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Of Internet-connected Crock-pots, cars, smartwatches

Matt Hamblen | Jan. 10, 2014
The oft-used phrase, 'Internet of Things' is one emerging tech jargon abstraction that average users are still noodling over in order to better understand and appreciate it.

Given the sheer number of consumer electronics vendors showing Internet-connected devices at CES, the answer would seem to be that data on just about anything will be shared and available on many new commonplace devices in the next two years.

A recent Wi-Fi Alliance survey of 1,000 U.S. residents over 18 showed that more than half already have a Wi-Fi-enabled household appliance, thermostat or lighting system. Wi-Fi is installed in more than 4 billion products already, and is expected to surpass 10 billion in 2018, according to ABI Research.

Wi-Fi Alliance CEO Edgar Figueroa said he personally uses a fitness band that can be connected to the Internet via Bluetooth, and a Wi-Fi weight scale that helps him track his weight history from a data stored in the cloud. "It's useful," he said. "I've had it a while, since I got married." (Figueroa isn't overweight, but says he doesn't want married life to lead to a middle-aged bulge.)

Figueroa said he was amazed at the kinds of things being connected to the Internet, but had to chuckle when he heard of the Wi-Fi-ready Crock Pot. "What else are they going to connect?" he laughed.


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