The era of smart devices


Smart homes, despite the development of technology, a large number of studies conducted by various companies in this area, remain a rare phenomenon and are considered a luxury unattainable for most people on the planet. Nevertheless, the same Apple is creating its own platform, and other manufacturers are trying to develop common standards for communication between objects in the house, to ensure system security, and much more. There are even coalitions of manufacturers that are developing in this direction.

At the same time, we periodically learn about events that are gradually approaching the onset of the era of smart homes and devices. For example, in early October, it became known that Apple announced the final characteristics of the HomeKit platform so that manufacturers could create their own components and solutions that will be fully compatible with each other and with the system.


The era of smart devices

Smart devices are advancing

A feature of the claimed characteristics are compatibility requirements for pairs of devices that will communicate with each other via Wi-Fi / Bluetooth LE and be controlled by the user's voice commands. The first to create marked devices such as sockets, thermostats, gates for garages, locks, bulbs and switches. The platform can be controlled only by a device based on iOS 8, and the Apple TV set-top box will serve as a single center – a server for all devices in the house.


Among manufacturers, Texas Instruments, Marvell, Broadcom have already lit up. It was they who began to create chips with the HomeKit platform installed on them, which will subsequently be required for all smart home devices. Nevertheless, the representative of Broadcom noted that the devices will not appear soon, because the apple company itself has not completed the creation of the platform.

While Apple is just shaping its vision of a smart home system, in France, Mathis Fink and Geoffrey Larroze come up with smart wallpapers that are ideal not only for similar Apple systems, but even for the most ordinary apartment or office. Journalists have been telling about the fact that harmful microwaves are emitted as a result of the use of electronics, smartphones, and the Internet, and some companies manage to earn considerable money by selling items for protection against radiation, which contain metal threads.

However, there are situations when the existing waves are simply not enough to ensure that the Internet signal is high-quality and constant. It is especially deplorable when the signal seems to be there, but the receiver does not see it at all. In this regard, representatives of the Higher School of Industrial Physics and Chemistry of Paris and the Langevin Institute created a surface for subsequent control of the scattered signal and redirecting it to the desired point (to the receiver). The uniqueness of the technology lies in the use of a large number of reflector antennas, which consist of a diode responsible for controlling the system and a strip spurious element capable of changing the resonant frequency of the circuit. Each diode is controlled by a separate controller, for example Arduino Mega 2560. The surface sample had an area of ​​0.4 square meters and very successfully amplified the Wi-Fi signal in the room 3 × 3 × 4 meters.

At the same time, the solution can be used not only on wallpaper, but also on ceiling tiles, countertops – and thus, there will always be a constant signal from the station in the room, and it will become easier to create local networks, because thanks to a clean signal, intermediate modems will not be required. However, such surfaces can, on the contrary, collect the entire existing scattered signal and remove it from a certain area, thereby creating a dead zone. For example, in a bedroom or in a science lab.

The technology turned out to be so convenient that manufacturers have already decided to sign agreements on its use, further application and production.

But one thing is smart homes, wallpapers, and quite another is smart rearview mirrors for cars. Yes, and it happens! SmartNav 5 from App-Tronics combines a navigator, a radar, and a video recorder.

It was created thanks to the introduction of a small computer based on the system into the inside of the system, oddly enough, Windows CE, and therefore we will tell you that the processor uses the ARM architecture, the amount of RAM is 256 MB, and the internal memory is 8 GB. The energy for operation comes from the car system (12 V).

The device looks like it is from a fantasy game or movie. At the center of the mirror is a small 5-inch screen. It is translucent, and therefore the mirror is still able to display in full size what is happening behind the driver’s back. But navigation maps, speed and other information are displayed only on the screen itself.

A smart mirror is called so because it is able to interact with various car systems. For example, with surveillance cameras – and thereby display the image from them. The radar detector will also display information about police radars on the screen. The uniqueness of the device is also that through this mirror you can make calls via Bluetooth and on-board speaker system. Unlike other smart electronics, SmartNav 5 is already available for $ 750.

As for smart devices for everyday use, the Equid Smartpen 2 ballpoint pen from Luidia can serve as a vivid example. Using this pen, you can work with notes on paper, but at the same time they will be transferred / duplicated to iPad / iPhone / Windows PC / Mac / iPod touch / Android. The electronic ballpoint pen can recognize handwritten text and has an internal volume of 10,000 pages, and therefore on computers and smartphones the text will appear clearly and without errors. In addition, notes will automatically sync with Evernote, iCloud, Dropbox.

Thus, more and more various smart devices are being created in the world, designed for various areas of human activity and compatible with other electronic gadgets. Of course, these are not all examples, because there are even smart bulbs, coffee makers, printers and much more. We talked only about the newest and most unique developments: there simply are no analogues of a rear-view mirror, and smart handles, although they were in the world before, could not interact with smartphones / tablets.

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