The Internet Of Things Is Happening Right Now

The last couple of months I had some great experiences that I want to share with you. For me it is the confirmation that the internet of things is happening right now after the market discussing this topic for quite a while. About a year ago I ordered my Google Glass which I in the meantime sold during this summer. Reason for that was that in my opinion during the I/O conference Google Glass was hardly being discussed which made me decide to get rid of it. Based on the latest news it seems that Glass is still alive and together with Intel they are building on a more convenient version. Lets wait and see. Google Glass especially in the beginning brought already a more sophisticated experience. With Google Now a strong enabler Glass was helping me in smart ways. Now having my Android Wear watch for quite a while I still find the Glass appearance of messages straight in your eye the most effective and convenient one. Online services were pretty easy to integrate with Google Glass which made it a smart tool for me. At the very end I was just fed up to wear the strange thing on my head to have this experience. I simply didn’t accepted the trade off any more. In the beginning it is great people approaching you asking questions about Glass. But after a certain amount of time you are done with that and just want to enjoy Glass in silence and anonymously.

Android Wear

So I sold Glass and bought the first Samsung Gear Live running Android Wear. The experience compared with Glass is similar although having the notifications in front of your eye works better for me. For me constantly looking at my watch for some reason doesn’t feel that natural. Basically what drives Android Wear is mainly Google Now. Their smart service bringing up notifications in a certain context depending on time, location and behavior. It is not so much a watch where you install apps on. The apps are installed on your smartphone and it is more an extension of existing apps supporting Android Wear. That’s one fo the main reasons why I am so curious about the Apple Watch.That’s one fo the main reasons why I am so curious about the Apple Watch. It looks like this watch is more about apps. Android Wear is more about notifications. Glass created some awesome wow moments to me, Android Wear simply doesn’t. To me it has limited usefulness. The reason I have chosen for the Samsung version is that it contains a heart rate monitor. But it is definitely not a replacement of my dedicated sportwatch even for running purposes only (Garmin XT910). It takes quite some time for the watch to measure your heart rate which makes it more a gimmick than a function that adds value. Still the combination with my smartphone, Google Now and services like IFTTT are interesting.

Google Nest

Some time ago Google acquired Nest and recently this thermostat was installed in my house via my energy supplier. By extending my contract with a couple of years I got this Nest for free. I was able to get rid of the ultimate user unfriendly Honeywell thermostat being tempted by the promise of Nest. Well, I am completely flabbergasted by the experience this Nest is able to bring across. The guys of Nest were able to make an extremely boring thing like a thermostat an ultimate cool device. The guys of Nest were able to make an extremely boring thing like a thermostat an ultimate cool device.The packaging, the user interface, the intelligence and the fact is is always connected via the internet makes it a contemporary device. The fact I can control my temperature via an app outside my house gives me a kind of feeling that I am fully in control. The way you control and operate Nest is simply awesome. A pretty cool user interface, great screen and terrific interaction. In my entire life I have never heard someone talking enthusiastic about a thermostat. As of today at least 1 person in the world does.

Tesla S

I have the privilege to work for an exiting cloud and saas company, Exact. We build business software for small companies, true entrepreneurs. About a year ago our CEO Erik van der Meijden set the ambition to transform our entire fleet to a zero emission fleet in 5 years. Lucky me because that means that I have the privilege together with the other Exact senior executives to drive in a Tesla S. Erik got the first one 6 months ago and I got mine a week ago being the 2nd one within Exact. More will follow in the next few months. Where to start? Although delivery time was about 8 months, it was worth waiting for it. This is really the ultimate driving experience. And with driving I first refer to the fact that this car is always connected to the internet. 3G is delivered by Tesla S itself and right from the start the car is online. Every single button you are able to configure, basically it is one big mega gadget.Many things are being said about the enormous screens within the car. Well, it is awesome! Accepting the delivery of the car is by approving it within your car on the screen. Once you drive outside the garage you can start to configure the car to your own needs. The user interface simply works great. Every single button you are able to configure, basically it is one big mega gadget. Access to internet radio services, also configured for you by Tesla. Google Maps on the middle screen and Garmin Navigation on the display in front of you is the bomb. Connectivity via bluetooth with my Nexus 5 smartphone enables my to make phone calls and stream Spotify, but also brings my calendar on the big screen. With the calendar integrated with Google Maps and Garmin navigation with one simple click on an appointment it starts to navigate.

‘But Mark, does the car also drive well?’ Yes it does, extremely well.

With my Tesla mobile app I can control my car. Open it, honk the horn, flash the lights, open my sunroof and even start the heating system before entering the car. Once I approach my car it opens automatically and there is no need to start the car. It simply turns on and you can drive away immediately. When people ask my about the Tesla I start to tell all about the way you control and configure, the fact that it is connected with the internet via 3G and the possibilities that it brings to you being connected. Oh yeah, at the end they ask me: ‘But Mark, does the car also drive well?’ Yes it does, extremely well. It is ultimate fast and having maximum torque right from the start feels great. Having no gears makes driving extremely smooth. When activating regenerative braking makes you drive very conscious but also takes away the necessity to use your brakes in many cases. You have to get used to it but happens within a couple of hours. You start to wonder why did it take so long? All technologies are there for  quite some years but a complete stranger was required to make this huge step in the car maker industry. I am now on software version 6 and updates automatically will be installed in my car, just as we are used to on our phones and apps. I can’t wait for the next update when the autopilot features will be installed in my car.

Smart Connectivity

Having so many things attached to the internet, providing it with data about myself and my behavior should enable the network to work for me. And it does. The internet of things is happening right now. I can control my Tesla not only by mobile app but even with my Android Wear watch. Once I drive close to my village it sends a signal to my Google Nest so it can start heating up my house. Once I have my Philips Hue lights installed it can even turn these on when arriving at home. I also can’t wait for Google’s latest acquisition of Revolv being integrated in the Nest family of products. More and more devices being connected with the internet starting to share data with each other to help me organize and support my life in a smart way. These are very basic and simple examples but I can tell you, the difference between reading it and experiencing it is huge. Experience is emotion, you feel it, you feel the value. And yes, I consider myself as someone who is willing to try new technologies, be that front runner. But I truly believe that in 5 years from now it will more and more reach the masses. In ten years from now we will laugh about this blog post. In twenty years from now we will laugh about steering wheels. In thirty years from now when I am 75 years old we will laugh about the forward looking videoclips companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft created during the ’90s. It is a privilege to live right now.

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