It's true. We're obsessed with monitoring. Our blood pressure, our keys and wallet, our houses, our children, our pets, maybe our neighbors—and we send most of it to the cloud.
At 2014 International CES, entrepreneurs and tech giants present a bounty of new gadgets to see, hear, feel, and otherwise measure people and their surroundings. This list explores our new infatuation with oversight.
Monitoring the Home: Canary, Alarm.com, DropCam
Equipped with humidity, temperature, passive infra red, an accelerometer, air quality, ambient light, and capacitive touch sensors, the beer can-shaped Canary takes a step away from the competition for ease of use. Step 1: Connect to WiFi, Step 2: Plop in central area of house. Step 3: Monitor everything.
Alarm.com offers more services based programs with a variety of product lines, hardware, and software interfaces. Meanwhile, DropCam soars to the cloud with easily installed camera units that connect to WiFi and store data with seven or 30 day backlogs.
Drones, Drones Everywhere: Parrot, DJI, Yuneec, and more to arrive
Yuneec thinks you could use their Flying Eyes HX3 to peek ahead on the golf course before stepping up with the driver.
But then they thought better and captioned the above YouTube "WRONG VIDEO" (instead of removing it), and linked to this one instead.
Parrot is taking a more playful approach with its AR 2.0 and the Jumping Sumo which we covered on the Bogus Brief.
DJI flew their Phantom 2 around at CES 2014 Unveiled, showcasing the remarkable—and maybe creepy—video and still photography capabilities.
That's just the pre-show sampling. For those eager to find out what Wilson looks like behind Tim Taylor's picket fence—or take beautiful aerial photographs—there's sure to be more on the event floor today.
Relevant Side Note: the Federal Aviation Administration is scrambling to regulate the UAV airspace (so far poorly) with a 2015 deadline set for tangible legislation.
Keep Track of Your Stuff: Trackr Phone Halo
How many times have you wanted to call your keys, hoping to hear that "ZZZ-ZZZ-ZZZ" under the sofa cushions?
Well now you can—sort of. Little Bluetooth chips from Trackr ping your phone when within range. And if your phone's Bluetooth is constantly turned on—bye bye battery—it will even notify you of the chip's last known location before going out of range.
Trackr also allows other app users to collect data on your belonging's whereabouts. Supposedly to your benefit, but we think more like an impending security breach.
Monitor Your Kids and Family: Kurio Phone, Skydog, and Sen.se's Mother
For the paranoid parent, Kurio reports data and gives parents precise control over your child's mobile usage, with details so minute it almost tracks every click.
Via web interface Kurio allows you to shut down specific applications after a certain hour, white- and black-list various aspects of mobile computing, and even notifies you if your kid tries to mess with the sim card.
Ditch the heart to heart with little Timmy, Kurio's got you covered.
On the other hand, you could simply upgrade to monitoring user activity on your entire home network with Skydog.
But Mother takes the creepy cake. The company behind it, Sen.se, aims to track everything from coffee consumption, to home intrusion, to teeth brushing habits using cookies that report back to the the WiFi connected Mother.
Speaking of teeth brushing habits, there's an app for that, and—it turns out—a complementing tooth brush.
Measure Your Person: Pulse, Sun Exposure, Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, Steps, Location
Don't forget the venerable host of health and fitness tracking paraphernalia: bands, watches, and dongles that measure, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, respiratory rate, heart rate variability, steps, and on and on and on....
We're a long way from paranoid here at Reviewed, but it's worth noting that most of these applications and devices already use, or propose, cloud integration. That means it's also worth at least considering how much of this information—our personal health data, cached video of our loved ones and the inside of our houses, aerial footage we've taken, the whereabouts of our personal effects, the security state of our home—is all accessible to unwanted third parties.
Just food for thought.