Best of IOT Infographics: Neura’s Top 10 Picks

If you’re an Internet of Things company looking for investment, chances are you’ll be given preference over a non-IoT venture. Of course, it absolutely depends on which investor you approach, so don’t quote us on this. Today’s buzzwords are IoT, Internet of Things, Machine Learning, Big Data… you get the idea. This should give you an idea of just how much money is invested in such companies that are attempting to reshape the tech landscape. It’s too big not pay attention to, if we’re to go with the prediction that by 2020 there will be 200 billion devices connected to the Internet.

In light of this new interest, we’ve been giving you must-read “best of IoT” compilations (top IoT Events, Influencers and Accelerators). And today, we’ve dug up the from the Internet some of the best infographics on the topic of Internet of Things, because nothing screams “organized information” better than an infographic. Go ahead and help yourself to top-notch material!  

    1. ‘What is the Internet of Things’ by Harbor Research
      Harbor Research is an internationally recognized research, tech and business development consulting firm which has been tracking and driving the development of the Internet of Things. This visual gives you the low-down on what IoT actually is. Call it a “IoT for the Dummies” sort of infographic.

      Date Published: March 2014
      Popularity: 1500 views on Slideshare alone!
      View the entire infographic here.

       1-harbor-research
    2. ‘How the Internet of Things is Transforming the Workplace’ by Power More (Dell)
      Dell contributor Megan Anderle outlines how IoT is changing the landscape for businesses and what that transformation translates to.

      Date Published: April 2015
      Popularity: 14,344 views & shared 41 times on Twitter!
      Here’s the infographic in its entirety and the article with it.2-Dell

 

    1. ‘The Marketing Power of the Internet of Things’ by Marketo
      Dayna Rothman of Marketo educates us on how marketers can benefit from the Internet of Things as it provides them with vast opportunities to listen and respond to their audience based on their behavior.

      Date Published: April 2015
      Popularity: 1.3K shares of which 369 are on Twitter! Worth your time?
      Check out the entire infographic here.

      3-marketo
       

 

    1. ‘A Guide to the Internet of Things’ by Intel
      The Digital team at Intel wonders how long will it be before humans control computers at the same pace they do with their hands. Interesting question. And a very interesting infographic. They even suggest a “Facebook of Things”.

      Date Published: Unknown
      Popularity: No numbers BUT the graphics on this one shouldn’t be missed!
      Full infographic. 

      4-Intel

 

    1. ‘The Internet of Things’ by Cisco
      Cisco blogger Dave Evans gives us a visual representation of the rise of the number of “things” connected to the Internet along with very accurate predictions.

      Date Published: July 2015
      Popularity: 84 Tweets & 488 shares on LinkedIn!
      Check it out.

      5-Cisco

 

    1. ‘The Future of the Internet of Things’ by Xively
      Xively predicts that by 2020, every human being will be connected to at least 10 devices, one of them being some sort of wearable tech. Heck, it’s only 2015 and that prediction is already a reality. But the question the infographic puts forth is: How ready is the world for the ‘Dawn of the Internet of Things’.  

      Date Published: March 2014
      Popularity: 1.5 views & tweeted 293 times!
      Full article: Here.

      6-Xively

    2. Why the ‘Internet of Things’ Hasn’t Really Caught On Yet by AdWeek
      While it is a whole lot of fun and all, the Internet of Things still hasn’t secured a foothold in the mainstream consumer market. Is it because there just aren’t enough early adopters? Or are privacy and security the primary concerns? Let’s take a look.

      Creator of Infographic: Carlos Monteiro
      Date Published: Jan 2015
      Popularity: 611 tweets! Beat that!
      Step in here for the full spash.
      7-Adweek

 

    1. “10 Cool Companies that are Already Monetizing IOT” by Aria Systems
      The future is here. Here are some of the coolest companies that are taking to the Internet of Things in exciting and profitable ways.

      Date Published: July 2014
      Popularity: 189 Tweets! 130 LinkedIn shares! 700+ pins!
      Front row seats to the full show.

      8-Aria-systems

 

    1. ‘What Is The Value Of The Internet Of Things’ by Industrial IP
      How much of the global GDP will get impacted by the Internet of Things? A visual dive into the numbers of interconnectivity.

      Date Published: Sept 2014
      Popularity: 1780 shares & 167 shares!
      Infographic in its entirety.9-Industrial-IP

 

    1. ‘Explainer: What is the Internet of Things?’ by CNN
      Saving the best for the last. Here’s a super cool, interactive infographic that breaks it down for us.

      Date Published: June 2013
      Popularity: Recommended on Facebook 943 times!
      Cool factor: An infographic that’s interactive!

      10-CNN

 

Any cool infographic that didn’t make it to the list? Let us know in the comment section below!

Neura is simplifying lives by connecting people via automated interactions. If that sounds even remotely interesting, then you’re going to love the app. Get the Android version today and say goodbye to manual texts such as “I just got home”!

9 IoT Accelerators That Are Changing the Tech Landscape

Bolt
Locations: Boston and San Francisco
Program duration: Minimum 6 months
Expertise: Hardware
Website: https://bolt.io/

Bolt, self-proclaiming themselves to being the ‘one-stop-shop’ for early stage hardware startups, is a Boston based accelerator started by Ben Einstein, Axel Bichara and Scott Miller bringing together a few decades of product design, manufacturing and investing experience. The Bolt process is fairly hands-on all the way from putting money into your company (up to $500K) through prototyping and manufacturing. They’ve partnered with YCombinator to try and bring the best alleged dealflow pipeline with their hardware touch but so far it doesn’t seem to be extremely impactful. Nonetheless, Bolt is one of the best choices in our opinion. For you Bostonian hardware people – worth checking out!



Hax

Locations: San Francisco, US and Shenzhen, China
Programs: HAX Accelerator (111 days) and HAX Boost (42 days)
Expertise: Hardware
Website: http://www.hax.co/

The media and the startup world consider Hax to be the “most prolific accelerator program for hardware.” Their claim to fame is their unique laser-focus on hardware startups with a portfolio of about 80 startups from industries including smartphones, IoT tools, and medical devices. Their programs cater to early-stage startups still figuring out direction as well as startups with a ready go-to-market product. Hax’s success rate looks pretty good to us (over 90% survival rate with 100% crowdfunding success) making them a stiff competition for other hardware accelerators on this list.



lemon-labs

Location: San Francisco (they’re space is subbed “The Forge”)
Program duration: Anywhere between 6 to 15 months
Expertise: Hardware
Website: http://lemnoslabs.com/

In 2011, MIT graduates Jeremy Conrad and Helen Zelman Boniske put together their skills and knowledge to start Lemnos Labs to help hardware companies build great products. The idea was to “catch them early”, work with startups while they’re still in the prototyping stage by giving them relevant industry knowledge, access to a network of engineers and mentors, and an office space to work from, apart from an initial investment (up to $200K). Here’s what we think makes Lemnos stand out from the rest: they don’t have fixed program durations. Companies work with Lemnos Labs for about a year and decide to graduate based on how ready they are.



r:ga-accelerators

Location: New York City, NY
Program duration: 3 months
Expertise: Hardware & Software
Website: http://rgaaccelerator.com/connecteddevices/

The origins of the R/GA accelerator are rather amusing. RGA, a well-known digital agency, was losing its talent to young disruptive startups; so they came in with the attitude, “If you can’t beat them, join them” making way for one of the most sought-after accelerators on the east coast. The accelerator was born of a partnership between mentorship-driven startup accelerator Techstars and the R/GA, digital agency with a focus on connected devices. As of earlier this year, their focus expanded to also include enterprise and business uses for IoT. There’s a reason they’re on our list, check them out.


wearable-world
Location: San Francisco
Program duration: 3.5 months
Expertise: Wearables & IoT
Website: http://wearableworldlabs.com/

They’re a relatively hot name in Silicon Valley with a portfolio including innovative brands that are successfully carving out a name for themselves, like Skully (they make smart helmets) and Sensum (emotion based software solutions). Other than the accelerator program, Wearable World is the successfully building strong brand presence by spearheading events such as Wearable Wednesdays, the e2e Conference and Wearable World Congress — all names we’ve come across at one point of time or another. Earlier this year, they also joined forces with tech news site, ReadWrite. Quite a repertoire that may make them worth your while if you’re a wearable play looking to join an accelerator.



tandem

Location: Burlingame, California
Program duration: 6 – 12 months
Expertise: Hardware & Software
Website: http://tandemcap.com/

Tandem Capital is a Burlingame seed-stage venture fund founded by two tech heavyweights, Doug Renert and Sunil Bhargava — both come with extensive experience working in the technology space for 20+ years. Earlier this year, Tandem raised $100 million to help startups it takes in to go beyond the seed phase. Tandem onboarded some big fish – an alum of Google and Yahoo! and the co-founder of Couchsurfing – to help guide early-stage startups. A noteworthy differentiator is their relatively generous capital stake in their portfolio companies which is a good indication of them having serious skin in the game, other than just providing mentorship and office space. It also announced a pivot in it’s approach — they’re more of a pre-seed investor than just an accelerator, stating that the term “accelerator” doesn’t do justice to its involvement (read investment + hands-on mentorship) with its startups.


highway1
Location: San Francisco
Program duration: 4 months
Expertise: Hardware
Website: http://highway1.io/

Founder and CEO of PCH, Liam Casey says his accelerator, Highway1 is “looking for inexperience.” The manufacturing bigwig earned himself quite a reputation in the late 90s when he cracked down the fortress that is China’s supply chain system. Today, PCH brings in a staggering revenue of over $1 billion, manufacturing high quality products for tech giants across the globe.

Highway 1, PCH’s investment arm and accelerator, offers entrepreneurs a small investment in exchange for 4-7% equity. Selected startups are enrolled in a 4 month program where the goal is simple: help get their products to the market. Highway1 boasts a pretty nice portfolio — Drop, a connected kitchen scale, Ringly that makes smart jewelry, 3D Robotics that makes drones, and Blaze that makes cyclists safe with laser lights. Adding them to your resume may be a smart thing to do.


 

labIX copy

Location: Milpitas
Program duration: TBD
Expertise: Hardware
Website: labix.io

Flextronics International, the supply chain solutions company, reinvented itself as Flex recently and said they’re making some big changes in their focus, apart from shaving off some letters from their name. The company said it’s moving towards more profitable efforts like engineering design and IP, and that they’re now a “sketch-to-scale” industrial design shop. As part of this reinvention, Flex also launched an accelerator, Lab IX which mentors the startups along with an initial investment. Some of their success stories include Muse, they make headbands that monitors brain activity during meditation; NextInput, a sensor company; and Atheer Labs, a 3D augmented reality platform. They may be young blood, but their portfolio sure does make them worth considering.


hubraum_logo

Location: Berlin, Krakow Tel Aviv
Program duration: Berlin (6 – 12 months); Krakow (12 months)
Expertise: Hardware & Software
Website: https://www.hubraum.com/

hub:raum – a European touch to this list – is Deutsche Telekom’s accelerator program focused on the Internet of Things. Their mandate, other than the usual “we’ll give you office space and some mentoring”, is easier (not “easy”… “easier”) access to European telcos and Deutsche Telekom’s far and diverse reach. They’ve also began a small expansion with offices in Berlin, Krakow and Tel Aviv, so if you plan on a pan-European reach, their network will likely become more and more relevant (not to mention meeting spaces…). All in all, we’re fans of the hub:raum program – great team, a lot of willingness to help and a worthy attempt to mitigate the shadowing corporate behemoths and provide a true early stage working environment, clean from corporate distractions. Worth checking out!

This compilation was put together by the ever-enthusiastic and curious Neura team. Neura revolutionizes the way people communicate and our goal is simple: Simplify YOUR life. Get our app and see how it changes the way you communicate!

10 Most Important IoT Events in 2016

We’re in the midst of a high-octane period with tons of interest in the Internet of Things. Almost every other day we hear of a product launch or a staggering investment in an IoT-empowered product/ service. We’re seeing inventions across verticals, from smarter homes and cities to healthcare and transportation. With this kind of surge, it isn’t enough to just follow IoT influencers, but also events, conferences and summits that give us the full spiel on what to look forward to. So, here’s a list of events for the remaining of 2015 and the next year that you could mark on your calendar if they interest you; you’re welcome!

  1. RE.WORK Connect Summit, San Francisco
    When: November 12 – 13, 2015
    Where: San Francisco, California
    Register here

    Here are the facts: It’s a 2-day event with 50 speakers. They’re hoping to have about 250 attendees. It’s in beautiful sunny and windy city of San Francisco. They’ll cover topics such as big data, quantified self, drones, connected homes, and more of the buzzwords that will have the IoT folks flock to it right away.

    Verdict: It’s on our list of “must attend”. Should be on yours too!
  2.  

  3. IOT World Forum 2015
    When: November 18th – 19th, 2015
    Where: London, UK
    Register here

    IOT World Forum is the world’s leading IoT-related event with a focus on IoT applications, solutions and companies across the board, including automotive, healthcare, manufacturing, security, and more.
  4.  

  5. International CES 2015
    When: January 6 – 9, 2016
    Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
    Register here

    Consumer technology gets center stage every year at the Consumer Electronics Show, the world’s largest tradeshow for innovation. At CES 2015, there were more than 170,000 attendees from around the world and about 3600 companies that exhibited! That should give you idea as to just how big 2016 will be, and the number of innovations the world will see.
  6.  

  7. Mobile World Congress 2016
    When: February 22 – 25, 2016
    Where: Barcelona, Spain
    Register here

    About 1200 companies will exhibit at next year’s Mobile World Congress, the event which opens its doors to thought leaders, startups, innovators, visionaries, mobile leaders and journalists, giving them all one platform to come share ideas.
  8.  

  9. Industry of Things World USA 2016
    When: February 25 – 26, 2016
    Where: Hard Rock Hotel, San Diego
    Register here

    The Industry of Things World brings together big players from the IoT space, all on one platform to exchange innovative ideas. It’s a two day event with inspirational keynotes, interactive workshops and briefings, panel discussions and networking opportunities. The event’s goal is to “accelerate market adoption and gain a deeper business and technical understanding” of the Internet of Things landscape.
  10.  

  11. Bosch ConnectedWorld 2016
    When: March 9 – 10, 2016
    Where: Berlin, Germany
    Request to be notified when registrations open

    The annual Internet of Things conference by Bosch will be held in March of 2016 in Berlin where thought leaders and expert speakers will share best practices around IoT-empowered products and services.
  12.  

  13. Solid: The O’Reilly Internet of Things Conference
    When: April 20 – 22, 2016
    Where: San Francisco, United States
    Register here

    Product developers, designers, manufacturers and more — all come together to share inspiration and expertise required to be innovative in this new age of the Internet of Things. If you make physical products are are interested in all things UX, product design and IoT, you definitely don’t want to miss this.
  14.  

  15. The Internet of Things World Forum 2016
    When: May 10 – 12, 2016
    Where: Santa Clara Convention Center, California
    Register here

    Slated to be the world’s most comprehensive and largest IoT event, the Internet of Things World Forum is place for networking and learning, and to discover the latest trends and products/ services. Last year’s events brought in great numbers in attendance, presentation, demos by startups and keynote speakers.
  16.  

  17. IFA 2016 — Consumer Electronics Unlimited
    When: September 2 – 7, 2016
    Where: Berlin, GermanyRegistrations not open yet

    Every year, Berlin hosts the biggest consumer electronics conference in Europe and has a footfall of about 245,000, all pouring in to discover emerging trends and innovative products. Their 2015 conference was attended by 6,000 journalists  from across the globe, and the revenue generated from orders amounts to around 4.3 billion euros. A classic case of “judging an event by its numbers,” right?
  18.  

  19. Dreamforce ‘16

    When: October 4 – 7, 2016
    Where: San Francisco, California
    Pre-register here

    Salesforce’s annual event, Dreamforce 2015 saw thought leaders, industry pioneers sharing their ideas and knowledge with over 150,000 participants! Being the largest (and most popular!) software conference, Dreamforce is dubbed the ‘Super Bowl of Software’.

    When it comes to IoT, Salesforce is getting their foot in the door by launching its Internet of Things Cloud that’s capable enough to detect even the smallest of trends in data, empowering companies who use it to proactively respond in real-time. Salesforce is also partnering with Microsoft and Cisco to plunge into the smart city market, and is slated to be the 4th largest tech company in the world in a year’s time!

This list is by no means comprehensive; there are way more than 10 IoT events that you absolutely must add to your calendar. We just picked the top 10 that we thought deserved real estate. If you beg to differ, add in a comment below and we’ll do a follow up post. :)

This compilation is served with a piping hot cup of coffee by the Neura team. Neura revolutionizes the way people communicate and our goal is simple: Simplify YOUR life. Get our app and see how it changes the way you communicate!

10 IoT Influencers That Should Top Your ‘Must Follow’ List

While the number of IoT products and services soar, some of us find it hard to keep up. In order to keep pace with the ever-evolving market, businesses like ours need to be up to speed with new inventions in the IoT space. At Neura, we have a go-to list of IoT influencers we track to get our daily dose of updates.  

Start your day with this go-to list. Trust us, it’s more important than coffee. We’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of the top ten people who are influencing the topic in various ways.

  1. Kevin Kelly: A founding executive editor of Wired magazine, former publisher/editor of Whole Earth Review, author of many influential books that boldly muse on technology, photography, art among other topics. There’s a popular notion that says “Kevin continues to stay an unknown number of steps in front of the rest of us.”Follow him on Twitter & his website.
    kkimage
    Kevin Kelly | Image source: http://kk.org/


  2. Stacey Higginbotham: Based in Austin, Texas, Stacey is a high tech, policy and financial reporter who finds it easy to break down hard-to-understand topics. Stacey writes for Fortune (senior editor) and GigaOM and has spent the several years covering technology and finance for publications including the Austin Business Journal, The Deal, Bloomberg BusinessWeek and The Bond Buyer. She’s the go-to-writer for anything even remotely related to IoT.

    Follow Stacey on Twitter & her website. And, here’s her podcast.

    Stacey
    Stacey Higginbotham | Image source: http://livestream.com


  3. Bruce Sterling: A science fiction writer and tech critic, Bruce is one of the founders of the cyberpunk movement, having written several books that contributed to that space such as Heavy Weather (1994), Islands in the Net (1988), Schismatrix (1985), The Artificial Kid (1980) and his work on this Mirrorshades anthology. He currently blogs at ‘Beyond The Beyond’ which is hosted by Wired.

    Follow him on Twitter & here’s where you’ll find his writings.

    Bruce_Sterling_(1)
    Bruce Sterling | Image source: Wiki Commons

     

  4. Kevin Ashton: Can there ever be an IoT influencers list without the person who coined the very term!? A writer-turned-serial-entrepreneur, Ashton started on the IoT path when he was assistant brand manager at PG&E back in 1997. he soon found himself interested in the use of Radio-frequency identification in supply chain. Shortly after, he moved on to MIT where he co-founded a research consortium called the Auto-ID Center.

    Best places to follow Kevin: Twitter & Medium.

    kevin-ashton
    Kevin Ashton | Image source: Twitter

     

  5. Tony Fadell: One of those glamorous profiles you can’t miss! Tony Fadell was Senior Vice President for iPod at Apple; after which he founded Nest Labs (the smart thermostat we all love) which was acquired by Google. Currently, he heads the Google Glass division.  

    Here’s his latest report on IoT, and you can also follow him on Twitter.

    Tony_Fadell
    Tony Fadell | Image source: Wikipedia

     

  6. Rob van Kranenburg: Founder of the IoT Council, Rob has authored Enabling Things to Talk and published The Internet of People for a Post-Oil World. He’s one of the big names in the Internet of Things space with far-reaching influence, and definitely one you should follow.

    Follow him on Twitter & on the IoT Council.

    Rob van Kranenburg
    Rob van Kranenburg | Image source: Flickr

     

  7. Usman Haque: Usman seems to have his hands in multiple pies currently: founder of Pachube, co-founder of Umbrellium and CEO of Connected Environments. Many believe he’s the frontrunner of the IoT revolution. Worth your time, we think.

    Follow him on Twitter.

    Usman-Haque
    Usman Haque | Image source: Flickr

     

  8. Rob Tiffany: Known as the pioneer of the mobile revolution, Rob is at the forefront of IoT innovation at Microsoft, where as a Global Technology Lead, IoT, he oversees the architecture, development and deployment of mobile & wireless solutions for Fortune 100 companies.   

    Follow his blog & on Twitter.

    Rob-Tiffany
    Rob Tiffany | His blog

     

  9. Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino: At the #9 spot, we have Alexandra, who adds a human touch to the entire Internet of Things movement. Her blog on DesignSwarm, a design and consultancy firm she founded, is a light-hearted take on the technological wave. Alexandra is one of the Top 100 Influential Tech Women on Twitter (Business Insider, 2014), founder of IoTAngels, and the creator of The Good Night Lamp. A resume that commands to be followed.

    Follow her on Twitter and her blog.

    Alexandra
    Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino | Image source: Flickr

     

  10. Gilad Meiri: We’d like to selfishly and proudly end the list with our very own CEO, Gilad Meiri, otherwise what would be the point! Five minutes with Gilad and you’ll know just how eclectic his knowledge is. He can switch from a conversation about IoT to talk about outdoor cooking without anyone taking  notice. Heck, he can even connect the two! Gilad maintains a weekly newsletter which give his readers 5 IoT updates they ought to know. Check out his latest newsletter on Medium.
    wAIMG_9055
    Gilad Meiri | Image source: Twitter

    Follow him on Twitter.

     

If you think we left out a rather important influencer from our almost-comprehensive list, do leave a comment and we’ll make sure to add them in a follow up post. This compilation is brought to you by the Neura team. Neura revolutionizes the way people communicate and our goal is simple: Simplify YOUR life. Get our app and see how it changes the way you communicate!

Sources: Dataconomy & Postscapes

Finalé: What Neura is Today and a Sneak Peek into the Future — Part III

This one completes the series of posts that brought to light some of Neura’s winning features. In this post, we also give our followers a little preview into the next version, a little ‘what’s in store’ sorts.

So far, we told you about our priority feature, “Contextual Automated Notifications” that enable you to automatically notify specific people of your whereabouts and activities. You also got an in-depth look at our beautiful home screen that makes using the app so much more easy! Let’s walk you through another one of Neura’s masterstrokes.

Timeline

Alright, so I have a sexy looking home screen, and I’m able to notify specific people of specific events. Great! But, can I review where I’ve been, how long I’ve slept, how long I drove? You bet you can! A contextual experience isn’t complete if you’re not able to review your day and see how amazingly productive you were!

nexus5-600-timeline

A Sneak Peak into the Future

A well-defined roadmap always, always has one eye looking into the future; and at Neura, that best practice is right up there alongside ‘meeting customer expectations’. Very briefly, without giving too much away, these are some of the features the Neura Product team has on their bucket list:

  • Status Requests: The power of automatic notifications is being unleashed. Soon you’ll be able to request a status on someone at any given time of the day, provided they approve. Worrying why your teenage daughter is still out past curfew time will become a thing of the past.
  • Ping Apps/ Devices and Activate/ Launch Them: The rectangular device you hold in your hand through 60% of your day is proving to be more powerful than we ever imagined. Neura will enable you to keep your apps and devices looped in on what you’re up to letting them sensibly respond to you.

Picture this: You’re out for a run. Your Spotify picks up on that and launches with your fitness playlist playing through your headphones. On your way back home, your Nest understands you’ll need a room with a cooler temperature post running, and adjusts itself. A truly smart surrounding, at your fingertips.

That’s it from us here at Neura! We hope you look at your Neura app with a fresh set of lenses, and keep a weathered eye out for the next version that comes with killer features!

Not on Neura yet? Hop on and get the app today.

 

Neura: What it is Today and a Sneak peek into the Future — Part II

Last week, we discussed how any product must go through cycles of iterations to reach near-perfection; and still, the Product team can never sit back and say “Ok, We’re done. We have nothing more to add!” That almost never happens. The result? Hundreds of versions with a mind-boggling track history.

The sweet thing about this process is that, at a startup, the entire company is closely watching every version — testing it, putting it under gigantic QA lenses — being awed by the limitless creativity and innovation the app’s laced with. In a word, impressed. And now, we want to share that experience with you.

In the last post, we unveiled “Contextual Automated Notification”, and we hope it eased up some of your communication gaps. Today, we’d like to introduce…drumroll, please… our stunning looking “Homescreen”!

 

Homescreen

Home screen

Remember Windows 7? How the desktop looked with all folders neatly stacked to one side? It was all right until Windows 8 came about; and suddenly, the different colored tiles for various apps was all people could talk about for months! We’re surely not giving you the Win8 look and feel. We’re going beyond.

You will land on a beautifully designed, well-categorized, graphically appealing home screen every time you launch Neura. Don’t take our word for it. Ask the 60 odd people who tested our app and in chorus said, “Now that’s a beautiful home screen!”

We’re talking about a collection of your frequent contacts like significant other, friend or a parent; places you frequently visit like the gym, home or work; and activities like driving, sleeping and running. These tiles represent ‘contextual screens’ that allow you to set up automatic notifications. For example, tap into the ‘Significant Other’ tile to let you partner know you’re on your way home; or tap into the ‘Running’ tile to let your trainer know every time you complete your run. That’s something, isn’t it?

Look out for the next post about Neura’s always dependable Timeline.

Not on Neura yet? Hop on and get the app today.

Neura: What it is Today and a Sneak Peek into the Future — Part I

Arriving at the perfect product isn’t a situation people find themselves in, not even the really successful ones. Here’s why: there’s no such thing as a ‘perfect product’! In order to truly have a positive impact on our customer base, we have to continually improve our existing product. And to achieve that elusive near-perfect product, we have to rid ourselves of any complacency that comes with having already worked on developing a beautiful product for a few months (true story). We have to say goodbye to that good place we find ourselves in when we receive high praise from our noteworthy partners and power users such as yourselves (another true story). Like Stewart Butterfield says in e We Don’t Sell Saddles Here, “Be harsh, in the interest of being excellent.”

We’re going to let you in on an internal organizational fact (not necessarily a secret). Yesterday, we released version #193 of our app internally. All the 192 versions that came before it were great, but that’s not what we’re about. We’re not here to give the world a “great” product. We want to give the world an experience that promises to outlive the product itself. Neura is about contextual experiences. Iterations will continue until that beautiful contextual experience becomes a seamless, bug-free reality.

Given the stage we’re in right now, it’s time to bring the curtains up and present you with version #193 in a series of posts. Some of the features in this version that we’re proud of include our USP ‘Contextual Automated Notifications’; a new, shiny and never before seen ‘Home screen’; and the ever dependable ‘Timeline’.

Contextual Automated Notifications

Ah, our unique selling point that’s going to help us with world dominance. Just kidding! Like we said, what Neura is bringing to the table are contextual experiences tailored to adapt to your unique lifestyle, so you don’t have to sweat the small stuff — that you leave to us while you focus on things that really matter.

AUTOMATE

‘How’ you ask? Neura uses phone sensors to detect a user’s whereabouts and activities such as “Just landed” or “Arrived home” or “At the grocery store.” That’s just one half of the fun. The other half is that, if you so choose, it will automatically notify the people you want to notify of these events. Note, you choose when to notify and whom to notify. You as the user are in full control of your contextual experiences. Wait, there’s more! Contextual automatic notifications go beyond just notifying others’ about your whereabouts or activities. Neura can also help you remember to do stuff like “Water the plants” when you get home, or “Sign in to Slack” when you get to work. You get the idea.

Next week, we’ll look into why all the buzz of a home screen. You’ll see why.

Not on Neura yet? Hop on and get the app today.

Sensors, Actuators and IoT

When I attended a recent internet-of-things (IoT) conference, I kept hearing the same question: So What? The IoT industry continues to build devices, but how many IoT devices do something that’s truly useful and for whom? This blog post is the first in a series working to answer that question. Here I offer a framework dividing IoT into sensors and actuators.

Applying the language of MEMS to IoT

Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) are computer chips with moving parts that are typically divided into sensors and actuators. For example, the screen on your smartphone ‘knows which way is up’ because there’s a sensor inside with vibrating parts used to detect gravity. As Steve Jobs said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal,” so I propose stealing the MEMS sensors-and-actuators and applying it to IoT devices, not unlike Jobs stealing that quote from Picasso.

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What’s important about MEMS, and what’s most applicable to IoT, is that both are transducers: devices that change energy from one form into another form. An everyday example of a transducer is a musical instrument, like a guitar or a drum kit, that transforms mechanical energy into acoustic energy. Watching Tito Puente’s hands move is nice, but hearing his latin rhythms is something special. Puente could easily control and manipulate his hands, but So What? Well, the timbal drums enabled him to transform the motion of his hands into the music that we enjoy. That’s the key to MEMS, IoT, and transducers in general: going between energy in the form of electrical data signals that we can easily manipulate and energy we enjoy in the form of the light we see, the music we hear, or the vibrating pulses we feel.

Within transducers and MEMS, there’s a distinction between SENSORS and ACTUATORS. A sensor transforms interesting, useful energy into electrical data. By contrast, an actuator transforms electrical data into interesting, useful energy.  Our smartphones are full of transducers — the camera and microphone are sensors whereas the speakers and screen are actuators.

Transducers Sensors Actuators

The most popular examples of IoT devices are wearable activity trackers, you can think of Jawbone and Fitbit, as well as smart home devices, like Hue and Nest. Jawbone and Fitbit are sensors that generate data about steps; the Hue is an actuator that emits light; and, Nest has both, it senses temperature and motion, and also actuates (turns on and off) the furnace.

IoT Examples (1)

IoT needs more actuators
Applying the framework of sensors and actuators to IoT illuminates the IoT market. First, we recognize that although IoT sensors provide useful data, it’s only IoT actuators that provide the So What? that the market is seeking.  And second, we see a major challenge in IoT today: there are many more sensors than actuators.  As we work to make IoT more relevant — to provide compelling answers the So What? question — we need more devices like Nest and Hue that actuate. A few of my favorite IoT actuators are Lully, a device that both senses sleep quality and vibrates to enhance sleep, and Sentri, a smart home security system that alerts users to air quality and security threats.  Let us know your favorite IoT actuators by tweeting us at @TheNeura.

 

Bubby, Get Ready — It’s Out!!!

I won’t lie, it’s been (and continues to be) a journey. We started Neura two years ago with the clear vision of making the Internet of Things (IoT) relevant to everyone, even my grandmother, Bubby. Yes… Bubby who will never script a rule and couldn’t care less about graphs and data dumps.

We battled with this challenge for many months – how to make IoT relevant to the masses. I mean, the world of tomorrow holds so many great benefits for safety, health, education and more. But Bubby, or for that matter, most people, will never manually program her oven to turn off when she leaves the house. So even though the promise is there and it’s real, this robot-Jetson family-singularity like phenomenon isn’t easy to digest.

At Neura, we’re working to simplify IoT for the Bubbies of the world. Obviously I can’t say that we’ve got it figured out, but we took a major step towards fulfilling that vision.

If you still don’t know what I’m talking about – we just released the first beta version of our app for Android. The Neura app identifies all kinds of events in your life and allows you to share these events with the people in your life. Very soon we’ll enable Neura users to share life events with other apps and devices (share the fact that you’re falling asleep with your doorlock so that it knows to lock). This is our debut as it places the responsibility on the ovens and not on my Bubby – see, the oven needs to understand that it is on and that Bubby has left her home and offer her to “opt-in” into that safety scenario. Only then will the Internet of Things become adaptive and not programmable or, in other words, become relevant to the masses!

In any case, it’s a long road ahead of us. However, in startups like Neura it’s important to stop for a breather from this hectic race we choose to live in and to appreciate what has been accomplished. I am utterly humbled by the Neura team and extremely appreciative of the sleepless nights. Sleep well tonight as tomorrow it’s back to running as fast as we can (and then a bit faster) as we drive to bring an enhanced IoT to Bubby and the world.

Excited,

Big G.

Seriously, Exactly Who Will Benefit from the Internet of Things?

We’re living in very exciting times when terms like “machine-to-machine”, “data privacy” and “IoT” are taking center stage. Entrepreneurs, programmers, marketers — almost the entire industry is suddenly very interested in the subject of interconnectivity of devices, places and people; in other words, the internet of things. Whatever your feelings about the relatively new phenomena may be, the plethora of IoT or smart technologies in the market are going to have infinite reverberations on the way we will live our lives, and they’re here to stay. We better warm up to it and embrace it.

If you’re reading this, it’s possible that you’re either an entrepreneur in the Tech industry, or a programmer, or simply perhaps a blogger, trying to unearth the internet in search for something interesting to write about, the Holy Grail so to speak. Whoever you are, you’ve hit the right spot! Predictions say that by the year 2050, not just the Tech industry, but almost everyone will be in on the race to greater innovation, in an attempt to stay ahead of the curve. You have the Teslas of the world partnering with the Apples to give you a super interactive driving experience. IBM offering the inexperienced enthusiasts starter kits so they can start building their own IoT devices. There are many more such examples of leaps in innovation disguised as partnerships and inventions that is an entire discussion we wish to leave for another day.

In the previous post, we spoke about the origins of the Internet of Things and gave you a glimpse of important milestones that got us to where we are today. While we’re still on the topic, let’s look at what the various uses of IoT are.

Your Body

From helping you monitor your sleeping baby, coordinating with the doctors for upcoming appointments and reminding you to take you meds and ensure you get those refills in, to a myriad of wearables that track your activity — IoT devices are here to make sure you live a healthier life while your dear ones get the attention they need. Some companies that are playing it right are Glooko, a diabetes management platform; Medisana — they offer a variety of smart healthcare products.

IOT-Body

Image source: http://medcitynews.com/2015/01/ftc-heads-data-privacy-warning-connected-devices-offers-critical-reminder-consumer-health-space/

Your Home

Wouldn’t it be swell if you could just cut down on those crazy electricity bills by allowing your smart thermostats to give you that perfect temperature depending on the weather forecast? Smart thermostats like Nest monitor weather forecasts and other factors to either activate or deactivate itself, reducing your energy consumption as a result. And, how about controlling your lights or any plugged in devices from the comfort of your living room or when standing in those horrid airport security lines? How about avoiding disasters when you get notified about a burst in the waterpipe? It’s time to make your home a land of smart devices, giving you the convenience you’ve been craving. Some companies that are worth checking out in this space are Sentri — they provide simple home monitoring and automation solutions; and EcoFactor — they redefine the way homes use energy with the help of analytics.

Your City

The goal is to reach high-efficiency and eco-friendliness; the ‘how’ is just a matter of time. An architect and sustainability expert gives us a glimpse into a smart and sustainable future: “”Imagine drones equipped with cameras and sensors monitoring our water plants, telling us exactly how much water a plant really needs to meet the demand of the population at an exact moment in the day.”

There are platforms that enable cities to light up streets according to the time of the day, weather conditions, and seasons. Then there are real-time sensors that let municipal services know when bins need to be emptied. Just going by the unending number of possibilities of the Internet of Things, city planners will certainly have a hard time resisting this revolution.

IOT-City-Mashable

Image source: http://mashable.com/2015/02/23/urban-design-internet-of-things/

I hope you’re wondering how Neura fits into this entire picture and what role we play. Neura integrates with all of your smart devices, people you interact with on a daily basis and with apps you use regularly. The Neura app automatically notifies all of your connected devices/ people/ apps about certain events from your day making your life a whole lot convenient by freeing up a lot of time! Picture yourself getting notified automatically when your son gets home from school, or your running playlist adjusting itself according to your pace. These examples are just little crumbs of the entire cookie. More on what we do and how in later posts…

We have only barely just scratched the surface, but you get the picture, right? Only time will testify how the Internet of Things will transform our cities, our lives and our interactions with people and everything around us. We leave you with a great advice from a thought leader in the IoT space. Lee Hickin, Microsoft Australia’s head of Internet of Things group says,

“Organisations that aren’t taking advantage of the Internet of Things are missing out on the opportunity in their industry to be a leader, innovator, and thinker.”

This begs the question: What are you waiting for?

Get early access to our Android app, and test the waters for yourself!