For years, the cool kids in Silicon Valley have been going on about the “Internet of Things.”
The “Internet of Things,” they’ll tell you, is a massive new opportunity in which all the stuff all around you will get fitted with Internet-enabled radio chips and chat wirelessly with each other and your phones, computers, and other gadgets.
In case that description doesn’t get you hyperventilating, the cool kids will give you a specific example of how much your life will be improved in this glorious future.
The Internet of Things, they’ll say, will usher in the day when your refrigerator knows what you are eating and tells you what food you need. Once this capability is meshed with your smartphone, the cool kids will continue, your refrigerator will make your grocery list for you!
Well, I’d be happy to have my refrigerator make my grocery list for me. But that’s not something I’m drumming my fingers waiting for. And I confess that I’ve had the same tepid reaction to most of the other examples I’ve heard about how amazing my life is going to be when we finally get cranking with the Internet of Things.
But that has all changed now.
Now, I have seen a video about a forthcoming “Internet of Things” product that is going to improve my life in a way that I would never have dreamed possible. (See below.)
I learned about the product in an excellent article about the future of mobile operating systems by tech guru Steve Cheney. Steve mentioned the product in passing. I then checked out the video.
You’re not going to believe this when I tell you…
But this product may make it so I never lose my keys or wallet again!
You, presumably, are not the sort of person who ever loses your keys or wallet. You, presumably, are the sort of person who wisely puts their keys and wallet in exactly the same place every night and never has them fall out of your pocket in a car or on a plane. You are the sort of person who does not waste cumulative weeks of your life searching for your keys or wallet, often under intense deadline pressure. You are not the sort of person whose life is often thrown entirely out of balance by your temporary inability to locate your wallet or keys.
Alas, I am.
So when I saw the video of this miraculous new product, I suddenly, finally, joined in the community hyperventilation about the Internet of Things.
The product is called “Tile.”
It’s a little plastic square that you stick on your key ring or tuck in your wallet.
It communicates with your smartphone.
It turns your smartphone into a sort of brilliant homing device that directs you toward your lost wallet and keys. If you press a virtual button on your phone, the Tile on your keys will beep. So you don’t even have to waste a few seconds searching in a specific vicinity.
The Tile will be available next winter. The folks who are making it are pre-selling them for $US18.95 apiece.
That’s way too much much money. But 49,586 people have already pre-ordered them. That has allowed Tile’s inventors to raise $US2.7 million in customer-financing. So it seems the Tile will soon become a reality.
And soon after the Tile becomes a reality, I expect, the price will begin to plummet.
In a few years, I expect, we’ll be able to pick up a bunch of Tiles for a buck or two apiece.
And after that, I will never again have to waste any time looking for my keys.
Bring on The Tile, people! Bring on The Internet of Things!
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.