10/2/2015 - 12:00 pm

#NowTrending The Internet of Caring Things

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At heart, human beings have a set of unchanging, fundamental needs and wants. We want to be healthy, safe and feel connected to our loved ones. In our increasingly technocentric society, today’s consumers are embracing products, services and experiences that unlock new ways of fulfilling our most vital needs. The result? Smart objects that put people first.

Definition: 

Internet of Caring Things | A network of connected objects brought to life by a clear mission: to actively care for consumers - their physical and mental wellbeing, homes, loved ones, and more.

Internet of Healthy Things

Over the past few years we’ve seen an influx of products, services and apps that incorporate self-tracking through daily life, supercharging self-improvement, and promoting physical wellbeing. A great example of this is Cuptime, a smart cup which allows users to track hydration levels throughout the day. Designed in China, the plastic cup connects wirelessly to a cellphone, encouraging users to monitor their water intake and to track whether they’re drinking enough by assigning a ‘hydration performance’ score. 

The Stir Kinetic Desk is designed to help individuals remain healthy and active while at work. The desk is controlled by a built-in touchscreen and moves up and down to find the perfect height at which the user prefers to sit or stand. Embedded thermal sensors track calories burned, while ‘Active Mode’ causes the desk to rise and fall - as a reminder to change position often throughout the day.

Internet of Mindful Things

Stressed out, over-stimulated and pressed for time, today’s consumers expect the INTERNET OF CARING THINGS to attend to their mental wellbeing, as well. The Neuro:On smart sleep mask and app increases productivity by promoting power napping. It monitors brain waves, muscle tension and eye movements to determine the most efficient sleeping pattern for its wearer. It even features an accompanying jet lag app which helps users adjust better while flying between different time zones.

 

Internet of Safety Things

Physical safety is one of the most fundamental human needs. Now, a network of Caring objects can unlock new ways to serve it. The Nest Protect is a two-in-one smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector which in addition to offering an early detection spoken warning, can also notify users about potential hazards via a cellphone or tablet. The device contains an ultrasonic activity sensor and in the case of an emergency will direct occupants to safety.

Internet of Security Things

A truly smart network of connected objects means enhanced oversight and control of our valuable possessions. The Cricket is a bluetooth-enabled bike alarm that syncs with a mobile app. It sends a push notification to the owner’s cellphone if it detects that the bike has been touched or moved. If the bike is stolen, the owner can alert the Cricket network and every connected device in the area scans for the lost alarm.

Internet of Family Things

Supercharged oversight of the physical world doesn’t only apply to possessions, it also helps consumers stay close to their loved ones. Toymail is a range of talking toys that allow parents to stay in touch with their kids while traveling. The accompanying app invites parents to record and save voicemail messages, which are played through the toy in each character’s voice.

Mother by sen.se  is a US designed monitoring system for home and family. The central device connects to a user’s home wifi network and then works with separate mobile sensors to monitor the location of family members and the use of objects within the home. This super-powered magical device can keep track of anything and everything from exercise, coffee-intake, sleep patterns, temperature and more while collecting all of the information into an interactive senseboard app for smart phones and devices. 

The Future of the Internet of Caring Things

So what does the emergence of the INTERNET OF CARING THINGS mean for our future? When consumers live amid their own personal network of caring objects, they will have a heightened expectations of care and require more from the brands they love. We are moving into an age of new data where anything and everything from daily movements, mood, sleep and other interactions within the home are tracked. Of course this also increases concern over privacy. A network of connected objects also means a network of upgradeable objects, shifting away from the standard purchase, use, discard model of consumption. As technologies converge and needs emerge, these changes will drive the demand for a network of caring objects, designed to protect and assist people in their daily lives.

Read 3370 times Last modified on 31/1/2018 - 4:19 pm
Joi M Sears

Joi M. Sears is a creative strategist, freelance journalist and social entrepreneur. She is the founder and Creative Director of Free People International, a social enterprise which specializes in designing sustainable products, creative platforms and innovative experiences for the greater social good.

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