Maybe one of the reasons printers have come up so often is related to the difficulties of envisioning how this technology will be useful (not that it won't) in practice. The ability of millions of NFC-equipped devices to communicate is a capability but it will be interesting how this translates into usefuls apps. Lots of possibilities.
Chuck, you mention printers multiple times in your article. Who uses those anymore? I don't think that the IoT was targeted at printers. Those have been around for a long time and the connections between the network and the printer is a pretty well established thing. I really don't want my refrigator to print out an alert at 2AM.
The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
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