Podcast: What the next few years hold for the internet of things

Many technologies and challenges will shape what we know as “the internet of things” over the next few years. In the latest GigaOM Research podcast, we sit down with analyst Jon Collins to discuss what the technology is (and isn’t) and why it matters for our connected future.

No phone or laptop? Virgin America to add Wi-Fi to seat-back displays

Virgin America was the first U.S. airline to add in-flight Wi-Fi. Now the tech-savvy Bay Area–based airline is taking it up a notch by announcing it plans to make some Wi-Fi connectivity available through its soon-to-be-upgraded seat-back entertainment system, starting sometime in 2012.


Does Connectivity Have Us Diverging from Convergence?

It wasn’t that long ago when “convergence” was the buzzword du jour. Everywhere I turned, I heard about the features from two or more devices melding into a single unit. I remember when cameras started appearing in mobile handsets; I scoffed at the low-resolution sensors back then. In fact, they epitomized my personal feelings on the convergence matter. “What’s the point?” I kept saying to myself. “Why should I purchase a converged device when the added feature can’t compete with the same function of a dedicated device?”

Fast-forward to present day, and it’s easy to find phones with a higher sensor resolution than that camera I had a few years back. And cameras aren’t the only example here — the convergence trend of the past several years has finally delivered. But now, I’m sensing a new trend about to emerge that in some ways is a direct reversal of that convergence trend we’ve witnessed as of late; devices are becoming dedicated, single-purpose and standalone again. What’s the main driver for this trend reversal? In a word: connectivity.