Internet of ThingsStill being in the early days of the Internet of Things, new ideas and new companies are popping up left and right and bigger players are swooping in to acquire them. These pioneers showed their guns last week at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Although CES 2015 ended, we left with enough weird and wonderful tech to fill a house, literally. New smart devices for your home are everywhere. We saw kitchen appliances, lighting systems, and electrical outlets designed to be more safe, to consume less power, and to be controlled via mobile apps, but innovators didn’t stop creativity outside of the home.

Meet Belty, the wearable smart belt that connects to the user’s smartphone to learn preferences based on things like sitting and standing. Belty loosens when you sit and tightens when you stand. (Belty is only a tad different from its step-mother version, which backhandedly comments on your weight as your belt loosens…)

After you’ve finished complaining about your weight, hop on your Connected Cycle Smart Pedals. For people who don’t want to simply get from Point A to Point B, or, like me, had five bikes stolen in the last 6 months, Connected Cycle’s bike pedals track speed, distance, elevation and whether the bike starts moving when it should be locked up: all monitored and smartphone controlled, of course.

Imagine a world where every device—from the tiny sensors on your doors and windows to the largest home appliances—has an Internet address that renders it not only uniquely identifiable, but accessible from anywhere with Internet access. Every one of these “things” can exchange messages with every other thing regardless of who built it. Stop imagining and open your eyes – or better yet, open your apps. This futuristic vision is attainable today and it’s all thanks to “contextually aware” mobile applications.

Data holds a powerful key and mobile creates a large amount of data. Tech companies create smarter apps by relying on data from our mobile devices: personal preference, schedule, age, hobbies, location. The more data acquired, the more our devices learn about us and the smarter they become. With that, we notice that pioneers deliver their product through partnerships of mobile applications and context-aware software. Utilizing context-aware software allows smart devices to send an individual the right information at the right time and place. The pioneers behind this software give smart devices the ability to make accurate decisions, while competitors remain in the dark.

With the advancements we saw in smart devices at CES 2015 in creativity, diversity and development, one characteristic consistently flows in innovators’ blood – one creating the foundation for seamless and accurate information at the right time and place for the right person. This foundation is build through software partnerships that put context-awareness at the forefront of their strategy.

After all, if you’re unaware, it’s hard to be smart.


Featured guest blogger: Will Adams for AirPatrol