3 Things You Didn't Know Were Hooked to the Internet
- The Internet of Things means all sorts of appliances are being hooked up online.
- The figure of online capable devices increased 31% from 2016 to 8.4 billion in 2017.
- Experts estimate that the the Internet of Things will consist of about 30 billion objects by 2020.
The world is a crazy place, the internet's even crazier, and the two are becoming exponantially entwined as technology moves in leaps and bounds. Broadband has become ubiquitous (and connecting to it has become super easy to do), and as such there is an exciting zeitgeist that's seeing more and more devices hooking up online (like typical millenials). Known as the "Internet of Things" (or "IoT"), it means that all sorts of vehicles and home appliances will soon have software connectivity. Here are 3 examples you probably didn't know about...
1. HULA HOOPS
Since its heyday in the late 50's, the popularity of the hula hoop seems to have circled back 'round every few decades, like some sort of... I don't know... like some sort of donut, I guess. And now it's the day we've all waited for, when the hula hoop has finally entered the cyber age!
Meet the "VHOOP", a juiced-up hula hoop that, according to its website, is "the most advanced personal fitness device". In collaboration with its companion app, it tracks your workout, counts the calories you've burnt, and like all good modern devices, sends you passive-aggressive reminders when you're not giving it enough attention. I can honesty say that it's the most impressive hula hoop I've seen in almost seven months.
UPDATE: My boss has just informed me that he uses a hula hoop as a target when fly-fishing, and that if the VHOOP was waterproofed he'd consider buying one, so there's a product development option for VHOOP right there.
Talking shoes! What a future we we live in! Not even Marty McFly's fancy future Nikes talked to him! Truly, a future without talking shoes is the darkest timeline. These shoes are still in an experimental trial period, but Google and their collabrators Yesyesno are hoping to put them on the market sometime in - you guessed it - the future. And do these smart google shoes send you passive-aggressive reminders? Yes, of course they do! From the looks of the online advertising, their primary function is to nag you to keep your exercise up, then give you positive affirmations when you're good.
Yep, humans are also becoming literal real life cyborgs, which scares the heck out of some folks, but makes others fist-pump in public (personally I'm in the latter camp, Team Singularity all the way). There are many people entering the realm of the cyber-physical, in which physical components are intertwined with software and integrated with the internet. From cybernetic limbs to artificial vision systems, things that were once thought of science-fiction are becoming a freakin' rad reality. Colourblind artist Neil Harbisson uses a brain-antenna to convert colours into sound, while actress Angel Giuffria uses her bionic arm as a feature in her astonishing cosplay. Researchers in Chicago have even worked out how to use nanoscale silicon and gold wires to modify the human brain's electric signals in the hopes that they can one day use this method to treat brain disorders. In such a future, will we be able to hook up the internet directly into our gosh-dang brains?! If so, you sure as heck better make sure that you've got the best unlimited broadband plan you can get, 'cause it's gonna suck if your wi-fi bottoms out while you're halway through an amazing cyber-dream.