Gift guide: the Internet of 9 very cool things

Lori Castle
New York 40° 42' 52.38" N, -74° 0' 25.632" E

We believe that the Internet of Things (IoT) has given us the ability to see what we couldn’t see before. At HERE, it allows us to apply the power of location in innovative solutions and create new use cases. For everyday life, the IoT often equates to cool devices for yourself or your geeky loved ones.

Of course, we write a great deal about IoT-enabled vehicles and autonomous driving but outside of the dashboard, there’s seemingly no end to what can be connected.

1. Amazon IoT Button

One gadget to rule over them all? Well, not quite; but the AWS IoT Button is a developer kit that can be programmed to control connected devices and services. Meant to easily help developers get started using Amazon Web Services like AWS IoT, AWS Lambda, Amazon DynamoDB and Amazon Simple Notification Service, it eliminates the need to write device-specific code.


2. LeEco uMax85 Ecotv

Techradar is already declaring TV as king at the upcoming CES 2017 show, and LeEco’s uMax85 Ecotv is fit for a monarch. It gives new meaning to 'go big or go home' — with a 7+ foot screen size and a picture resolution four times that of full HD.

Aside from picture and speed, supported by a “workstation-grade” CPU, there’s 64GB of flash storage for Android apps. Connectivity is enabled via Bluetooth 4.1, USB 3.0 ports, 5G data and dual-band 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi.

3. Prophix toothbrush

With the Prophix toothbrush, you’ll never have to face being chastised by your dentist for not reaching those back molars. Now, you can see inside your mouth as you brush with a live video feed that syncs wirelessly to an iPhone app. You can also take pictures of problem areas, track how well you brush and identify trends over time.



The toothbrush does not ignore hygiene and includes attachments similar to those professionals use: a rotating head, prophy cup, rubber tip and a mirror. The Prophix inventor, Dr. Craig Kohler, had been using video to deliver better care to his patients, when he realized that a similar capability at home could be “the future of oral health.”

4. Bluesmart luggage

Smarter travel and a belief in a better journey starting with a luggage was the premise for modernizing the suitcase and turning it into a personal assistant. How so? The core product — Bluesmart One — includes 3G location tracking, two USB ports for battery charging, a digital scale and remote lock, both controlled via Android or iOS app.

The bag also elevates standard luggage needs with easy access front compartment for laptop, water resistant shell, smooth wheeling and TSA compliance.

5. Samsung Gear S3

Cool capabilities don’t overshadow the fine craftsmanship traditionally found in luxury time pieces in Samsung’s Gear S3. A sleek look includes large watch face, intuitive rotating bezel and Premium finishing and buckles. The always on display (AOD) shows the time rather than automatically fading to black mimicking the look and feel of high-end analog watch.

In terms of technology, the Gear S3 is 4G LTE connected, enabling text, email and notifications without phone and also leave the wallet behind in favor of Samsung Pay. HERE WeGo is preloaded and offers a comprehensive mapping experience with places search and route planning by car, on foot and by public transit. Durability is found in the device’s IP68 water resistance standards, Corning Gorilla Glass and three-day battery life.


6. Beddi

Waking up is a gratifying experience, but we often bemoan the hour or harshness of the process. Enter the Beddi intelligent alarm clock, which boasts “the best wake up experience.”

It keeps both your ancient circadian rhythms and contemporary technology needs in mind by including: white noise and relaxing sound integration, gradual wake up light, personal Spotify playlist wake up, multi-color mood light, mobile phone holder slot, app control, USB charging ports, Bluetooth speaker, built-in FM radio, traffic and weather updates and one-touch Uber calling assistant.

Has the snooze button been rendered obsolete with all this productivity?

7. Nike+ training shoes and Nike Soho store

Sure, you can integrate Nike+ training shoes with an app, but the most connected thing in Nike’s portfolio may very well be its new store in Soho. Think, 55,000 square feet of experience; the store intends to “create a seamless link between Nike’s digital and physical platforms.”

As examples, in the Nike+ Running Trial Zone, customers can test shoes with a virtual run through Central Park. Dressing rooms, known as lounges, have adaptive lighting and digital check out.


8. Petcube

A monitor, safety device, toy and reward system — the Petcube array of products connect people with their pets through tech. The inaugural Petcube Camera has led to Petcube Care, Petcube Play and Petcube Bites.

Coming soon, Petcube Bites is an “all-in-one Wi-Fi pet cam with built-in treat dispenser.” It holds 100 small treats and enables people to remotely fling a treat on demand or on schedule. The camera feature streams in HD, records to the cloud, has 3x zoom, night vision and 2-way audio. Petcube products are iOS and Android compatible.

9. Twist LED lighting/wireless speaker

Have you ever thought: if only my lamps could play music too? Well, your IoT dreams have come true in Hello Twist’s adaptive LED light bulb with built in wireless AirPlay speaker to stream iTunes and Spotify. They can be operated separately, so loud music does not have to mean blaring lights. In fact, the lights don’t even need to be turned on.

Scratching your head on how this could possible work? The company anticipated such bewilderment and created a comprehensive but  straightforward FAQ to help.


What’s your favorite Iot device?

Topics: Features, Internet of Things, Weekend Reads