TI is on the right track by betting on WLAN for such needs, Cellular connectivity is an overkill for most such needs.
What is needed to get Things off the ground is integration into a platform where such devices can be interacted with. Existing platforms such as Android, iOS are good candidates.
The interface needs to be a handheld device such as a smartphone or a tablet; not necessarily a laptop/desktop computer.
This would be great to control my sprinkler system. I could go onto my computer and program or adjust the watering times. You could even have a script that checks the weather online and adjusts the watering schedule accordingly.
War is over. In the domain of Consumer Electronics it will probably kill other Wireless Technologies like Zigbee. Good thing or not? Now we can re-think operability. I like it. Still have to check the data sheet, BOM and software effort but it looks like no need no more for "Linux like systems" or Multi Chip Modules to do WiFi.
I think the theory is that "things" will send a very small amount of data, not very often. So, like SMSs on Cellphone networks, the increase in traffic will be quite small compared to normal network traffic.
Luis Sanchez: right you are--cost is a big factor here, particularly since a lot of the applications seem to be merely convenience functions. I'm not against convenience, but I'll only pay so much to not have to dial in a weird code to my washing machine. After all, how often do I have to do it?
Another issue, also, is that I really, really don't want this information going outside my home. These devices will all be connected through my router, and that's good for me as long as the data stays there. I don't need an information harvesting 'bot to take up residence in one of my machines or my router (or be put there by a chip manufacturer) to feed data on my home routine to anyone. I can think of all sorts of reasons to be paranoid about that.