With baseball fever capturing San Francisco's attention and people donning Halloween costumes last week, Pepcom's Holiday Spectacular showcased some of the latest gadgets and applications from 46 different companies. Although modest in size, the event rolled out some interesting technologies for the rapidly expanding market of IoT users -- just in time for major year-end holiday sales.
According to a study of more than 2,000 consumer surveys by the Acquity Group (Accenture Interactive), "69 percent of consumers [are] planning to buy an in-home device in the next five years. By the end of next year, a total of about 13 percent of consumers will own an in-home IoT device such as a thermostat or in-home security camera."
Based on such promising predictions, it is unsurprising that there were many different iterations on fitness tracking wearable devices and home monitoring systems at the event, as well as some show-stoppers, such as Iridium's portable satellite hotspot for smartphones and tablets.
The following pages have some highlights from the event.
Be the coolest, connected kid on the camping trip
Getting mobile phone service has always been a precarious problem, especially when camping or traveling. Iridium seeks to address these problems (and more) with its satellite phone service. Iridium showcased its latest product, Iridium GO!, the industry's first portable satellite hotspot that connects to any smartphone or tablet, extending voice and data coverage for personal devices when they are out of range of cellular networks. Iridium's commercial satellite constellation consists of 66 low-Earth-orbiting (LEO), cross-linked satellites operating as a fully meshed network and supported by multiple in-orbit spares. The Iridium GO! is connected to the Iridium LEO satellite constellation, and this device creates a WiFi hotspot within a 30.5-meter (100-foot) radius.
Not your father's intercom
The smart homes we saw in sci-fi cartoons such as The Jetsons are closer to becoming (a reasonably priced) reality. ArcSoft showcased its Simplicam powered by Closeli, the first and only home monitoring solution with facial detection. Among some of the interesting features included are encrypted video streams (for privacy), night vision, and two-way chat.
Controlling 50 light bulbs: an engineer's dream
Interest in better, more energy-efficient, and customizable lighting fixtures is on the rise, with a special focus on LED lighting fixtures. Belkin International showed several products from its three brands, Belkin, Linksys, and WeMo. Pictured below is the WeMo LED lighting starter kit. WeMo is completely modular, and the WeMo app allows for the creation of schedules and can control up to 50 smart LED bulbs.
Affordable fitness wearable
One of the most popular wearable items of this year has been fitness tracking wristbands. There were a few different types at Pepcom, including Orb by Fitbug. Orb was among the most reasonably priced wearables, starting out at around $50. According to Fitbug, one way it differentiates itself amongst its competitors is its pricing and how it takes user data to create personalized fitness plans.
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