life + learning banner

Get Smart this Holiday


Life + Learning

  • Christmas images on smartphone
    Holiday Technology
  • Activity tracker and smartphone
    Fitness Tracker
  • Taking a photo of dog on a smartphone
    Pet Tracker
  • Woman with tablet controlling kitchen appliances
    Smart Appliances

Laura (Queen's Square) | July 28, 2016

As you’re driving home, your car tells your home’s thermostat to turn up the heat, your coffeemaker to brew a pot, and your outside lights to blink as Jingle Bells plays.

Welcome to the Internet of Things!

Connecting over the holidays used to mean getting together with friends and family. Now we’ve entered a whole new era where everything (yes, everything) has the potential to be 'smart'. Even your family pet can be decked out in electronics and connected to the internet.

Forecasts show that IoT (Internet of Things) devices will increase to almost 40 billion worldwide by 2020, up from 13.4 billion in 2015: a rise of over 285 per cent. Many see IoT devices as amazingly convenient and no doubt world changing. Others look at them as red flags signaling the end of personal privacy as we’ve known it.

If you’re comfortable with IoT devices, your holiday shopping list may include fitness trackers, connected appliances and smart toys. Alternately, you may want to create some seasonal magic for yourself with these IoT projects:

For more creative ideas, check out Make magazine or these fine books from Idea Exchange:

Brilliant LED ProjectsThe Big Book of Maker SkillsThe Big Book of Hacks

For more on how IoT is changing our world, take a look at the Globe and Mail's The Future is Smart.

How ‘Smart’ Products Track Your Daily Habits | Consumer Reports