The appeal of the Internet of Things is more than just being able to control gadgets and home appliances from the cloud. The bigger benefit comes when the devices interact and share information with each other. Today's joint announcement from Jawbone and Big Ass Fans is a case in point.
Jawbone manufactures wearable fitness trackers, and Big Ass Fans builds high-end ceiling fans. Jawbone's UP-series fitness trackers have a built-in accelerometer that helps the wearer measure their quality of sleep. You can measure the amount of time you slept as well as how often you tossed and turned.
Big Ass Fans builds ceiling fans--the Haiku with SenseME technology--that have integrated sensors that monitor a room's temperature and humidity. The fan uses this data to automatically adjust its speed.
Today, the two companies announced that their products will work together to help you get a better night's sleep. Integration is initiated when both the fitness tracker and the fan go into "sleep mode."
As the Jawbone fitness detects the motions of its restless sleeper, it sends that information to the Haiku fan. The fan responds by increasing its speed to reduce the room's temperature. As morning breaks, the ceiling fan will gently help you wake up by increasing its speed and the brightness of its integrated LED light.
"Big Ass Fans is focused on personalizing comfort," said Alex Reed, director of consumer products for Big Ass Fans, "and linking our fan to Jawbone's fitness tracker gives us a new means for accomplishing that. We have an opportunity to change the way homes operate to directly benefit the people who live there."
Why this matters: Although the number of products that fall within the Internet of Things is expanding at an exponential rate, few connected devices have attempted the kind of partnership that Jawbone and Big Ass Fans have. The technology that goes into their wearable/appliance integration may light the way for others to follow suit, leading to an age of more automated comfort and energy savings in the home.
"Integrating fitness trackers with appliances makes sense in the context of personalization," Reed said. "Today, machines recognize operating commands, but many do not distinguish between individual users. Enhancing a person's experience with an appliance is possible by integrating fitness trackers, and what we're doing with Jawbone to improve sleep is an exciting first step."
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