James Lee says the widely touted Internet of Things is on its way to becoming a cliche as companies come up with new ways to integrate the network into everyday life.
According to Lee, integrating the Internet into households has taken strange turns that include a bathroom that could tweet out your weight “if that is what you wanted” and a refrigerator that will send a message if you are low on milk.
Lee heads the Wilmington company, Stratfi, a Wilmington-based investment firm that specializes in profiting from future technology and trends.
Lee spoke before members of the Delaware Technology Forum at the group’s monthly meeting on Wednesday.
One development in its early stages is Smart Dust – tiny particle computers that could monitor everything from one’ health to tracking money, Lee says. He stresses that the technology is in its very early stages
Another trend is “virtual reality becoming real,” Lee says.
He points to the Samsung Gear, headgear that allows for immersive experiences with smartphones. Lee expects the headgear to spread to popular gaming systems.
“Everyone is getting into this game,” he said of tech companies chasing the market.
DuPont, or whatever it will become after the Dow merger, is now introducing out OLED video displays that could serve as “cheap programmable wallpaper” that could be used on many surfaces, Lee says.
Lee also took note of the Microsoft HoloLens. The technology can introduce images into one’s environment via goggles.
HoloLens is part of something known as augmented reality that can become becomes a “fifth screen.”
For example, someone wearing glasses, goggles or using other devices may one day be able to walk down the street and instantly see the TripAdvisor or Yelp ratings for restaurants.
Already virtual reality trips to college campuses are making their way to market.
Wearable robotics are another tech frontier. Using an exoskeleton “iron man” capabilities, a soldier can carry much heavier gear with less strain.
Technology is also making its way into the ability of disabled individuals to use their minds to operate robotic equipment. That assist in everyday life,
This technology has been around for years. However, Lee says the next frontier is the use of wireless technology that would allow the above functions without a connection cord.
In terms of investing in technology, Lee points to the Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies. The cycle consists of huge expectations, followed by deep disappointment and then an upward cycle that leads to the technology becoming profitable and a part of everyday life.
One of the downsides is security as devices become connected, giving hackers the ability to tap into automobiles as well as computers.
Lee says the “tech bubble” is a complex issue as the stock market struggles in early 2016. Prospects of the bubble harken back to the stock technology spree that ended in a crash around 2000.
Much of the turmoil is taking place in venture capital and other areas that may not directly affect individual investors, Lee says.
One interesting development, according to Lee, is the value of “defensive stocks” that are popular in periods like now. Those stocks may be overvalued, he says.
Conversely, stocks that are often perceived to be riskier may be undervalued, he adds.
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