The world is becoming fully of amazing technology the downside being that devices are starting to look the same, “black-glass slabs” of all sizes. The near future involves the embedding of technology into re-imagined everyday objects, and rendering what was once ordinary into the “enchanted”.
We would like to extend this concept into the revitalisation of old objects, appliances or furniture and turn them into “enchanted” ones, rendered so by the addition of the latest Internet of Things technology.
Examples of this include:
- A grandfather clock that responds to voice commands: e.g., one could approach it, say “Tell me the time in Sydney, Australia” and the hands would move to the appropriate setting.
- A barometer that taps into WiFi and changes its setting based upon the latest, most accurate weather forecast.
- An old fashioned desk lamp that will automatically switch itself on based upon information it receives via the internet such as the time when sunset is due to occur and adjusts its brightness as twilight approaches.
- A bookcase you can speak to and which will reply – so you can find the position of a book, and order a book you don’t have from an online retailer. It also makes its catalogue available to the user via a mobile app.
- A mirror that looks back and responds to "Mirror, Mirror" commands – also, the glass could potentially be replaced with a screen that shows the individual in various outfits.
- A mixing bowl or pot which can assist you in preparing food – which uses a combination of sensors and internet connectivity which determines what steps to take and where you are in the preparation stages could make cooking an "enchanted" experience.
Role of Security
element14 believes that the Internet of Things may hit a roadblock: namely, the lack of secure communications between objects and individuals could lead to a situation in which data is being shared without explicit consent and exploited for malicious purposes. Therefore any Internet of Things challenge we will undertake in the future will have a security aspect: we will want to see that appropriate security measures have been built into the solutions. Bonus points will be given for clear demonstrations of this in the finished project.
The following criteria will be used in their analysis:
- Accuracy: how well does the proposed solution register the information it is intended to assess?
- Convenience: how easy it will be for non-technical personnel to use ?
- Cost: how much will it cost? Is it cost effective?
- Durability: for example, can it withstand everyday life and yet continue to function normally?
The solution which meets these four criteria the best will be the winner; in the case that if further improvements are yet required for it to be used in real life scenarios, we will may work with the winning engineer to develop it to fruition.