One of the great things about teaching classes is how much one learns from the students.
I have been teaching a capstone graduate class at the University of Maryland University College, UMUC, http://www.umuc.edu/, about the Management of Technology and Innovation for a number of years. One of the running threads culminating in a discussion in the last session (which ended yesterday) relates to future technologies.
One of the threads this year focused on wireless technologies. One of the students linked to a product called Twine from a company called Supermechanical, http://supermechanical.com/. Twine is basically a sensor box, with some coming standard built-in and some requiring additional purchase and snap-on. It interfaces to the web, communicating to you via email.
It is able to tell temperature, motion and direction when purchased and as one example has an add-on moisture detector. You can, for example, put one in your basement. If there is any water that comes in, Twine sends you an email. The true power of the device, to me at least, is its ability to have additional sensors added.
When I looked at the Twine web-site, they note they can connect to Pebble, http://getpebble.com/. Pebble has a watch ‘form’ and is connected by bluetooth to your smartphone. In effect, Pebble is a customization front end to your phone as well as being another front-end to the Internet. Its epaper screen can be customized to look like almost any kind of watch face, while it can display caller id for phone calls, let you know about emails, tell you the distance to the green if you play golf, using free caddie, and so on.
Since almost everything these days can be accessed by wireless building blocks it is only natural that we are moving toward wireless charging, http://www.ti.com/ww/en/analog/wireless_power_solutions/index.shtml?DCMP=hpa_pmp_wireless11_en&HQS=pmp-wireless11-bpowerportal-en. As we reach the point where everything has an IP address and has the ability to send and receive information, the possibilities for creative design becomes endless; all of it being funded by organizations like kickstarter, kickstarter.com.