#15 • Michael Wolf – Founder, NextMarket Insights

This week’s podcast is our first “cross-cast” — the episode appears both in Farstuff, and in The SmartHome Show by SmartFriend™ and excellent guest Michael Wolf.

Mike is one of the industry’s most well known connected home analysts, and the founder of NextMarket Insights — a research firm focused on emerging technologies. Before that he served as VP of Research for GigaOM, and created and managed research and advisory groups for ABI Research and In-Stat, where he created the world’s first dedicated connected home research service.


#14 • Todd Greene – CEO, PubNub

This week we get to know Todd Greene, CEO of PubNub, a company that’s created a Realtime IoT Network that will help the Internet of Things communicate more effectively. Join us as we discuss where IoT is headed and what are the major challenges we see as “smart” things become more ubiquitous and require more of our web traffic.


About Todd Greene

Todd Greene is founder and CEO of PubNub. Prior to founding PubNub, he was the founder and CEO of Loyalize, a company that provided real-time Audience Participation software, synchronizing TV viewers with collaborative voting and chatting apps on their phones/tablets. After closing deals with Yahoo! and Viacom, and being selected by Forbes as “one of the four hottest ad companies” in 2011, Loyalize was acquired by Robert FX Sillerman, the owner of American Idol.

The challenge of real-time synchronization of millions of audience members turned out to have many similarities to the challenges of reliable connectivity for IoT, which placed Todd on his current journey at PubNub.

Previously, Todd served in leadership roles in software companies across the spectrum, from enterprise to infrastructure to consumer software companies. Todd joined his first startup in 1996, as the 11th employee of NetDynamics, the very first app server for the Internet. He later founded and was CTO of CascadeWorks, a SaaS Services Procurement company, sold to Elance in 2003.

About PubNub

PubNub provides a global Realtime Network that solves the problems of large-scale IoT connectivity in the wild, enabling IoT providers to focus on their core business.

#13 • Pro Sports & The IoT

In this episode, Farstuff explores how the IoT will completely “change the game” of pro sports — not just for athletes, but enhance and elevate all sports from a “TV-native” experience to an “Internet-native” experience for fans.

From swimsuits that have been banned at the Olympics, to the use of goal-identifying watches by referees in the World Cup, technology is quickly changing how we play, watch and enjoy sports. Come on along as Charles and Andreea explore some of the most advanced sports equipment available, where everything is going and what it all means for the future of sports coaching, strategy, and rules and regulations for actual competitions.

Whether or not you’re a sports fan, we hope you’ll find this exploration of how the IoT will impact professional sports to be a fun and interesting journey.

Relevant Links

#12 • Apple Watch, Apple Pay and the IoT

Apple changed the world again — yawn! — with their fall 2014 keynote. The shockwaves of those announcements will reverberate through the Internet of Things for years, if not decades.

Yes Virginia, there were MP3 players before the iPod, phones before the iPhone, and wearables before the Apple Watch. But Apple’s entry into wearables isn’t just a technical exercise — because it’s Apple, it’s a cultural event.

In this episode,  Andreea and Charles talk about how Apple’s new product and service announcement impact the Internet of Things.


#11 • Drones — “The Flying IoT”

Flying IoT: Drones are not just for delivering your Amazon packages, eliminating terrorist threats across the globe and spying on your neighbors. Did you know that they can be used to get a leg up on hunting feral pigs? Or that starting your own drone business could be the next hottest startup? Charles and Andreea explore the wild world of Drones and the mysterious airspace they live in.


  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or (UAS) Unmanned Aerial Systems vs (RPV) Remotely Piloted Vehicles:
    • Computes– Sliding level of autonomy, self-aware enough to avoid collisions and to get back to their charging station in time
    • Connects– Wifi, GPS, RFID
    • Communicates– Remote Sensing – Electromagnetic spectrum sensors (visual, infrared, near infrared & radar), Gamma Ray Sensors, Biological Sensors, Chemical Sensors etc.
    • Open-source software
  • LAPD adds drones to their arsenal – Safe or Creepy?
  • World’s First Drone Ambulance – Air Mule Tactical Robotics
  • Hear Charles’ Drone Voice!
  • Getting the ultimate footage with Camera drones – Film companies negotiate with the FAA
  • Drones deliver drinks at nightclubs and Drone Pizza Delivery in India
  • How is a drone different from a flying toddler?
  •  Exploratory/Education:
    1. Archaelogists
    2. Mapping capabilities
    3. Forest Fire Detection
    4. Tracking Feral Pigs & reporting to hunters
    5. Hunting hurricanes
  • DIY Drones! Start your own Drone Business!
  • Facial and gesture recognition and what that means for the military and the paprazzi
  • Ecosystem chat: Google – Loon for Wifi distribution and Facebook purchased Titan Aerospace
  • 80,000 Volts of Awesomeness!
  • Legal/Regulatory/Safety Concerns:
    • History: 83 ft above from roof top is Private, 500 ft and up is Public
    • FAA banned all commercial drones as of May 30, 2014
  • A Hack-proof drone?!!?!?!?! DARPA is convinced!


#10 • Bionics, Prosthetics & Human Enhancement

It’s a whole new world when the Internet of Things is part of you. In the future, everyone will be IoT-enhanced — bodies and minds connected via the internet to other things and people, everyone enhanced beyond normal human abilities.

Join  Andreea and Charles as they go beyond wearables, and discuss a future where “the Internet of Things…is people!”


  • Dumb (passive) prosthetics vs. smart (active) prosthetics
  • Hugh Herr, MIT Media Lab
    • Powered ankle/foot prosthesis
  • How are these smart prosthetics be part of the IoT?
  • Benefits of connecting to your central nervous system
  • Darpa’s touch-sensitive prosthetic
  • Australian study on improving vision in mice
  • Argus 2 retinal prosthetic system
  • Bionic Vision Australia’s bionic eye
  • Type 1 diabetes
    • IoT pancreas
  • Internet of Nano-Things?
  • Sperm-bots
  • How do you power something that’s embedded inside your body?
  • Security: When hacks can kill
  • Intimacy and consequences of prosthetics vs. implants
  • Transhumanism and humanity’s conflicted relationship with enhancement
  • Sports
    • LZR Racer swimsuit broke 168 world records this year
      • Banned as performance-enhancing substance in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics
  • Military
  • What happens when the Internet is in everyone’s brain?
    • What happens when we can’t disconnect?
  • Life extension
  • Upgrades (!)
  • Timeframes
  • Flexible and temporary form factors
  • How the IoT changes drug administration
  • More personalized health
  • 3D printing and prosthetics

#9 • Bitcoin & The IoT

Bitcoin can be used to pay for stuff, but it’s interesting for reasons that go way beyond that — and it may be especially interesting when applied to the Internet of Things. How interesting? We audaciously propose that Bitcoin will be central to the IoT.

Find out why in this episode, in which Charles and Andreea help contextualize bitcoin as it relates to the Internet of Things.


  • What is bitcoin?
    • It’s a currency, like cash
      • Digital currency, a.k.a. crypto currency, a.k.a. smart cash
      • Anonymous (not really)
    • It’s a system
      • No central authority, a.k.a. distributed, a.k.a. decentralized
      • Invented by Satoshi Nakamoto
      • At the center: The “blockchain”
  • Currency is just one application of the underlying tech
    • Bitcoin (mostly) solves: How to get a people who don’t trust each other to reach consensus
    • We have not discovered the most interesting applications of underlying system
  • The bitcoin mining gold rush is over
  • Developers, entrepreneurs and investors are growing companies around the bitcoin ecosystem
  • The technology behind bitcoin
    • What is the blockchain?
  • Bitcoin gives IoT devices their own wallets
    • Why would things need their own wallet?
  • Boom! Micropayments
    • Why would things need to make tiny payments?
  • How bitcoin will revolutionize money in developing countries
  • Content monetization
  • Security
  • The most interesting uses of bitcoin have yet to be discovered

#8 • Beacons & Micro-Location

Sure, GPS was a game-changer. But as stars were to ancient mariners, “beacons” are the true wayfinders of the Internet of Things. They’re the enabling tech behind “micro-location”, and they’re about to revolutionize location services all over again.

Beacon on clothes rack


  • What are “beacons”?
  • Beacons vs. iBeacons
    • Generic names vs. Apple branding
    • Compatibility
  • Cost
  • Design
  • Hardware and service providers
  • GPS vs BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), and why you need both
  • Micro-location applications (see “Use cases” section below for more)
  • A way for retail to compete with Amazon?
  • Geofencing
  • Ultra-microlocation (!)
  • Light (vs. RF) becaons


Use cases

While the use cases for this technology is pretty endless, here are just a few we touch on:

  • Airports
  • Shopping malls
  • Retail
    • Personalized shopping
    • In-store contextual advertising
    • Radically different checkout experience (“real-life one-click”)
  • Augmented reality
  • Casinos
  • Museums and libraries
  • Medicine (Proteus are pills that notify a patch that you’ve digested the pill)
  • Sports and games
  • Theme parks
  • Within a car (!)


#7 • The End of Browsers

Right now, web browsers are your window to the internet. Thanks in part to the Internet of Things, that’s gonna change. Can’t imagine it? Listen to this, and you will!


This episode is about why and how, with some free extra bonus conversation about how the way we interact with “things” is going to look very different within our lifetimes.


  • The end of URLs?
  • Bigger screens, smaller screens, flexi-screens
  • The end of car mirrors?
  • Other ways the IoT will disintermediate browsers
  • The always-watching, always-listening IoT
  • Voice recognition
  • Distilling multiple inputs to emotional state and intent
  • Anticipatory computing
  • Devices sharing sensor data



#6: Battle of the IoT Giants — Apple, Google, Samsung

The big three duke it out! Which company is best positioned to become the owner of the Internet of Things in the consumer market? Which will win in our first ever Farstuff Battle of the IoT Giants?

Stuff we talk about

  • Operating Systems
  • Gadgetry
  • Customer Reach
  • Our 3 C’s: Connect, Communicate, Compute
  • Android isn’t open source, it’s faux-pen source
  • Apple is a consumer electronics company, Google is a technology company
  • Web services for IoT devices
  • “Being the store” vs. “being the doormat”
  • “Apple has my credit card, so we’re in a relationship that way”
  • Hybrid (local+cloud) computing

The ridiculously arbitrary results

[table width=”500″ colwidth=”100|100|100|100|100|100″ colalign=”left|center|center|center|center|center”]
Contender,Tech/OS,Gadget Portfolio,Customer Reach,Services,Total


The podcast for makers and fans of the Internet of Things