Expands, Updates Product Range
Helium also released a mobile app, available for iOS (an Android version is in the works) and an upgraded user interface for its fully integrated platform, which includes Helium sensor units, network connectivity and cloud storage.
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