It is December 2016. Another year in music has come and gone, and—in my usual perverse way—I’m refusing to talk about it. Instead I’m going to talk about songs that had come and gone before 2016 even started. Welcome back to the One Year Late Review.

Let me take you back — the year was 2015. It was before The Event, a time when we still had hope in our hearts. In those days, things were either True or False, even if it was occasionally hard to figure out which category they fit in. Seldom were they both. Never were…

The charming story of how Jawbone and Product Club collaborated to create something useful, simple and fun that everyone can play with.

I’d like to start off by thanking Jawbone for allowing us to publish this piece on our experience collaborating with them. Obviously, all the opinions within it are those of Product Club and if we’ve made any errors, they’re entirely our responsibility.

Over the past year, while we’ve been sketching and prototyping our own projects, Product Club has taken on occasional bits of consulting or prototyping work to pay the bills. …

Online last night I saw a bunch of people accusing the left of being bigots for protesting against racist and sexist rhetoric. The argument appears to be that the left are hypocrites for not respecting the freedom of expression of racist, sexist and discriminatory people to be racist, to be sexist, and to discriminate.

At its heart there is a tension here and it’s a tension as old as political theory —that all people should have as much freedom as possible but without compromising the freedom of others. But it’s a tension that we work out over time, in law…

Thington is an AI for your smart home that you interact with via structured conversation

SAN FRANCISCO. Thington Inc. today announces the public launch of Thington—an AI for your home—that aims to bring the ‘Home of the Future’ to everyone, via the easiest possible interface: Conversation.

There’s a world of potential in connected devices like smart lightbulbs, locks, thermostats and cameras. They can make your home more secure, lower your bills and make your home more inviting and friendly. But most people just don’t know how to get started. They don’t know which products to buy. …

In May 2008 my team at Yahoo Brickhouse and I launched a beta of a project called Fire Eagle. This was a very very early location sharing project — one of the first in fact. We spent a lot of time thinking about the privacy implications of sharing your location and giving it to services online and all the things you might be able to do with it. …

A couple of weeks ago we put the first version of Thington out into the world and the response has been wonderful. Loads of you have downloaded the app, set up your things and have let us know that you’re enjoying the experience.

We’ve also had loads of feedback about the features that you particularly like, bugs you’ve found (and which we’ve tried to fix as quickly as possible) and other devices that you’d like us to support.

More than anything else, you’ve been asking us for integration with LIFX bulbs. …

The Shape of Things, by Tom Coates

This is a transcript of a talk I gave at Webstock in New Zealand in February 2016, lightly edited to remove many terrible jokes. For more information about Webstock, New Zealand, the artwork in this piece and more more, skip to the bottom of the page to the unnecessarily long transcript.

What I’m going to be doing today:

Today I’m going to be talking about the thinking we’ve been doing at Thington about the right and wrong ways to interact with a world of connected objects, and some of the problems we’ve been trying to solve.

In particular I want to talk about the relationship we’re starting…

Photo by Olivier Verin, Creative Commons (see the original on Flickr)

A couple of weeks ago we announced what we’d been working on for the last couple of years: Thington, a concierge to help you get the most out of smart connected devices in your home or office. In this piece I’m going to try and explain why we think people are the most important part of the Internet of Things and the design decisions we’ve made, but first a couple of stories:

In 1990, a full year before Tim Berners-Lee made the first webpage, the world’s first ‘Internet of Things’ domestic appliance was created: a toaster.

The particular device —…

Today we want to show you a new product that we’ve been working on for the last year. It’s called Thington and it’s here to make homes and offices truly smart by putting people first. If you’ve got an iPhone, you can download it today and register your account. You might find yourself on a waitlist but we’ll get to you as soon as we can.

Just a few years from now every fan heater, light fixture, security camera or garage door opener that you buy will be able to connect to the Internet. And it won’t just be those…

Last year I noted that at the end of a year everyone writes about all the best songs they’ve heard that year. But they’ve normally written all the pieces before the year is really over! What about those songs that came out in December? Did they get a fair hearing? I don’t think so! So I took a bit of a different approach and wrote about the songs I’d enjoyed most from the year before, songs that I’d had twelve months or more to digest properly! …

Tom Coates

Co-founder of Thington Inc. building a new way to interact with a world of connected devices, based in SF. Previously: Brickhouse, Fire Eagle, BBC, Time Out

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