Print Management Insider Blog

7 Freakish Tales From the IoT of the Bizarre!

Posted by West McDonald on Jun 9, 2015 10:28:15 AM

The IoT (Internet of Things) has been getting a lot of press lately as more and more things find themselves getting connected.  There are a lot of things you’d expect to be connected to the IoT such as printers, MFDs,  thermostats (think Nest), smartphones and computers but there are also a host of bizarre and unusual items you wouldn’t expect.  Print Audithas scoured the IoT and compiled this list of 7 bizarre connected oddities for your consideration:


1. Cows: A company called silent herdsman has created an IoT collar that helps farmers to monitor the temperature and health of its cattle.  The idea is to be able to remotely monitor their condition and milk production indicators to head off small problems before they spread to the rest of the herd.  Next time you have an ice cold glass of milk you might be thanking silent herdsman!

2. Diapers:  One day soon you may not have to listen for the cries of your baby to let you know their nappy needs a change.  If 24eight has their way, diapers will send you an SMS letting you know when it’s time to freshen your baby’s bottom.  In an article in The Wall Street Journal, 24eight said they were looking for a partner to make this a reality for less than 2 cents a diaper.  If only you could get an iPhone to change the diaper, that would be something!


3. ToothbrushesOral B wants to make it so you no longer have to ask your kids if they brushed their teeth.  You can simply login to the app and have a look at your children’s brushing habits.  Oral B was showing off this connected toothbrush at CES 2015 so it’s only a matter of time before your pearly whites get their own updates on your Facebook page.

4. Christmas Trees:  Smartphone notifications can easily get missed if your phone is in a place where you can’t see them.  Matt Richardson, a self-proclaimed “creative technologist” has come up with the solution:  Let your Christmas tree tell you when texts or emails have arrived!  Using a variety of IoT gear, he created “The Lonely Christmas Tree”.  Whenever a text or email arrives the tree lights up to let you know.  Now if only the tree could take down all the ornaments by itself at the end of the festive season!


5. Pavement:  Soon the very ground you walk on might be connected to the web.  A company called iPavement has created paving blocks that provide localized information and services to people walking on or near them.  I have to confess that after watching theYouTube video and perusing the website I still have no idea what it does.  I’ll have to take a good long walk to think on this.  With luck, the IoT connected ground will make it all clear to me!

6. Trash Cans: Nothing ruins a walk in a lovely downtown core like an overflowing trash can.  Thanks to a company called Bigbelly,  trash cans will be able to alert city garbage disposal staff when a can needs to be emptied.  It’s already being used in cities like Allentown and Philadelphia.  I’ll be really impressed if the IoT trash cans can help you figure out what to put in the garbage and what to put in recycling!


7. Toilets:  Have you ever completed urgent business upon the porcelain throne only to discover that there isn’t any toilet paper?  You luddite, you.  It’s time your toilet and toilet paper were connected!  One clever RasberryPi user has created an IoT toilet that monitors flush activity and toilet paper use.  You can find the instructions to build your own onInstructables.  The creator of the IoT toilet known only as “user e024576” said that he created the device “because he can.”   Rumour has it that V2 will include a host of sensors to let you know who clogged the toilet without telling anybody.  I made that part up, but it’s a great idea!

As the world becomes a more connected place I am certain that the list of bizarre items on the IoT will continue to rise.  Are there any items you would like to add to this list?  Do you have an idea for an IoT device that is high on the bizarre-o-meter?  Please give us your thoughts in the comments section and be sure to “share” with your connected friends on the IoT.

Topics: 24eight, Bigbelly, bizarre, business, Christmas Tree, cows, diapers, farmers, Instructables, internet, iPavement, IT, marketing, Oral B, print audit, silent herdsman, Smartphone, Technology, technology, toothbrush, weird

West McDonald

Written by West McDonald

West McDonald is Vice President of Business Development for Print Audit.

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