From smart shoes that point you in the right direction to track-and-find Bluetooth tags and connected car platforms, here are some ‘Internet of Things’ devices to make your life smarter and easier.
CarIQ: A connected car ecosystem
FOUNDED BY Sagar Apte and Deepak Thomas, CarIQ, a connected car ecosystem, uses a plug-and-play device to collate data from a vehicle, which is then analysed and sent back to the user. So if you happen to overspeed while driving, you will instantly get a warning alert on your smartphone. Not just that, it also sends regular servicing alerts and other important information about the car’s health to the user.
“CarIQ, which supports all cars manufactured after 2008, uses an IoT (Internet of Things) device called SmartPlug to read data from a vehicle. It fits snugly into a car’s OBD (on-board diagnostics) port. In fact, most people don’t even know that the OBD is a standard port on all cars, as it’s usually located under the steering wheel. Once connected, the car’s data is sent to our Cloud servers, where it is analysed with hundreds of similar cars. Consumable data is then sent back to the user,” says Thomas. “The user can also set custom alerts for speeding, share trips on social media, connect with workshops, renew their motor insurance and see vital stats about their cars,” he adds.
The overall picture for IoT in India looks very encouraging, says Thomas. “As per industry experts, IoT is the next big thing. India is fast catching up with the world in terms of technology adaptation… it would be the same for IoT devices as well. In fact, devices like health bands and connected car solutions are already seeing a lot of interest and traction. This will rise exponentially in the next couple of years,” he says.
Lechal: Interactive haptic footwear
THIS ONE’S for those who love exploring on foot. Developed by Hyderabad-based company Ducere Technologies, this interactive haptic footwear—that helps the visually impaired navigate better—guides the wearer to his/her destination through intuitive and hands-free navigation.
These shoes use compact pods that can be paired via Bluetooth with the Lechal app on your smartphone. All you need to do is put on the shoes, punch in your destination on the app and start walking. The haptic or vibratory feedback will lead you to your destination. So if you need to take a right, you will feel a buzz in your right shoe and vice-versa. Just follow the vibrations and you will be home, so to speak. You can also use foot gestures to tag locations, check if you’re on the right track during navigation, repeat route guidance and even start, pause or resume a workout. The company was set up by Krispian Lawrence and Anirudh Sharma, graduates of the University of Michigan and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively.
FIND: A track-and-find Bluetooth tag
IMAGINE THIS: you are running late for an early-morning meeting at the office. You gobble breakfast, grab the car keys and rush towards the car. But as soon as you step outside your home, a device in your pocket starts beeping, warning you that you are forgetting something. In this case, your smartphone. As soon as the distance between this device and your smartphone exceeded the Bluetooth range, the device started sending warning signals.
This device, or tag, called FIND has been created by the start-up SenseGiz. All you need to do is download the FIND app—available on Android and iOS platforms—on your smartphone and then pair the tag with your phone, using the app. FIND, which comes in the shape of a small square and is powered by replaceable coin cells, can also show the location of the paired smartphone. And it doesn’t just work with smartphones. You can hook or attach the tag to anything you like, be it your car keys, bags, wallets, luggage, pets or even children. Take, for instance, car keys. With this tag hooked on to the keys, you just need to open the FIND app on your phone and it will track and show you the location of the keys. “With FIND, you can forget about forgetting things ever again,” says Abhishek Latthe, CEO, SenseGiz, adding, “You can use it to locate things you often misplace by activating the buzzer on the tag or checking how close or far you are from it. The active tracking mode sets off an alarm if you leave this object behind. The app also uses the phone’s GPS to capture a location. So in case you lose something with FIND attached, it will show you the last recorded location on the map.”