Main Site Documentation

New xbox one = gateway to your home for IoT


#1

I hate to split this off from the other thread but I think its worthy given the topic is the new xbox as your home’s gateway to the IoT world using what Microsoft is currently calling ‘Home 2.0’. Years ago I hoped that the Windows Home Server would become this link, but perhaps its was too early in the evolution of IoT, but given the life expectancy of the new xbox one, this is the platform.


#2

Well, I think it’s pretty logical to integrate the Xbox One into the IoT… but that being said it’s really all the other things around it that really make IoT a reality, right? Seems like any device, be it Xbox, or something far less beefy like a Roku 3 should have enough processing power to act as a sort of center home automation interface on your television.

Whats important is that we don’t end up with a bunch of competing ecosystems… if people try to be too proprietary it’s not going to catch on in a real way IMO. I think the average person needs to be able to pick up new connected devices and not have to worry if it’s compatible with system X, Y, or Z.


#3

But that sounds like exactly the problem Microsoft is trying to solve. It sounds as if they’re building a unified solution that understands many different protocols and coordinates them all. The XBox One is indeed the perfect piece of hardware to use for this since it’ll be there on idle a large amount of time (unless you have a house full of teenagers) and it has an awesome UI & HID (Kinect). Like every tech standard, there will be many in the beginning until we finally settle on one. I’m glad to see Microsoft taking the “why wait” approach.

Speaking of WHS… We sorely need a replacement for it. I guess I’ll be running WHS 2011 until I lose connector support :frowning:


#4

Frankly at the moment I’d embrace a little ‘competing ecosystems’ just to get the rodeo going. Initially I wanted a system which was always on that I could send my data too, but now I tend to use external collectors, but still I think as a central collection and reporting point on an always on system like the xbox would be cool and if they added even a couple of simple things it would make a huge difference in terms of making IoT for the home viable.

As far as Windows Home Server goes, I still have one running here and a couple more elsewhere but I also setup a Business Essentials 2012 server here which is apparently working well (to be honest its working better then I’d give it public credit for as I really liked Home Server). I changed ISP’s however and their port blocking has really messed stuff up for me, almost enough to go back to my old provider.


#5

For data collection, I think Azure or other cloud service is the better route these days. I see the XBox acting as more of a hub between your IoT devices, home automation, & Azure.


#6

While I love Azure the problem is people won’t pay for software, and I don’t think Azure is going to be ‘free’ so another form of collector needs to be found that is free or at least appears free so having a collector on the xbox works (as long as the collector is in and of itself free). It also gives folks that feel that the data hasn’t left their home, so they get that security warm and fuzzy feel.

While I expect to see a Azure based ‘COSM’ someday, I’m not sure many folks will be interested enough in their IoT data to pay for its storage and I would think the Xively is finding that now. I’ve already moved my Office Palms off to ThingSpeak and I’m playing around with OpenSen.se to see what it would look like there as its an IoT experiment and certainly not worth me paying money for it.


#7

[quote=“Duke Nukem”]
While I love Azure the problem is people won’t pay for software, and I don’t think Azure is going to be ‘free’ so another form of collector needs to be found that is free or at least appears free so having a collector on the xbox works (as long as the collector is in and of itself free).[/quote]

I think in most cases we’re talking pennies a month in Azure storage costs. If Microsoft is serious about making the XBox the home automation hub then I would not at all be surprised to see some Azure storage space thrown in with an XBox Live account or similar. They obviously have BIG plans to use those 300,000 cloud servers setup to run XBox One. I have to believe it’s for a lot more than just playing games.

Do you really think most people will really understand where there data is going? They’ll just think it’s in the XBox.


#8

I dunno, from every comment section of every article regarding Cloud services, people seem super paranoid. And of course the more ignorant they are, the more they ramble about Big Brother and scary drones.

Then again comment sections are generally full of posts from the lowest common denominator types…


#9

Yea, but your talking about the slim majority of people like us who know what “cloud services” mean. The XBox is designed to be an every day appliance that hides all that technical garbage. They’ll word it like “Log the electrical usage of your toaster to your Live account so we can help you save money?” I don’t think most will think twice about it.


#10

[quote=“ianlee74”]
I think in most cases we’re talking pennies a month in Azure storage costs.[/quote]

But you’re also talking pennies per month (at best) in realized value. IoT, while interesting and fun as a hobby, just isn’t on the general public’s radar. While you can stick a soil moisture sensor in your plant and have it tweet when it needs water, and that’s great and all, you’ll spend much more money running the hardware than you’ll ever save in water costs. Mankind learned to water plants on a schedule long ago, and isn’t likely to change to a model where we have watering cans waiting to go when our plants start tweeting us.

Knowing how much electricity your toaster uses isn’t helpful unless you’re willing to eat less toast, and if you’re willing to change your behavior, you don’t need your toaster tweeting you how much energy it uses.

Fun hobby, but your data gathering has to be cheap or it’s not worth it. I think the XBox is perfect, because it’s simply an added bonus of the hardware you (presumably) already purchased for other reasons.


#11

[quote=“godefroi”]But you’re also talking pennies per month (at best) in realized value. IoT, while interesting and fun as a hobby, just isn’t on the general public’s radar. While you can stick a soil moisture sensor in your plant and have it tweet when it needs water, and that’s great and all, you’ll spend much more money running the hardware than you’ll ever save in water costs. Mankind learned to water plants on a schedule long ago, and isn’t likely to change to a model where we have watering cans waiting to go when our plants start tweeting us.

Knowing how much electricity your toaster uses isn’t helpful unless you’re willing to eat less toast, and if you’re willing to change your behavior, you don’t need your toaster tweeting you how much energy it uses.

Fun hobby, but your data gathering has to be cheap or it’s not worth it. I think the XBox is perfect, because it’s simply an added bonus of the hardware you (presumably) already purchased for other reasons.
[/quote]

Agreed and although I used the lame toaster example, I don’t think energy savings is going to be the selling factor in IoT. The coolness factor of having devices control other devices is what’s going to sell IoT. It’s not on the general public’s radar yet because we haven’t yet made it easy and a standard feature in the things where it will be used most often (living room blinds, door locks, light switches, etc.).

If XBox introduces an IFTTT type service and industries start making IoT capable devices in mass then I think there’s no doubt people will use the service. The service will run as a cloud service for the simple fact that you’ll want to control and monitor everything from all your devices (PC, tablet, smartphone, smartwatch). If people trust banks to put their money on the internet, they won’t think twice about having their window blinds on the Internet.


#12

[quote=“ianlee74”]If people trust banks to put their money on the internet, they won’t think twice about having their window blinds on the Internet.
[/quote]

But there’s a reason to have your money on the internet…


#13

I beg to differ :slight_smile: The tweeting in itself is of absolutely no interest, you’re right, but the problem there is not the hypothetical water costs savings versus hardware, it is more about what the data mean for the plants and its water needs from a global ecosystem point of view. And change the scale from the few plants on your balcony to a full-scale plantation in a water-deprived land, and now you’re talking. Besides, moisture sensing is a very uncomplete data, the real water needs are a generally on a plant species basis, and for example sap velocity is far more accurate. Of course if you’re trying to make this kind of commitment and very fine-grained “data-collected” caretaking for your home plants, the savings are probably to be nonexistent, but once again it is not about personal costs savings at home, it is more about understanding and making everybody an almost potential scientist aware of his surroundings : and this is priceless.

just my two cents and sorry for the offtopic


#14

But there’s a reason to have your money on the internet…
[/quote]

Yes…but my point is if you own an XBox today more than likely you already have it connected to the internet and you’re already saving data to the internet via your Live account. Saving a little more data from your appliances doesn’t even require thought. It only needs to be possible and people will do it.


#15

Yes…but my point is if you own an XBox today more than likely you already have it connected to the internet and you’re already saving data to the internet via your Live account. Saving a little more data from your appliances doesn’t even require thought. It only needs to be possible and people will do it.
[/quote]

People will need to have a compelling reason … in this case I’m guessing it will eventually be convenience.