Another idea I thought that was spurred by the talk of how a cellphone might be used as a ‘thing.’
How about a connected Alarm Clock? It would behave just like a standard Alarm Clock would, except with a few additions: First, it would pull time from the internet. This means if you lost power it should be able to reset itself automatically. It would also update day light saving starts and stops automatically as well.
Next, the alarm would trigger more than just an audible alarm when it went off. It would also trigger a SmartEvent in the cloud. It might turn on your bedroom light to help wake you up. It might turn on the coffee maker. It might even be set to trigger some events early. For instance, if you program your alarm for 7:00 it’ll turn on the furnace to warm up the house 20 minutes earlier and start that coffee maker 15 minutes earlier so you can have your first cup right away. But tomorrow you have an early meeting and need to get up at 6:30. No problem, change your alarm time and your furnace still start 20 minutes before your alarm time, and your coffee 15 minutes before your alarm time. No need to reset those. Just changing the alarm time on your clock adjusts the time for all the triggers in your “good morning” SmartEvent.
Finally, the alarm can be triggered from the SmartApp too. For instance, in the middle of the night if the open/close sensor on a window suddenly opens, it’ll sound your alarm clock. If a connected smoke detector goes off, it’ll trigger your alarm clock too.