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An Internet of Everything Startup Spotlight: Alex Hawkinson, Founder & CEO, SmartThings

Last month I kicked off a new series focusing on companies and start-ups that are helping to move the Internet of Everything (IoE) forward. Today, I am excited to share some insights from Alex Hawkinson, founder of SmartThings, a platform for automating connected objects.

Alex shares an interesting perspective with us about the value of increased connections and how creating an open, low-cost way to automate our lives is key to achieving the full benefit of the Internet of Everything. Here’s a look at how Alex and SmartThings are pioneering the growth of IoE.

AHawkinsonSmartThings is garnering a lot of buzz in the industry for adding intelligence to everyday objects to achieve home and office automation. In which ways is SmartThings leading the way by connecting the previously unconnected?

The dream of the Jetsons-style house has long been just that – a dream. Different smart devices have come to market but, generally speaking, they’ve been hard to buy, set up and use. With SmartThings we set out to create a single platform and single app interface from which you can control all of the connected objects in your life. When you purchase a SmartThings kit, you can connect pieces of your home in minutes once you plug in the hub and download the app. You can mix and match third-party devices with those created by SmartThings to build the connected space that makes the most sense for you. SmartThings is simple enough that the average smartphone user can bring a connected world to life, but sophisticated enough that an inventor can create completely new devices and applications to custom fit his or her needs.

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Ask The Futurist: “How Will Mesh Networking Affect Robotics?”

For as long as I remember, robots have always been cool. Perhaps it’s my passion for all things futuristic, but I don’t think I am alone in saying robots have provided a glimpse of what could be possible. Looking at today’s Internet of Everything (IoE) world, robots have advanced from the 1950s tin wind-up toy robots and the affable C-3P0 and R2-D2 from George Lucas’s Star Wars, to emerging technology that has the potential to improve our lives and increase shared connections.

Today’s “Ask the Futurist” question is focused on how robotic technology and its supporting networks will evolve over time. Here’s the question from William Maguire, a wireless engineer.

Question: “How do you think mesh networking will affect robotics in the next 20 years?”

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Ask The Futurist: “How Will the Internet of Everything Impact Teachers’ Roles in the Connected Classroom?”

Chalkboards. Textbooks.  Stacks of papers and folders. All of these items can make anyone a little nostalgic and remind us of our time in primary and secondary school. While basic fundamentals remain the same, classrooms are evolving. The reason? The Internet.

This year’s back-to-school season has sparked many conversations around the future of the classroom. Most parents have seen the workforce and everyday life evolve as the Internet of Everything (IoE) begins to connect more people, places, data, and things. Yet questions about IoE in the classroom persist. That’s why in today’s “Ask the Futurist” post, I take a deeper look at how the IoE will impact the classroom of the future.

Today’s question comes from Rob Coote, a systems analyst for a public K-12 school district in Northern Alberta, Canada. Here’s his two-part question:

Question: “How do you envision the future of the ‘connected classroom’ and one-to-one learning in K-12 education? How do you see this impacting or changing the teacher’s role?”

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An Internet of Everything Startup Spotlight: John Funge, Co-Founder & CEO, BrightContext

Today I’m introducing a new series that focuses on the collective power of connections in the Internet of Everything (IoE) — and some of the new companies that are creating value from those connections. The industry is ripe with emerging IoE-focused startups that deserve to be recognized for their work in building the Internet of Everything, brick by web-enabled-brick. These various startups are making an impact in education, healthcare, home automation and more. They are led by thinkers and doers who are helping to create the future. Periodically over the next several months, we’ll take a look at some of these startups and learn more about how IoE is enabling their success — and how they, in turn, are enabling the Internet of Everything.

Recently, we had a chance to talk with John Funge, co-founder and CEO of BrightContext, a cloud-based data-stream processing platform that is helping to turn Big Data into actionable insights. Here’s how BrightContext is pioneering the growth of the Internet of Everything:

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John Funge, Co-Founder_CEO of Bright Context

John Funge, Co-Founder & CEO, BrightContext

What is BrightContext? And how does your business meet new demands in our increasingly connected world?

BrightContext is an ultra-scalable, cloud-based data-stream processing platform that makes it easy to deliver real-time stream analytics from any data source. BrightContext is used for stream analytics, live visualization, monitoring, and generating alerts from high-volume data sources such as web click and activity data, mobile activity data, social media, audience sentiment data, point-of-sale data, and transactional data.

BrightContext is taking on one of the major problems of the century – how to process a deluge of data in real time, immediately derive insights, and take action. BrightContext provides companies with a platform for monitoring and analyzing streams of Big Data in motion. It enables customers to mine that information instantly to make it actionable. This, in turn, makes it easier to use input streams to create and distribute sub-streams for others to use.

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Ask the Futurist: “How Will the Internet of Everything Help Us Manage Our Own Health?”

In our last “Ask the Futurist” blog post, I discussed how the Internet of Everything (IoE) is working to connect doctors with their patients through electronic medical records. The subject of IoE’s role in the health care industry is a topic I am asked about often. After all, the Internet of Everything has the potential to change almost every aspect of how we live. And perhaps, how long we live.

Today’s question comes from Teren Bryson, director of IT at Zetec. Teren is a cancer survivor, and still in his 30s. He is interested in how technology is impacting health — specifically user-enabled health monitoring through portable biometric devices. Here’s his two-part question:

Question: “How will the Internet of Everything help us manage our own health? For example, when will a wearable device be able to monitor my blood glucose levels or other biometrics in a real-time way?

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