A Hundred Million Miracles

It may not yet create a hundred million miracles every day, but the Internet of things is beginning to change the way we live and work. Embedded software connects devices wirelessly to the Internet and from there to other devices, systems and services to make magical things possible.   At last evening’s Hardwired Meetup – organized and moderated by Matt Turck, of FirstMark Capital – five companies spoke of their specific miracles.

Keys and locks become a smartphone app – called an access control system.  A single device small enough to hold in your hand contains software for an entire skyscraper – software that’s continuously updated.  The device itself is designed using agile methodology.  3D printing makes it economically feasible to update the device as often as monthly. It’s so easy to install that customers can do it themselves.  The company is Kisi, and it consists of three men in Brooklyn.

Virtual reality comes to the real estate industry as Floored uses proprietary 3D cameras and software to visualize customizable 3D models of spaces.  These are new marketing tools that replace traditional static floor plans and photos and mediocre videos.  Viewers can walk through the models, add and change furniture and objects, change the lighting and explore both what exists and what might be.

Decorate your home with computer-generated artwork from the Internet or artists, including yourself shown on wall-hung or tabletop framed high definition screens from Electric Objects.  What you see on the panels is controlled by an app on an Android smartphone – with no mouse or keyboard – and you may choose a single visual or a collection.  one goal of the company is to recruit and support a network of artists who create new works as well as to provide distribution for existing works.

Estimote produces beacons and stickers – small wireless sensors – that can be attached to any object and that broadcast what’s where through radio waves to a smartphone with the right software.  The beacons and stickers can be used to build mobile interactions such as proximity marketing, contactless payments and in-venue analytics.  Developers are already building apps in retail, education, healthcare, transportation, hospitality and other sectors.

Dragon Innovation has no products of its own, but its miracle is to bring to life what others invent  It delivers services that enable inventors of miraculous IoT products to produce their products.  It provides certification that products will perform, which can support crowd-funding, and advisory services and project management for manufacturing.

Footnote on crowdfunding:  It’s not a sustainable sales channel but can produce valuable market validation and demonstrate demand provided you prepare your campaign thoughtfully and professionally.  For Electric Object, it attracted more than 2,200 backers and nearly $800,000 for a $25,000 goal!

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