One of the holy grails of the Internet of Things is to have certain things happen in specific places. But there's a problem with that; right now, our devices don't have precise enough location capabilities to trigger notifications when you're passing by the refrigerator or walking to the garage. A group of five Berkeley engineers has teamed up to create Dot, a device that takes the concept of an iBeacon and makes it usable anywhere. Sound confusing? Here's a video:
Dot is more than just a beacon. It has an RGB LED built in that can be set up to glow certain colors under specific conditions, giving you an indication of that condition with just a glance. Powered by Bluetooth 4.0, Dot can automatically provide notifications or launch apps on your smartphone or tablet when you walk within a certain distance. When used with home automation, Dot can sense when you walk by and start turning on lights automatically. My personal favorite use case? Digital Post-It Notes that are written by one person and that show up on another person's iPhone when they're near the Dot.
The Dot campaign reached its funding goal almost immediately, and the group is now trying to reach a stretch goal that will add a physical button to the Dot. A $20 pledge secures a Dot, and the team expects to get them to backers along with the app next March.