Nov/Dec 2012

When the Kindle was introduced in November 1999, it was the first connected device to break out of M2M’s traditional industrial and transportation segments. Kindle represented the leading edge of the “Machine-to-Masses: The Coming Mass Market in Consumer Connected Devices,” per my May 2009 article, and others including Ericsson’s CEO Hans Vestberg have similarly forecasted the explosive growth we’re now seeing in the connected-device arena.

A quick scroll down the homepage at reveals the extent to which connected devices have entered our personal realm: cameras/video recorders, connected car, connected home, energy management, ereaders, fitness devices, home healthcare, remote monitoring, tablets, and telematics. Products in these categories bring new levels of ease and safety to our daily lives.

This includes things such as connecting our medical monitors to the Internet for continuous health monitoring, and connecting our cars so we’re alerted in advance of unsafe road conditions or if our teenager has expe- rienced a sudden, hard stop. We can remotely lock and unlock doors, turn lights on and off, and view a video on the Web that was captured when our front door opened. Our bathroom scales can tweet our daily weight (not sure that’s a good thing … ) and our ebookshelves are continually populated with the latest titles.

Even with all of this innovation, many of the connected devices I’d like to see have yet to be invented. Without sounding too much like Willy Wonka’s guest Veruca Salt (“I want it all, I want it NOW!”), I can think of a few nifty gadgets that could really make my life easier.


So Santa (or any connected-device developers in the audience), would you please put the elves to work on some of these? I’d be oh, so happy if you did. Thanks in advance.

I wish you all a very happy holiday season and great things in the coming New Year. Thanks for your support!

The hottest gift you can give this holiday season is the Strata, a waterproof “smart” sports watch from Meta Watch. We last looked at Meta Watch in Connected World’s May/June issue with a review of the company’s “development platform” that carried alerts and information from Android smartphones to a handsome analog or digital wristwatch. The Strata includes all of the connectivity features that made me fall in love with Meta Watch’s developer model, including displaying notifications from your smartphone STRATA for incoming phone calls, text messages, appointment reminders, and alarms. This capability truly does provide the company’s tagline, “Hands Freedom,” by allowing me to decide at a glance whether I need to pull my smartphone out of my pocket to answer the phone or respond to an incoming text.

In addition, the Strata is water-resistant so it can be worn while bathing, surface swimming, or washing the car/dog/ dishes/kids, but not while diving into the pool, snorkeling, or surfing (unless you never wipe out!). Strata includes Twitter integration, offers configurable information feeds for sports, stocks, and weather, and includes fitness apps for cycling and swimming that take advantage of the watch’s three-axis accelerometer to sense and log exercise activity (support for more activities expected). Meta Watch has also made a lot of improvements “under the hood” to improve performance such as a bigger battery, better accelerometer that consumes less power, more memory, and sophisticated charging circuits.

The biggest reason to buy Strata, however, is its rugged good looks. The body and strap are made from injection molded polyurethane, with an anti-glare hardened glass lens surrounded by a titanium and stainless steel top ring. It’s a lightweight, comfortable, and eye-catchingwatch available in all-black or blackwith “Olympic” blue, lime green, or orange accents. An upscale model with a special user interface designed by Susan Kare, is available at a premium.

As of this writing, Meta Watch planned to have the Strata on store shelves in time for the holidays. Be sure to check out other hot gifts for this holiday season in the Perfect Gift List.

Laurie Lamberth helps to connect companies and technologies to passionate and engaged customers through strategic marketing and business development. Learn more about Laurie’s consultancy and browse her prior publications at

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