Is the future of tech 'the Internet of Things'?Will the entire world one day be programmable? Molly Wood visits Le Web 2012 in Paris, where she talks to tech industry leaders about the the next big thing in technology: the Internet of Things.
-There's wine, there's cheese, there are cute little appetizers. This is not just an ordinary conference here at Loeb and it's not just about coming to Paris to eat and drink. The future of technology is being discussed here and the trend is as always all connected all the time. The concept here at Loeb 2012 and the electronics world in general is The Internet of Things. As Smart Things CTO Jeff Haggins put it on stage, the entire world is becoming programmable. This conference is about showing off some of those programmable things. So, I'm gonna actually use the Smart Things App which everybody here at Loeb can see, that's actually turn on the Christmas lights from there. Here you go. So, that looks great Jessie, but I think it'll look even better if I turned off the overhead lights. So I'm gonna do that as well. As you can see this is so much more than just like a remote control ball. This is a robotic gaming system. -How long was I asleep? I must have been tired. Do you want to listen to a story? -No. -Where we make the Nest Learning Thermostat. Basically, it's a thermostat but redesigned totally to be connected to the internet and to provide new function and features to provide the best comfort but energy saving as well. And it can really bring those features only through being an internet connected device. -Oh, we're going on a date. -So I'm taking to the restaurant and I can see the restaurant's menu here. So I can select my items that I want to order. Okay, you can order some fries and some [unk]. -[unk] I see. -Yeah, and I can order some champagne as well and then, yeah I think-- yeah at a very [unk] quickly. -This is the best service we're going to have in Paris I think. -All right. -Awesome. -How lovely. [unk]. -In the future our connected devices will in theory let us live lives that are more convenient and much more personalize. -We can connect to real world or in the internet and you're walking to a retail shop and they know what sizes you have and then what you like. They know what not to show you. You will have a better shopping experience. And that's about taking friction and actually making retailers do what they do best which is giving you a good customer service. Now, we can take all the friction of paying out to that which is what we're showing here to even better experience. So, no need to carry my wallet full of loads and cards, vouchers, coupons, credit cards-- I just walk in you know, it's me. -And today, we're talking mostly about phones and tablets. In the future, who knows what devices will communicate with each other and what those devices will look like. -But increasingly, we want to just have 1, 2, 3, 4 screens around us we actually have 10, 20, 30, 40 things that we have around us on us. Smaller things, lighter things, closer to the body, it also have sensors but they won't be the full purpose multi-purpose. They won't do a hundred things. They'll do a few things really, really well with device diagnostic. So, you know, in a moment everything is mobile to mobile 'cause frankly that's cool and very easy to work with. But in the future, you'll be talking to TV or, you know, we might get the internet rich maybe. But everything that's on the internet. Everything that's connected via IP can technically be use to your system so-- -Everything from your home appliances to the scale in your bathroom. At Paris-based webbings, it's all about using your data to help yourself. -So you still can work both in wifi and Bluetooth. -Okay. -But in case we are addressing in Bluetooth, so yes it just arrive now. So this is the last one is multi-[unk] 75. something [unk]. And so it will be [unk] you can see that. -Wow. -So for example it's my [unk] for the last 3 years. And you see there is a periodic [unk] during summer and winter. -The holidays. Yeah, that's December. Not everyone is convinced that every device needs to be connected though or that all of these connections are coming anytime soon. -I think that if you look at it. There are only certain devices that should and could be connected to the internet but those things take time for the customers to adopt to and to understand. -Now, is it only something should be connected. What kind of things do you think should not be connected with that? -Well, you look at a lot of things. Does your stove need to be connected. -Totally. -It absolutely needs to be connected. -I need to text it and tell it to turn on 'cause I'm making dinner for a party. -Exactly, but it was dinner in the stove. -Well, no but it's for heating. -Yeah, preheating is not a bad thing. -Do you need a toilet to be connected to that, to that internet? -Maybe for health reasons. -Maybe, maybe. But the question is, it's not a matter-- -I'm not aware of my implants, I mean, not definitely-- -Oh, really? -I'm on the Bring it On camp. -Well I'll let you be the area doctor. I will wait. -How closer-- what do you think to this kind of type dream of the-- that really truly connected to internet of things? -I think we're farther away than people think. I mean, there are more smart devices on the planet [unk] humans. So in terms of advices, they're everywhere. But having them all connect together and work, I might be happy. You know, people talk about, hey I want my stuff everywhere. Look, if you buy a Windows phone, you buy Windows, PC and Windows tablet, you can get it across those. The refrigerator, I think it's a different story, you know. I might have to work with the home automation people in terms of how that connects in. You know, even if the data is in the Cloud, it's another device. So I think we're closer that we've ever been. I think it's a journey and I think we're, you know, part way down that journey and we'll continue to go forward. So it's not next year all of the sudden magic. -Or is it? Connecting the world in a seamless, easy and personal way is tricky. Yes, it involves companies working together. Radical new device and interface designs and there will be serious privacy and security hurdles to overcome. But that doesn't mean you can't get a glimpse into the future and your own mind today. -So the muse is a 4-sensor brainwave headband. It's actually able to sense your brain activity and give you feedback so that you can play games directly with your minds as well as improve your mental abilities. In the far future, this is gonna a tool that allows you to do things like control the lighting in your home or you automated phone system or your, you know, your phone system or your home system or your car directly with your mind. So the long-term future is actually allowing us to interact with devices in the world in really smart ways that are able to support you because they know something about you. -What do you mean like a far future, do you mean far far because I'm kinda excited about that? How far are we talking? 'Cause [unk] mind control headset of any form would be science-fiction even a few years ago. And I think there are people who think that now, right? Who would hear that thing, what that could be? You know, so-- We're already in an exciting future. -We are already in the future. -I love it. I love it.