Go a day without your phone, computer, and everything tech-derived, and you’d probably be fine… some of you might even consider it a vacation. Go three days without, and irritation will set in… the lack of ability to carry out simple tasks without a gadget would seem mind boggling. Make that a week and we’d probably find you fisting the wall. Such is our dependence on technology. From animated sequences that spoke of a possibly robotic future, to those imaginative gadgets having become an extension of our limbs and lifestyles, technology has come a long way while evolving in ways that seemed impossible by many.

We desired for technology to make our lives glorious, but did not anticipate its all-consuming nature.Enter — Internet of Things (IoT)… a concept that enables communication between devices… yes machines are replacing us… giving us more time with ourselves… but isn’t that what the naysayers asked for? Sometime around the late 2011, the microchip market was on the verge of recession when IoT came to its rescue, with trillions of dollars.

However, when talking about IoT we must not negate that Communication between devices has now become a major challenge due to the sheer scale of the consumer electronics market. Low bandwidth is a problem for high volumes of data transfer, but for IoT it rarely is a requirement. Enter — Kilohertz level transceivers and low Megahertz level transceivers… This is the future of city wide automation and interconnectivity for infrastructure oriented devices… the day is not far when random, seemingly innocent things around us will tell us what to do.

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Smart products are now capable of conversing with us on an intelligent scale.

Small things like bags have already begun talking to us in classy muted tones… and they’re perfectly called Smart Bags. Smart bags can be externally instructed to perform certain activities that go beyond ‘hold and carry’… they can even reach out and inform a user of some state change through applications on the phone. They typically have features that allow the user to track its location, charge devices, set off alarms to ensure that it cannot be stolen without the user’s knowledge, inform when it is heated, some can even inform weather changes and much more. Usually, this is performed using Bluetooth which makes communication impossible when the bag and the user are separated by more than 70 feet. Enter — Cloud Communication like Google Cloud Messaging and Amazon IoT that offer several services at low costs.

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Our Award winning IoT enabled exercise bike that won the IBDC 2017 Merit Award.

At Artifact, we went beyond what was available and custom built an in-house cloud server to facilitate this very technology for the Bplugd Smart Bags. We have APIs which the smart bags use and phone apps that can instruct the bags and asynchronously receive updates.

From smartbags to smart homes, we’ve got them all covered with a robust central control system developed in-house. We are focusing on the responsiveness, stability, scalability, security and the generic set of APIs that can work with a variety of services that include IoT as well as industrial data collection with a very minimal bandwidth. The data that is sent is processed using an in-memory database and instant push notifications are sent out making it functionally ideal for IoT and industrial automation usage.

Can we leave the power of Design out of all of this?

If we were to observe technology in its skeletal form, any non-techie would flounder in the pool of binary digits or codes, equations and machine parts that would confuse the living lights out of them. What gives technology shape, form, face, look, feel — what makes it human is DESIGN. As designers, we pride ourselves in our ability to think from a 360-degree perspective for even the most insignificant of objects that a user would depend on. When people passionate about product designs just as much as they are obsessed with ethnographic research combine their knowledge and skills, you get bicycles that light up as per your mood, play you your music and inform routes and weather conditions before you venture out… You get watches that track your health and speak to you and much, much more…

We wish you all an awe inspiring and remarkable National Technology Day!