The last few years has been really interesting to watch as the developed world has embraced smart phones, most of the population is online and TV’s, laptops and tablets all are connected. The next phase of this smart-world is connecting the rest of the objects around us. Our cities, workplaces, cars, homes, appliances and even our clothes. There is never any greater tipping point in the smart world than when Apple enter the market.
There were mp3 players before the iPod, smartphones before the iPhone and tablets before the iPad. What Apple manages to do is move beyond product or function and build intuitive, devices where the technology gets out of the way and helps us to do more of what we love. Enter the iWatch, Apples first play into the wearables market, where smart watches now become a portal into smart-ing up our lives. The two most noticeable features of this present in iOS8 and on the new Apple watch are the ‘HealthKit’ and the ‘HomeKit’ which brings the connected world closer than its ever been.
BMW, American Airlines, Nike and many others are jumping at this chance to connect people seamlessly with the things they want or need in their lives. So with Apples iWatch begins the dawn of a new age the ‘internet of things’, which will soon become mainstream, having been around for a few years. Every man and his dog, will be on the bandwagon soon.
In light of the Apple watch not been available here in New Zealand, we thought we’d test the connected world with a real-world problem we have at Contagion. Dave the Dog is a mainstay, in fact employ number 3 at Contagion. He’s been there since day dot. His career as head of HR and receptionist was honed at Saatchi and Saatchi between 2006-2010 both here and in Singapore. However, like any ageing dog he also gets a little distracted and sometimes goes AWOL.
We thought we would test Tile, a connected device used for tracking your lost keys, wallets, leather jackets and so on and apply it to Dave. Well his dog collar, anyway. When the door get left open on Franklin Road, it is a sure fire bet that Dave will be somewhere in the neighbourhood where there is more food. This has been Queenies, the meat section in New World or on a summer afternoon’s at a BBQ anywhere in the greater area Auckland area.
Like any valued employee and a man’s best friend, this can cause stress to Dean and Bridget, among others, so we have managed to develop a connected, smart collar for Dave so we can find him at anytime, should he go missing. The result? Well so far so good. A simple to use app and a safe way to assume that we can find Dave if he ever goes BBQ hunting again. What a smart dog. The tile works seamslessly with the iPhone and works much like Find my iPhone, so can be logged in at anytime.
One thing to note is that Tile works on Bluetooth and is very much an app for the future as more people connect, so the range is not quite as big as we would like, but as more people connect the grid becomes more useful . Check out how it works below.