11 Internet of Things Ideas Worth Watching

Cisco solicits IoT ideas in Innovation Grand Challenge

Internet of Things (IoT) Innovation Grand Challenge

Cisco has launched the Internet of Things (IoT) Innovation Grand Challenge “to spearhead an industry-wide initiative to accelerate the adoption of breakthrough technologies and products that will contribute to the growth and evolution of the Internet of Things.” Awards of $250,000 will be shared among the three winners, and can be used to jump-start the ventures. Here’s a sampling of the recently revealed 19 semi-finalists. Three grand winners will be announced on Oct. 14.

Solar Freakin’ Roadways
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Solar Freakin’ Roadways

Cisco has to like this one, as it suggests using intelligent solar panels to replace everything from roadway paving to basketball court asphalt. They can heat surfaces to do away with icy driveways, and for Cisco, they would include integration with its fiber switches along highways and elsewhere.

Woosh: Smart urban water stations
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Woosh: Smart urban water stations

Prototypes of these computerized water drinking stations have already rolled out in Tel Aviv and the idea is to make them available in many other locations in an effort to cut down on plastic bottle waste and increase overall water consumption.

Arilou’s CAN Firewall for car security
Arilou’s CAN Firewall for car security

Drivers don’t just need a LoJack recovery system anymore for protecting their wheels. Arilou has developed a system to clamp down on unsecured car connectivity systems to make sure that your brakes, engine and air bags will work even if someone tries to mess with your wireless stereo system.

Toymail, wirelessly-networked toys
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Toymail, wirelessly-networked toys

Cartoony little physical mailbox toys let you stay connected with your kids by sending them voice messages over WiFi via your phone that the toys then speak for the kids. It promotes two-way communication and keeps the kids off screens for at least a little bit.

Lesnoy Dozor: System for forest monitoring and early detection of fires
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Lesnoy Dozor: System for forest monitoring and early detection of fires

Uses sensors installed on high-rise towers, video cameras, infrared imagers and more for real-time monitoring.

Underwater Network Nodes
Underwater Network Nodes

Gets around shortcomings of land/air based technologies like GPS to allow for underwater communications and navigation. Subnero proposes acoustic communications nodes (UNET nodes) that form a GPS-like network under water that could improve ship safety, monitor oil/gas and other underwater infrastructure, and more.

Sedicii: Authentication for the Cloud
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Sedicii: Authentication for the Cloud

This outfit’s patented TrustInside authentication technology does away with transmitting and storing passwords by using a randomized challenge-based system.

Unlock your Smart World with Chui facial recognition system
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Unlock your Smart World with Chui facial recognition system

Facial recognition technology offers secure access to smart home systems, and addresses the possibilities of people playing tricks with pictures of your face. It also deals with changes to your face, such as wearing shades or growing a ‘stache.

WunderBar: Starter kit for IoT
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WunderBar: Starter kit for IoT

Relayr’s tool set encourages DIYers to whip up apps that exploit sensors and other wireless IoT devices from any manufacturer.

Aerobots: Drones for aerial images
Aerobots: Drones for aerial images

Propeller’s unmanned aerial vehicle technology provides detailed image maps and 3D models for construction teams, farms and more that are accessible via Web apps.

Medbip, for medication management
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Medbip, for medication management

Its devices, which look like small leaves, can be fastened on medication packages (pill bottles, inhalers, injection pens, etc.) and linked to apps that help patients and caretakers manage their healthcare.