What you missed in Smart World: Self-driving cars galore


The Consumer Electronics Show has concluded for 2016 with some seriously cool and surprising developments for the Internet of Things (IoT). From a new Wi-Fi bandwidth dedicated to connected devices to an industry-wide race for fully autonomous self-driving cars, the world and all its objects are getting smarter.

Every week we round up the latest developments in the Smart World, from new developer platforms to smart city initiatives around the world. Here’s what you missed in the Smart World:

The Internet of Things gets its own Wi-Fi

More devices will be connected to the Internet this year and with that in mind the Wi-Fi Alliance announced Wi-Fi HaLow, a new network that is designed to support the Internet of Things. It operates in frequency bands below one gigahertz, which allows it to offer longer range while consuming less power when it connects to Wi-Fi-certified products.

Read more about Wi-Fi HaLow here.

Self-installing car seat at CES: 4moms’ latest baby gadget

4moms self-installing car seat4moms (Thorley Industries LLC) introduced its much awaited car seat at CES 2016. Its self-installing car seat ensures that the baby is always safe as it correctly installs the seat to the base. The car seat works seamlessly with a smartphone app and measures incline, using its accelerometer and gyroscope to correctly level the car seat and apply the proper tension to keep the seat in place.

Read more about this new self-installing car seat here.

Cool IoT gadgets at CES 2016 | #CES2016

fibaro_swipeOne of the largest trade shows of the year happened in Las Vegas last week and it brought with it new and exciting technologies that we can look forward to in the coming months, or years. This year we’ve seen more devices for the smart home such as Cisco’s Home Guard, Fibaro Swipe, LG’s Smart ThinQ Hub and CielPur, to name a few.

Read more about these smart home devices here.

IoT startup Greenwave raises $60 million

Greenwave Systems, Inc. announced that it has raised $60 million in a two-part round of funding led by EDBI, the corporate investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board, and Singapore Technologies Telemedia (STT). The round of funding will be used by Greenwave to boost adoption of AXON, its platform-as-a-service offering that simplifies the collection of data from various connected devices in a given network.

Read more about the round of funding here.

Drone maker Parrot debuts smart plant pot

parrot potIn a surprising move from Parrot SA, instead of just showcasing its drones at CES 2016, the drone maker debuted its Parrot Pot, a smart plant pot. The smart plant pot is able to hold 2.2 liters of water and waters plants automatically based on the specific needs of the said plant. It also features sensors for temperature, acidity and light so it can tell you what your plant really needs.

Read more about this smart plant pot here.

New wearables to watch out for in 2016

Force_BandNew wearables to watch out for this year include Blaze, Fitbit Inc.’s first smartwatch product; the Force Band which controls Sphero’s BB-8 using gestures; Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.’s two Ladies Watches, one of which is encrusted in Swarovski crystals; the OMbra, the first sports bra that tracks your activities, and more.

Read more about these new wearable devices here.

The future of Volkswagen

VW BUDD-e steering wheelVolkswagen Group introduced BUDD-e, its concept zero-emission, fully connected electric vehicle. On a single charge, the vehicle can go up to 373 miles, and plugging in for just 15 minutes powers the battery to 80 percent.  It will utilize sensors to perform various actions such as opening doors, and cameras to let you see what’s surrounding your vehicle to eliminate the need for wing mirrors, to name a few of its features.

Read more about this concept vehicle here.

BMW’s new concept sports gesture control, self-drive mode

Automaker BMW AG unveiled its concept i Vision Future Interaction, which is based on the company’s i8 Concept Spyder car. The concept features an AirTouch gesture control that allows the driver or front passenger to control navigation, entertainment, and connectivity with gestures made with a flat hand, as well as different driving modes that suit a driver’s needs.

Read more about this concept vehicle here.

Audi showcases new piloted driving

Audi AG also unveiled its concept car for the future. The vehicle features a new Multi Media Interface (MMI) with a 14.1-inch curved AMOLED display with integrated haptic feedback; the next-gen Modular Infotainment Platform, MIB2+, and includes LTE Advanced support and the ability to control several high-res displays’ as well as piloted driving functions.

Read more about Audi’s concept vehicle here.

Crowd-sourced digital map for fully autonomous driving

Mobileye NV announced that it is creating a crowdsourced digital map that will be constantly updated, which the company hopes will aid driverless vehicles. The crowdsourced digital map will provide a record of three-dimensional landmarks as well as one-dimensional record of road conditions. It has teamed up with major vehicle manufacturers such as General Motors Co. and Volkswagen, and is awaiting a third partner.

Read more about this crowdsource digital map here.

Renault-Nissan: fully autonomous vehicle by 2020

Groupe Renault and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. formed an alliance that aims to deliver fully autonomous vehicles by 2020. In the next five years, they plan to release 10 semi or fully autonomous vehicles, but aims to sell them at an affordable price.

Photo by Arkangel