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Dumbest Tech Term at CES

Yahoo Tech

In the lead up to CES, much of the buzz centered on “The Internet of Things.” David Pogue and I sat down to discuss all the CES news, and why the Internet of Things (IoT) is actually the Worst Term Ever (WTE). 

The term Internet of Things originated in an engineering journal back in 2009 but Bill Joy, one of the founders of Sun Microsystems, might get points for the idea and in hindsight had a better name: D2D communication. No actually that name is not better. But the concept is a little clearer: device-to-device communication.

The idea is that your smartphone or computer can communicate with Internet connected gadgets. It’s a way to monitor and quantify what’s happening in your home, unify standards for controlling an automated house, and as David Pogue points out, turn the thermostat down remotely when your kids have the heat turned up too high, “Put on a damn sweater.”

While the concept has been around for a while, the idea has really gained traction in the last few years. Primarily smartphone adoption has gone up and WiFi in the home has reached a tipping point. We have the Philips connected light bulbs that can be dimmed or put on a timer by app. Sonos, Bose, and Samsung can wirelessly stream music though your home. And the Nest connected thermostat lets my co-host chill his children while he’s here in Las Vegas.

At CES we saw refrigerators that can text you, robotic vacuum cleaners you can fire up remotely when you’re on your way home, and a dog collar that texts you its location when your four-legged friend runs away.

But all of these devices use separate apps; it’s a splintered process to control the IoT (WTE- worst term ever) connected home right now. So one device that got a lot of praise this week was the Revolv Smart Home hub. It takes all these connected devices and lets you control them through one app. Good idea, we’ll see if it creates any unification or standards amongst the new players in devices that communicate with us.

Yahoo Tech Columnist Dan Tynan wrote a great explanation of how the Internet of Things could work.  But we still really need a better name: Tweet me your ideas – I’m @bworley on Twitter.

You can also see the full “PogueCast” here.