CWorld writes about what they call 'Awareness of Things' gadgets. I mentioned one of them, the 'Dot' recently. A kind of cheap primitive beacon that can can provide focused information to your devices, like a smartphone. A good additional example is the ThermoPeanut, a simple thermometer, that connects to a phone App via low energy Smart Bluetooth. More examples in the article.
These are not part of the IoT, because they have no IP address. (?) Or are they simpler sensor-only one-way connections? I much like the cheap and simple angle of this new direction. Links to IFTTT at the device end to have specialized alerts to the user? I see that ThermoPeanut is so linked.
I recall an application where we wanted to understand temperature information from a container of agricultural commodities so we could sort the bins for initial sample testing. Would have been a great way to do this simply, would have saved a great deal of resources and thus money.