The 10 Coolest IoT Products Of 2016 (So Far)

The 411 on IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot market that is only continuing to pick up steam as more IT vendors and service providers release new products and solutions for a slew of innovative use cases. It's safe to say that nearly every industry is being touched by IoT at this point.

The IoT market kicked off the year with a bang in January at the global Consumer Electronics show (CES) in Las Vegas. Many new offerings were introduced at the show, and IT companies haven't slowed down since then.

From smart mattresses and sneakers, to even smarter sensors for industrial, medical and even residential use cases, here are the ten coolest IoT products of 2016 so far.

(For more on the "coolest" of 2016, check out "CRN's Tech Midyear In Review.")

AWS IoT Button

Amazon in May introduced an Amazon Dash button that integrates with AWS IoT, the managed cloud platform that lets connected devices easily and securely interact with cloud applications and other devices. The latest button -- the AWS IoT Button -- sold out the same day it was released.

The AWS IoT Button can be used to connect devices to applications, such as allowing users to turn on light switches or a coffee pot once their alarm goes off. The button can be programmed to work with apps and devices easily by any user, and doesn't require programming knowledge. The button's battery will last for around 1,000 presses, according to Amazon.

AT&T LTE Modules For IoT

Dallas-based AT&T rolled out a new family of certified LTE modules that the Dallas-based carrier said will help business users lower costs and improve device performance for a range of IoT applications.

Introduced first at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, the latest single-mode LTE module was developed by Wistron NeWeb Corp., a manufacturer of advanced communications products, and AT&T. The new modules were certified to run on AT&T's 4G LTE network in June.

Business customers can use the modules to create a range of IoT solutions while driving down the cost of LTE connectivity. AT&T said the modules can be used in smart city, industrial, and wearable applications.

Qualcomm's Internet Of Medical Things

At CES 2016, mobile technology provider Qualcomm revealed its "Internet of Medical Things" strategy. The company showed off its technology that powers connected medical devices.

New technology included diagnostic, biometric, and physiological health monitors. Through its module technology, Qualcomm has also helped other device manufacturers add connectivity to existing medical devices that target specific health conditions, and can track a patient's health in real-time.

VW's Smart Minivan

While "minivan" might not be the coolest word that comes to mind, the BUDD-e smart electric minivan from auto manufacturer VW turned heads this year at CES.

The BUDD-e vehicle responds to gestures and verbal commands, and can also interact with connected home devices, like garage door openers. The eco-friendly minivan boosts a 101-kWh lithium-ion battery, and can reach an 80 percent charge in 15 minutes, according to the company. According to VW, some of the BUDD-e's electric technology will arrive in a production car by 2020.

Raspberry Pi 3

In February, the Raspberry Pi foundation unveiled Raspberry Pi 3, the foundation's latest single board computer, supported by Windows 10, that has been optimized for connected devices.

The Raspberry Pi 3 is powered by the BCM2837, a System-on-Chip produced by Broadcom. The latest board includes 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth, features that earlier versions of Raspberry Pi didn't include. The company said it added more processing power and functionality in an effort to become an "IoT hub" for industrial and smart home applications.

Vivitar Smart Light Bulbs

Sakar International, Inc. revealed its aesthetically pleasing line of new smart multi-colored bulbs in January. The Vivitar 2-in-1 LED Bluetooth Speaker Light Bulbs, which can be controlled via any bluetooth-enabled device, also double as a Bluetooth speaker.

From an app on their mobile devices, users can change the light bulb's color from the standard white light, to red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, blue and purple LEDs. The bulbs can be screwed into any standard light bulb socket.

Speedform Gemini 2 Smart Sneaker

Runners will especially appreciate the smart sneaker unveiled by Under Armor in January, the SpeedForm Gemini 2. This smart sneaker -- the right shoe, to be exact -- has Bluetooth, an accelerometer, and a battery built into its sole.

The Gemini 2 integrates with the rest of Under Armour's clothing line and with its fitness apps, including MapMyRun, MyFitnessPal, and UA Record.

An inconspicuously smart device, these activity-tracking shoes look just like "dumb" sneakers. The Gemini 2 went on sale at the end of February.

Ericsson's IoT Software

Communication technology company Ericsson unveiled at CES 2016 two software-based solutions geared toward helping enterprise customers and service providers take advantage of IoT.

Ericsson's Smart Metering as a Service offering make energy metering easier while providing more accurate billing for end customers. The solution gives utility providers an easier way to offer smart services, the company said. Ericsson also introduced its User Data Consolidation solution, which collects and analyzes connected device and sensor data, including both cellular and non-cellular devices.

Sleep Number's It Bed

Select Comfort debuted its Sleep Number It Bed at CES 2016. Arguably one of the most talked about beds today, the mattress is embedded with biometric sensors that collect user sleeping data. The IoT sensors allow the mattress to track movements, heart rate, breathing and sleep status hundreds of times per second. Users can then track how soundly they are sleeping, as well as their ideal level of firmness via their "SleepIQ" app on their mobile device.

The It Bed can interact with other cloud services and smart devices around the home. Available this summer, the latest sleep number bed will be sold in sizes ranging from twin to king, and will start at $1,000.

LG Signature Refrigerator

LG announced two new refrigerators in 2016. The LG Signature Refrigerator features the same four-door design of its predecessors, but the latest version also includes a panel on the right-hand door that allows users to see inside the fridge without opening the doors.

The new stainless steel model includes a darkened glass that turns transparent when its knocked on by a user. Thanks to a sensor underneath the door, the doors of the fridge can open on its own when a user approaches with their arms full of groceries.