There has been a lot of talk about IoT this year (it stands for Internet of Things, for those that don’t know) – how everyday objects will be connected to the internet to enhance their functionality. But which particular “things” are going to make the biggest splash? And which will be adopted first? Judging by the tech-battle-ground going on in the automotive industry at the moment, I’m guessing that CARS will be the ideal place to start the IoT revolution.
After all, we are used to high-technology in our cars, and our roads already create a network of sorts. Lets look at some of the new ideas which might transform transport as we know it…
Gogoro is a manufacturer of high performance electric scooters. Not only do these “2-wheel Tesla’s” do 0-50km in 4.2 seconds, they are also making waves because they use a power network with no charging time! How is that possible? The Gogoro uses 2 batteries which you can swap in seconds for a fully charged one. A network of battery points provides fully charged batteries which you simply swap for your old one. Clever, huh? What has that got to do with IoT and networking, I hear you ask? Nothing yet, but here’s the thing…
As well as being faster and easier, Gogoro’s scooters are smarter. 55 sensors within the scooter analyse your riding constantly, and the network is always scanning your location and distance to the nearest power point station. It can optimise your battery usage based on how your drive, diagnose the performance, even customise the lights on your vehicle!
The combination of clever energy use and cloud-based connection makes the Gogoro scooter one to watch out for in 2015.
Their awesome-looking website is : http://www.gogoro.com/
But what if we need a more powerful internet connection in our cars than our mobile data will allow? One company which has a solution for providing full bandwidth WIFI in-car is Veniam.
Veniam turns vehicles into wifi hotspots. “An internet of moving things” is the tagline proudly displayed on their site. It works by installing in a car a self-configuring onboard unit which can expand the wifi network to any other car equipped with a unit, or to locally placed infrastructure.
With the WIFI network in place throughout enough cars, Veniam claim that their system would create a public WIFI network throughout cities and busy roadways, or controlled spaces such as ports or airports, where companies have a lot of vehicles, allowing cloud-based analytics and communication between drivers over the net.
Check out https://veniam.com/ for full details.
So that is one possible solution to providing full bandwidth WIFI in-car. What would we use such a powerful connections for? The current standard for communicating with devices WITHIN your car is bluetooth. One company in Taiwan has set out to change that, and their reasons why are pretty convincing!
Nexum is a designer of audio interfaces in Taiwan. Haven’t heard of them? That’s no surprise, unless you are in Taiwan itself, where Nexum sold thousands upon thousands of its in-car audio devices last year.
The Nexum Linka is a small, inexpensive wifi audio device, capable of connecting the cars sound system to every smartphone / device in the vehicle. You can play your music in super high definition (“HiFi over Wifi” is the catchy slogan!), and thats not all, as Nexum are eager to point out….
The Linka works by creating a wifi hotspot within the car, and once devices are connected to it the sky is the limit. The system could be used to stream movies to in car entertainment (something which bluetooth does not have the bandwidth to do), or to link the car to the outside world via you mobile connection.
You can earn more or buy Linka here : http://www.nexum-design.com/#!linka/c1gb
With the technology aimed at in-car computing improving all the time (just check out Broadcoms new chips for one such innovation: http://ubm.io/1C4WbuP ) we can look forward to real innovation coming from this industry. Who knows, maybe in a few years we’ll be going for a drive every time we want to take advantage of the best computers available. (just keep your eyes on the road though, yeah?)